Welcome to the webpage for the RMIT Regional Futures Network!

Please bear with us while we get the page up and running properly.

This collaborative research Network brings together researchers from across RMIT University to contribute, combine and discuss their knowledge and ideas around the crucial issue of regional futures.

 Why regional futures?

The focus on regions is important for multiple reasons. First, regions are a pragmatic research focus, being the scale at which much policy and many practical initiatives now take place. It is also, second, an ethical choice. Focusing on regions means looking beyond (and at) the normal urban-centrism that tends to dominate policy, especially in Australia. Finally, regions are a smart research topic, encompassing a wide array of functions on which cities rely. In contrast to cities, regions are often seen as spaces of production more than consumption. The food, fiber, water and energy products they produce can play important roles in neighbouring cities

This brings us to the other half of the Regional Futures term: futures. Rural and regional futures have long been a policy concern, for reasons we explore. One of our particular interests in this network is regions that are transitioning (or likely to transition) out of polluting forms of energy production, namely coal, into something else. Many issues, risks and agendas tied up in such a “transition”, and many lessons in disparate literatures to draw upon, our network aims to help generate useful insights into what that “something else” could be.

The Regional Futures network is particularly, though not exclusively, focused on the Latrobe Valley region in southern Victoria, Australia. This region is beginning what seems to be a transition away from coal extraction and combustion. Through both local empirical work and detailed conceptual work, our Network aims to help inform efforts to transform and bolster the regional futures in the area.