Located in the heart of city centres around the world, RMIT is at the doorstep of urbanisation and the challenges it presents

This theme explored the role of RMIT’s places in creating connections, value and impact.

The global RMIT community shared their thoughts on how we can recombine and reconfigure our places in ways that are adaptive to the needs of many users, are environmentally sustainable, and contribute to the development of smarter, innovative and inclusive cities.

We heard from staff, students, and industry partners through workshops and online conversations about how we can design and utilise our spaces to drive impact and the importance of being on place.

Some emerging insights from the discussions include:

  • Our role in the designing of future cities: Global vision, local action. Understanding the needs of our local context and investing in our local communities and co-create solutions to local and regional challenges.
  • Designing for impact: Space and Place facilitate impact. Physical environment, location and proximity to partners work together to maximise connectivity, action and impact. It is therefore important that we designing spaces with purpose, around the impact we want to create.
  • Identity, belonging and the importance of being on Place. Places contribute to a sense of identity, feel connected to a community, and part of a broader ecosystem. Shifting to online work and learning has eroded our connection to places and locations that once connected us, and a sense of belonging to the RMIT community.
  • Enhancing the physical environment with digital experiences. Technology and data have the potential to transform campus life and the value staff and students get out of the campus environment. ​
  • Sustainable, multimodal adaptive design. Climate crisis, an increasingly resource-constrained environment, and a growing need for multi-partner multi-disciplinary collaboration require us to create or upgrade spaces to be multimodal, adaptive to the needs of users, economically and environmentally sustainable.
  • Sustainable design for future prosperity. An opportunity for RMIT as an institution of ideas and innovation, to build smarter, greener cities together with industry and government.

Keep reading to see the community inputs and ideas on this important theme.

All of the insights gathered from the Reflections Phase will be incorporated into a Directions Paper, outlining the potential directions that will shape the final strategy and where we are heading as a University. The Directions will be launched in July!


As much of this year for so many of us have been spent in our homes, away from our peers and colleagues, now more than ever we reflect and appreciate the value of place, and being on place. Places, and the configuration of urban environments, are instrumental to shaping our connection to community, our ability to exchange knowledge, opportunities for collaboration and accidental interactions of potential value.

Located in the heart of city centres around the world, RMIT is at the doorstep of urbanisation and the series of challenges it creates for our cities in the face of environmental crisis, population growth and economic uncertainty.

Similarly, the transition to digital ways of working is set to disrupt the ways we use our campus and classrooms, as we simultaneously seek spaces that facilitate multi-disciplinary, multi-partner collaborations and cross-sector collaborations to find solutions to shared problems.


Analysis and thought-leadership from around the world, and important questions for us to consider

Worldwide perspectives and ideas • Should we take a greater position and role in informing and influencing urban development and innovation? • Should we specialise in educating learners to thrive and seize opportunities in a smart city environment? • How do we transform our spaces into be flexible and adaptive to the needs of various users, and multiply opportunities for collaboration? • How could we use our locations and spaces to strengthen a sense of identity and belonging to our disciplines, our communities, and the ecosystems that are home to us?

Join the conversation

Share your thoughts, ambitions, and experiences on what this could mean at RMIT