Dr Iresh Jayawardena

Member of the Future Cities Research Hub | Lecturer


Iresh’s research intersects many disciplines, theoretical perspectives, technical and practical approaches to urban sustainability and the environment. Iresh started his research in the area of water sensitive design, ecologically-based land use planning, governance and adaptation to climate change. By combining academic and practical industry-based experience in Sri Lanka and New Zealand, Iresh’s current research focus extends to developing and applying holistic planning approaches that deliver resilient environmental outcomes by identifying and mitigating the adverse effects of urban development. Iresh utilises various research approaches, including theory development, case study investigations, and outcome-focused research in a way that maximises the potential for knowledge translation into policy and practice. 

Research interests:


  • Ecologically-based planning approaches
  • Water sensitive design
  • Sustainability and climate resilient cities
  • Socio-ecological systems, urban resilience and greenfield development
  • Integrated catchment management
  • Te Mana O te Wai, cultural ecosystem values and planning obligations

Research projects:

Catchmentscape: a proposal for a novel hierarchical spatial planning unit