Meet the Author:
Paul Downton,  Adelaide

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Paul Downton

Paul Downton

Architect, Writer, Urban Evolutionary
Prize-winning architect, writer, international speaker, green building and ecocity pioneer and early advocate for action on climate change. Paul Downton is DeTao Master of Ecological Urban Design with the DeTao Masters Academy in Shanghai and Chief Consultant with Green World Solutions (Beijing) Ltd. His projects include keynote green buildings for Adelaide Zoo and the ANU and the internationally awarded Christie Walk development. Founder of Urban Ecology Australia (in 1991), his vision of ecological cities is supported by years of working with communities. In 1989 Paul founded Australia’s first community organisation focused on climate change and was 2008 South Australian finalist for Australian of the Year. With a doctorate in environmental studies and 30 years teaching architecture, Paul is acknowledged as a world leader in sustainable city making and theory and has been called an Australian icon of sustainable development and a ‘neighbourhood pioneer’. His book ‘Ecopolis: Architecture and Cities for a Changing Climate’ was published in 2009. He is currently working on a series of books about ecocities.

September 17, 2014
Born to be Wild IMAGE DowntonFeature

“Civilisation; it’s all about knives and forks.” —David Byrne As a child I was not nature-deprived. I lived in small towns and villages in rural Somerset in England, and enjoyed nature study in primary school but I know that I’ve never seen or experienced anything truly wild. I never will, and as a civilised ape I’m … Continue reading Born to be Wild (Sort of)

March 9, 2014
Dull grey boring wall transformed by ‘commissioned’ graffiti for The People’s Market  at West Lakes Shore, South Australia. Photo: Paul Downton

The nature of cities is inextricably tied to the nature of public space and this blog is about just a small part of that ‘nature’. It was inspired by what appeared to be graffiti on a public footpath that runs along the street where I live, in sunny Semaphore, South Australia. Now I appreciate intelligent, … Continue reading Graffiti on the Path and the Nature of Public Space

August 21, 2013
Urban ‘renewal’ Swansea, South Wales 1977 Drawing: Paul Downton

Yesterday upon the stair I met a man who wasn’t there He wasn’t there again today Oh, how I wish he’d go away        — William Hughes Mearns 1922 Learning to forget When the early settlers headed west across the American continent their cultural baggage weighed lightly when it came to reading the … Continue reading Form, Function, and Cultural Memory: Recalling the Nature of Cities

March 31, 2013
IMAGE 3 Downton TNOC2 Wheatfield

The premises on which we build our cities and construct civilisation, and the extent and means by which we include nature in our cities depends on what values we choose to adopt. Our capacity to engage with the processes of nurturing the nature of our cities depends on how we see our roles as members … Continue reading Straw Polls, Dodos and the Value of Landscape

October 17, 2012
South Village

Urbanisation is spreading across the face of the planet at an unprecedented rate. Most of it is opportunistic; ad hoc development and shanty towns rather than master plans. Virtually none of it, planned or otherwise, incorporates the elements of natural capital that are needed to create sustainable cities. Every time a new piece of urban … Continue reading Neighborhoods and Urban Fractals—The Building Blocks of Sustainable Cities