Congratulations Karen Botes, Abstract Competition Winner!

Read Karen's winning response to the Abstract Competition challenge question:

In 300 words or fewer, explain how your abstract relates to "Building Our Future" and describe how the future of your research area will look.

Harvesting Vegetables


Sustainable cities and communities, climate change, biodiversity loss, food security, good health and well-being have been identified as major global challenges of the twenty-first century. Cities and agriculture are major sources of greenhouse gas emissions. Plants, as oxygen and food source, are pivotal in mitigating these global challenges. Greening initiatives in smart and sustainable cities would entail the conservation of existing green and natural areas within urban environments, minimizing built surface footprint and sealed surfaces, increasing urban tree planting, and innovative approaches to green roofs and living walls, also to include local urban food production. Horizontal space for food production or urban agriculture in urban environments is limited due to competition with other land uses, where-as vertical space is free to be utilised for living walls. In built environments with limited ground space, living walls have potential to offer ecosystem services. Novel approaches which can optimize land-use and promote sustainable development that includes food production with a lower transport cost and less water usage are therefore vital. Vertical food production is claimed to have potential to address food security. Building our future cities would ideally include food production and ecosystem services through the incorporation of edible living walls in the built environment. Building integrated architecture, which is currently growing as urban agriculture solution, is however not suitable for developing countries due to its high technology requirements. Innovations to increase the economic feasibility and resilience of living wall systems include the use of locally produced systems involving unsophisticated technology with lower financial and embodied cost, reduction of energy and water usage and the use of suitable plants. This research paper suggests the utilisation of Traditional African Vegetables (TAV) in modular living wall systems for food production in South African urban environments as response strategy.

Vertical Garden

Award Announced
for the Best Paper Presented on Construction Law

With thanks to the Society of Construction Law Australia, we are pleased to announce a new award for the Best Paper presented at WBC2022 in the category Building Stronger Legal Foundations for Our Construction Future.

Eligible papers must:

  • Be submitted for inclusion in the category Building Stronger Legal Foundations for Our Construction Future before the submission deadline (15 January 2022)

  • Conform to the WBC2022 paper submission template and guidelines

  • Be accepted for presentation at WBC2022 and presented by an author.

The winner, selected by the Session Chair, will receive a $1000 AUD prize courtesy of the Society of Construction Law Australia.