Project: Future Fires

Doughnut pyronomics: The safe space for co-existing with fires in the 21st century

The Doughnut Economics framework, developed by Kate Raworth, attempts to reimagine our modern economy in the shape of the doughnut, where the “safe and just space for humanity” lies between the inner circle of social foundations necessary for a full and dignified life, and the outer circle of “planetary boundaries”, which are the environmental and ecological ceilings which humanity should not overshoot. Academics from different disciplines have been inspired by this framework, and found its application in other areas. Building on Doughnut Economics and its potential for multi-disciplinary applications, this research project aims to construct Doughnut Pyronomics – a set of social foundations and ecological ceilings to define the “safe space” for co-existing with bushfires, and propose some principles for rethinking our relationships and responses to bushfires in the Pyrocene. The outputs from this research will add to the understanding of future fires in Australia, and assist landowners, fire managers, policy makers and the public in framing, communicating, managing, and living with bushfires. The scope of this research focuses on bushfires in peri-urban regions of Australia, including existing and future climate impacts, landscape, management strategies and discourses. 

Project timeline: 01/2024 – 12/2024

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