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Professor Laurie Buys

Creative Industries Faculty,
School of Design Office,
Social Change

Personal

Name
Professor Laurie Buys
Position(s)
Professor
Creative Industries Faculty,
School of Design Office,
Social Change
IFE Theme Leader - Infrastructure for Sustainable Communities
Institute for Future Environments,
IFE Research Integration Theme,
IFE Secure and Resilient Infrastructure
Discipline *
Sociology, Urban and Regional Planning
Phone
+61 7 3138 1146
Fax
+61 7 3138 4438
Email
Location
View location details (QUT staff and student access only)
Qualifications

PhD (University of Northern Colorado), MSc (Southern Illinois University), GradCertGerontology (University of Northern Colorado), BA (West Virginia University)

Professional memberships
and associations
  • 2007 – 2009: President – Australian Association of Gerontology
  • 1995 – present: Member – Australian Association of Gerontology
  • 2011 – present: Member – Brisbane City Council’s Inclusive Brisbane Board
Keywords

Community Development, Community Engagement, Population Ageing, Social Sustainability

* Field of Research code, Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification (ANZSRC), 2008

Biography

Broad area of research: Design

Research

Professor Laurie Buys is an experienced social science researcher and research manager, who frequently collaborates with scientists from various disciplinary backgrounds on complex research initiatives. Her main research interests fall under the broad headings of social sustainability and social gerontology, focusing specifically on issues associated with community engagement, corporate social responsibility, sustainable buildings and active ageing.

  • Research Area 1: Social Sustainability
  • Research Area 2: The Urban Environment
  • Research Area 3: Social Impact Assessment
  • Research Area 4: Social Gerontology

Research area 1: Social Sustainability

Through social sustainability research, Professor Buys aims to enhance understanding of, and accountability for, the real effects felt by people in the community resulting from changes in their physical, economic and cultural life. She has established collaborative partnerships with various organisations to investigate the dynamics of sustainable communities, centred around the idea that prevention rather that mitigation of impacts can be achieved through a multi-disciplinary evaluation of a community and the development of appropriate strategies. The majority of this social sustainability research involves qualitative and quantitative projects that examine issues such as environment attitudes, behaviours, quality of life and social capital. For example, working with the Gold Coast City Council and Queensland Dept of Public Works to investigate the relationship between urban water quality and usage, community wellbeing and housing density.

Research area 2: The Urban Environment

Professor Buys is currently engaged in several projects that investigate different aspects of the urban environment, specifically issues associated with housing choices and neighbourhood design. Currently, she is leading an ARC Linkage project examining the social, environmental and economic impacts of high-density living in a sub-tropical environment. The negative impacts from decades of urban sprawl are now evident and high-density (HD) living has been marked as the most sustainable alternative to traditional suburbs. This research explores the impacts experienced by HD residents within sub-tropical regions and develops strategies to make HD living more socially, environmentally and economically sustainable. In other housing related research, Professor Buys has assessed the experiences of residents of ‘Research House in Rockhampton’ (a sustainable house) and the demand for sustainability retrofits in existing commercial buildings.

Research area 3: Social Impact Assessment

Developing social impact assessment (SIA) tools to be used by industry in their Triple Bottom Line (TBL) reporting is a key component of her research agenda. Professor Buys’ focus has been to formulate generic measures and identify valid indicators of social impact assessment in TBL, which encompasses the three dimensions of economic, environmental and social impacts. Though economic and environmental impacts have long been factored into organisational assessment, recognition of the importance of measuring social impact is a relatively recent development, with no agreement on what social impacts are and how they should be measured. Indeed, SIA has often been described as the ‘poor cousin’ of Economic and Environmental Impact Assessment given the relative lack of attention it has received. Professor Buys is taking a leading role in social impact projects: quantifying the social impact of the Dairy Industry and developing the Social Impact Assessment policies of the Gold Coast City Council.

Research area 4: Social Gerontology

Ageing is one of the most significant changes facing Australia. The overall objective of this research area is to better understand the factors leading to a high quality of life for older adults and, in so doing, encourage more effective policy making at all levels of government and more informed decisions within families. The three key areas of this research interest in social gerontology are active ageing, active ageing for older people with a lifelong intellectual disability and social issues associated with living in retirement villages. In the area of active ageing, she has developed international collaborative research partnership with Professor Karen Roberto from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, USA. This collaboration has involved integration of two data bases in Australia and USA on issues of health, depression and support for older rural men and women.

Professor Buys is also currently engaged in several projects to explore and gain an understanding of active ageing processes for people with lifelong intellectual disabilities, including an ARC Linkage project titled ‘Developing an integrative active ageing model for policy makers and service providers to support older people with lifelong intellectual disability’. There is little research that has investigated how this cohort of older people perceives and describes their own social needs, accommodation needs, retirement preferences and support needs. This research aims to fill this gap by taking account of the views of older people with lifelong disability, as well as those of key family members and service providers. The findings will contribute to the development of an integrative model of active ageing for older people with lifelong intellectual disability and inform policy development.

Grants

Funding

Received over $2,000,000 in research funding since 2003.

Selected List of Awarded Grants

Professor Laurie Buys and her research team have been granted funds to conduct the following research projects:

The neglected dimension of community liveability: Impact on social connectedness and active ageing

Role: ARC Linkage Grant
Chief Investigators: Buys, L., Miller, E., Boulton-Lewis, G.,Courtney, M., Nayak, R., Anderson, D
Participating agencies: QLD Department of Communities, Gold Coast Regional Shire Council, QLD Council on the Ageing
Amount: $386,000
Period: 2008-2011

Evaluation of the ‘Living Smart Homes’ Program

Role: Research Project
Chief Investigators: Miller, E. Buys, L., Summerville, J.
Participating agencies: QLD Environmental Protection Agency, SEQ Catchments, the Noosa Shire Council, Caboolture Shire Council
Amount: $15,000
Period: 2007-2008

Decision making drivers in commercial tenancy agreements

Role: Research Project
Chief Investigators: Miller, E., Buys, L., Hefferan, M & Summerville, J.
Participating agencies: Integra Asset Management
Amount: $20,000
Period: 2007

Decision making drivers in commercial tenancy agreements

Role: Research Project
Chief Investigators: Miller, E., Buys, L., Hefferan, M & Summerville, J.
Participating agencies: Integra Asset Management
Amount: $20,000
Period: 2007

Managing the social, environmental & economic impacts of high density-living within inner-urban sub-tropical environments

Role: ARC Linkage Grant
Chief Investigators: Buys, L., Grace, P., Summerville, J., Kennedy, R., Wilson, C. & Hefferan, M.
Participating agencies: Northshore Development Group (Port of Brisbane)
Amount: $440,000
Period: 2006-2009

Developing a Social Impact Assessment for the Dairy Industry

Role: Research Project
Chief Investigators: Buys, L.R., Rich, B., Miller, E.
Participating agencies: Dairy Australia
Amount: $532,488
Period: 2005-2007

Developing an integrative active ageing model for policy makers and service providers to support older people with lifelong intellectual disability

Role: ARC Linkage Grant
Chief Investigators: Buys, L.R, Knox, M., Bigby, C., Boulton-Lewis, G., Edwards, H.
Participating agencies: Endeavour, Qld Office of the Public Advocate; Qld Dept of Housing, Qld Aged and Disability Advocacy, Vic Office of the Public Advocate
Amount: $190,000
Period: 2004-2007

Making a Sustainable House Socially Sensitive: Smart Housing and its Impacts Upon Resident’s Lifestyles

Role: Research Project
Chief Investigator: Buys, L
Participating agencies: Qld Dept of Public Works & Qld Dept of Housing
Amount: $10,000
Period: 2004

Sustainable Communities: Social issues influencing Storm Water Quality

Role: Research Project
Chief Investigators: Buys, L., Goonetilleke, A
Participating agencies: Qld Dept of Public Works and Gold Coast City Council
Amount: $10,000
Period: 2004

Youth at Risk Alliance: Independent Evaluation Framework for the Youth at Risk Alliance

Role: Research Project
Chief Investigator: Buys, L.
Participating agencies: Wesley Mission Brisbane
Amount: $10,000
Period: 2004

Sustainable Communities within an Integrated Ecological and Social Context

Role:
Research Project
Chief Investigators: Buys, L., Goonetilleke, A
Participating agencies: Wesley Mission Brisbane
Amount: $10,000
Period: 2004

Evaluating the Impact of three Arts and Cultural Projects across Northern Corridor on Young People’s Social & Personal Well-Being

Role: Research Project
Chief Investigators: Buys, L.R, Mitropoulos, M., Clifford, S.
Participating agencies: Gold Coast City Council, Qld Dept of Public Works
Amount: $51,000
Period: 2004

Career history

  • 2008 – present: Professor, School of Design, QUT
  • 2008 – 2008: Associate Professor, School of Design, QUT
  • 2005 – 2007: Associate Professor, School of Humanities and Human Services, QUT
  • 2002 – 2007: Director, Centre for Social Change Research, QUT
  • 1999 – 2005: Senior Lecturer, School of Humanities and Human Services, QUT
  • 1995 – 1999: Lecturer, School of Humanities and Human Services, QUT
This information has been contributed by Professor Laurie Buys.

Teaching

Professor Buys’ teaching responsibilities have focused on sustainability, research methods and ageing. Recent courses she has taught include:

  • KKP624: Approaches to Design Research
  • BEB200: Introducing Sustainability
  • Social Research Methods
  • Social Inquiry
  • Logic of Social Inquiry
  • Current Developments in Human Services and Aged Services: Advanced Practice.
This information has been contributed by Professor Laurie Buys.

Experience

External collaboration

Within the broad fields of social sustainability and social gerontology, Associate Professor Buys has strong collaborations with:

  • QLD Department of Primary Industries
  • QLD Department of Communities
  • QLD Environmental Protection Agency
  • QLD Dept of Public Works
  • Regional Shire Councils (Noosa, Caboolture, Gold Coast)
  • QLD Office of the Public Advocate
  • QLD Dept of Housing
  • VIC Office of the Public Advocate
  • Dairy Australia
  •  Northshore Development Group (Port of Brisbane)
  •  Integra
  • Condamine Alliance
  • Kelvin Grove Urban Village
  • Wesley Mission Brisbane
  • Catalyst Youth Arts Organisation Inc.
  • Endeavour
  • QLD Council on the Ageing
  • QLD Aged and Disability Advocacy.

 

 

This information has been contributed by Professor Laurie Buys.

Publications

For publications by this staff member, visit QUT ePrints, the University's research repository.

Research projects

Grants and projects (Category 1: Australian Competitive Grants only)

Title
Cooperation and Reciprocity at the Local Scale Enabled by Social and Mobile Technologies: An Empirically Derived Theoretical Framework
Primary fund type
CAT 1 - Australian Competitive Grant
Project ID
DP110105127
Start year
2011
Keywords
Human-Computer Interaction Participatory Design Community Informatics
Title
Identifying Sustainability framework and key variables: Preparing for the future
Primary fund type
CAT 1 - Australian Competitive Grant
Project ID
QUT13041
Start year
2009
Keywords
Sustainability, Indicators, Triple Bottom Line, Agriculture
Title
The Neglected Dimension Of Community Liveability: Impact On Social Connectedness And Active Ageing
Primary fund type
CAT 1 - Australian Competitive Grant
Project ID
LP0883447
Start year
2009
Keywords
Community Liveability, Social Engagement, Community Well Being, Social Isolation, Population Ageing
Title
Managing the social, environmental & economic impacts of high density-living within inner-urban sub-tropical environments
Primary fund type
CAT 1 - Australian Competitive Grant
Project ID
LP0668911
Start year
2006
Keywords
Social Sustainability, Community Perceptions, Urban Change, Sub tropical design,
Title
Developing a Social Impact Assessment for the Australian Dairy Industry
Primary fund type
CAT 1 - Australian Competitive Grant
Project ID
QUT12155
Start year
2005
Keywords
Dairy, Social, Impact, Community.
Title
Developing an Integrative Active Ageing Model for Policy Makers and Service Providers to Support Older People with Lifelong Intellectual Disability
Primary fund type
CAT 1 - Australian Competitive Grant
Project ID
LP0560536
Start year
2005
Keywords
Intellectual Disability Active Ageing Integrative Model Disabiltiy Service Providers Aged Care Service Providers

Supervision