School of Design

Postgraduate research student profiles


Paul Verity

Phone: (+61 4) 1622 1277


Start date

Jan 2010

Submission date

Dec 2012

Paul Verity

Paul Verity profile photo


Reprogramming the metabolic rate of contemporary suburbia: Testing the spatial limits of emerging environmental and social parameters in contemporary suburbia Perth Western Australia.


This thesis aims to investigate how the spatial structure and resultant metabolism of suburbia can adapt to the conditions of the 21st century. Through the design process, the thesis aims to make visible the infrastructure of sustainability testing the spatial limits of the suburban model.

Why my research is important

In Australia three quarters of our population reside in urban areas comprising of 17 major cities all with a population in excess of 100,000. Conservative estimates project our national population to grow to 35.5 million by 2056, an increase of 10 million from 2008. Projections show that 72% of these 10 million people will want to live in urban areas. The Australian Bureau of Statistics projects the Perth metropolitan population to increase by 45% to 3.8 million from its current 1.7 million by 2050. If Perth continues to grow under business as usual conditions, the city would need to grow 12,000 sq km. The resulting footprint to sustain the increased population would result in an urban sprawl stretching from Lancelin in the north and extending mid way between Mandurah and Bunbury in the south. Given the statistics, Urban Designers and Landscape Architects must examine the existing models of suburban development and conduct research into new scenarios that may inform how we consume resources, and interact at a macro scale.


  • University Postgraduate Award