Assoc Prof Bob Webb

Honorary Associate Professor
ANU Institute for Climate, Energy & Disaster Solutions

After initial qualifications and research in science, Bob Webb held senior leadership positions in several large, complex and diversified organisations. This included General Manager positions in both the private sector (CSR Ltd) and public sector (Australian Trade Commission) and several Deputy Commissioner positions with the Australian Taxation Office; working in and across a number of disciplines including strategy and change management, large scale operational and program delivery, policy development, economics, finance, investment, information systems, operations research, and marketing and legal negotiations; and across a range of primary, energy, resource, manufacturing and service industry sectors in both public and private sector roles.

He joined the ANU Climate Change Institute and Fenner School of Environment and Society in 2009 as a Senior Fellow, to pursue research in climate change adaptation, with a focus on better linking adaptation practice, policy and research. He has also carried out research and published in the areas of sustainable urban development, transformational change and transdisciplinary processes.

Research interests

Bob has long standing interest and experience in

  • sustainable economic, social and environmental development
  • complex systems and change drivers
  • integrated policy development and implementation
  • organisational governance and decision making
  • stakeholder engagement, strategy development and transformational change.

Since joining the ANU Climate Change Institute and Fenner School of Environment and Society his primary areas of focus have been climate change adaptation, and sustainable urban development, with projects at the local, regional, national and international levels. These projects have involved synthesis and coordination across government, research and stakeholder interests, taking an integrated systems and trans-disciplinary approach.

He is also interested in the broader sustainable development agenda from both the scientific (e.g. earth systems science and planetary boundaries) and policy/practice perspectives (e.g. as co-leader of an Australian Academy of Science/ Future Earth Australia sustainable urban development initiative; pursuit of the UN Sustainable Development Goals; and integration across research and policy domains).

  • Hickmann, T, Biermann, F, Senit, C et al. 2024, 'Scoping article: research frontiers on the governance of the Sustainable Development Goals', Global Sustainability, vol. 7, pp. 1-12.
  • Webb, R, O'Donnell, T, Auty, K et al. 2023, 'Enabling urban systems transformations: co-developing national and local strategies', Urban Transformations, vol. 5, pp. 1-31.
  • Stafford-Smith, M, Rissik, D, Street, R et al. 2022, 'Climate change adaptation guidance: Clarifying three modes of planning and implementation', Climate Risk Management, vol. 35, no. 2.
  • Westman, L, Patterson, J, Macrorie, R et al. 2022, 'Compound urban crises', AMBIO: A Journal of the Human Environment, vol. 51, pp.1402-1415.
  • Bai, X, Baynes, T, Webb, R et al. 2021, 'Cities', in Kenneth G. H. Baldwin , Mark Howden , Michael H. Smith , Karen Hussey , Peter J. (ed.), Transitioning to a Prosperous, Resilient and Carbon-Free Economy: A Guide for Decision-Makers, Cambridge University Press, Australia, pp. 271 - 300.
  • Costanza-van den Belt, M, O'Donnell, T, Webb, R et al. 2021, 'Community preferences for urban systems transformation in Australia', Sustainability, vol. 13, no. 9.
  • Carmichael, B, Wilson, G, Namarnyilk, I et al. 2020, 'A methodology for the assessment of climate change adaptation options for cultural heritage sites', Climate, vol. 8, no. 88, pp. 1-21.
  • Binder, C, Hutter, M, Pang, M, and Webb, R. 2020, 'Systems Science and Sustainability Assessment', in Claudia R. Binder, Romano Wyss, Emanuele Massaro (ed.), Sustainability Assessment of Urban Systems, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge UK, pp. 30 - 64.
  • Bai, X, Colbert, M, McPhearson, T et al. 2019, 'Networking urban science, policy and practice for sustainability', Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, vol. 39, pp. 114-122.
  • O'Donnell, T, Webb, R, Dodson, J et al. 2019, Sustainable cities and regions: 10 year strategy to enable urban systems transformation.
  • Webb, R & O'Donnell, T. 2019, 'Sustainable Australian cities and regions: Synthesis of workshop and interview inputs'.
  • Carmichael, B, Wilson, G, Namarnyilk, I et al. 2018, 'Local and Indigenous management of climate change risks to archaeological sites', Mitigation and adaptation strategies for global change, vol. 23, no. 2, pp. 231-255.
  • Webb, R, Rissik, D, Petheram, L et al. 2018, 'Co-designing adaptation decision support: meeting common and differentiated needs', Climatic Change, vol. 153, no. 4, pp. 569-585.
  • Webb, R, Bai, X, Stafford Smith, M et al 2018, 'Sustainable urban systems: Co-design and framing for transformation', AMBIO: A Journal of the Human Environment, vol. Online, pp. 1-21.
  • Mahmuda, S & Webb, R 2016, 'Climate adaptation and urban planning for heat islands: a case study of the Australian Capital Territory', Australian Planner, vol. 53, no. 2, pp. 127-142pp..
  • Bai, X, Surveyer, A, Elmqvist, T et al. 2016, 'Defining and advancing a systems approach for sustainable cities', Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, vol. 23, no. -, pp. 69-78.
  • O'Donnell, T, Webb, R, Duarte, R et al. 2016, Place-Based Sustainable Urban Renewal: A Case Study Of The Tuggeranong District, Australian Capital Territory
  • Norman, B, Webb, R, Steffen, W et al. 2014, Climate Adaptation Sector Review: Informing the Future Direction for the ACT and Region.
  • Webb, R, Petheram, L & Weiske, P 2014, Climate Adaptation Decision Support Strategies: Developing a National Agenda (LAPS 2 Final Report 5 June 2014).
  • Webb, R & Beh, J 2013, Leading adaptation practices and support strategies for Australia: An international and Australian review of products and tools
  • Norman, B, Steffen, W, Webb, R et al. 2013, South East Coastal Adaptation (SECA): Coastal urban climate futures in SE Australia from Wollongong to Lakes Entrance.
  • Webb, R, McKellar, R & Kay, R 2013, 'Climate change adaptation in Australia: Experience, challenges and capability development', Australasian Journal of Environmental Management, vol. 20, no. 4, pp. 320-337pp.
  • Funfgeld, H, Webb, R & McEvoy, D 2012, 'The Significance of Adaptation Framing in Local and Regional Climate Change Adaptation Initiatives in Australia', The Green Infrastructure Transect, ResearchGate GmbH, Australia, pp. 283-294pp.
  • Webb, R 2011, Impacts of Climate on the Canberra Nature Park : Risks and Responses.

Updated:  25 June 2024/Responsible Officer:  College of Science/Page Contact: