Living on the edge

Living on the edge

This forum was held on Monday 11 August 2014 at 12:30pm


Research projects covered: Social construct of fuels in the interface 1 and Social construct of fuels in the interface 2

What's it about?

Many rural/urban landscapes, while a fire risk, are beautiful. In many cases this beauty is the reason why people choose to live in these areas, despite the risk. Two research projects investigated this in different ways.

The first study examined if the features which make rural/urban interface areas attractive to live in, are also the features that pose the greatest bushfire hazard. The potential conflict between amenity and risk was examined through interviewing residents in rural/urban interface communities and through empirical modelling to estimate the risk of house loss, coupled with a statistical model to examine historic house loss. Interviewees were able to identify hazards, but lifestyle priorities indicated that reducing the risk was not the highest priority. In these situations, improving preparedness relies less in educating people about how to reduce the risk, and more in assisting them to take action.

The second study was a pilot research project, applying the process of ‘place mapping’, a new approach for fire and land management agencies, to also gain an understanding of how communities in rural/urban interface areas perceive fire risk in the context of their natural landscape. The study found that the place mapping process can provide community members with a mechanism through which to communicate their perspectives on bushfire risk.  

Learn more about the research in this short video

Replay the entire forum


Who attended?

  • Community safety practitioners
  • Community members
  • Community groups
  • Local government
  • Government administrators

Key resources you should know about

  • House, Home, Place - A Visual Mapping Tool
  • News from the Event

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    What will motivate people to safeguard their properties from fire hazard and improve their chances of survival? This is one of the key questions posed by the latest Bushfire CRC Research To Drive Change online forum, Living On The Edge, to be held next Monday 11 August.