In 1991, Paul Downton, Cherie Hoyle and Emilis Prelgauskas established Urban Ecology Australia, a community based NGO which advocates for ecological cities through education and example.


    Throughout the 1990s and into the 2000s, Paul and Cherie led a volunteer team of citizens, professionals and students, including Sharon Ede, in initiating the Halifax Ecocity Project, and subsequently creating Christie Walk, a piece of ecological city in downtown Adelaide, South Australia.


    The Halifax Ecocity Project was a proposal for a 2.4 hectare site in the heart of Adelaide. Though never realised, it generated sustained international interest and was accepted by the UN as an example of Best Practice for exhibition at Habitat II: The United Nations City Summit in Istanbul in 1996.


    Christie Walk is a model ecological cohousing development in central Adelaide, Australia. It consists of 27 dwellings on a 2,000 square metre site. Designed by architect Paul Downton and completed in 2006, it has won international awards and been featured as a case study in the Australian government's technical guide to sustainable building, and in the series 'Density By Design', a web series produced as part of a broader research project on low-carbon residential precincts being undertaken by the Curtin University Sustainability Policy Institute (WA) and the Co-operative Research Centre for Low Carbon Living.


    Christie Walk - Density By Design
    Density by Design Photo Essay

    Interview with Christie Walk architect Paul F Downton



    Paul Downton accepts the Tehran International Award in recognition of Christie Walk at the 6th International Research and Innovation Festival on Urban Management in Tehran, 2013


    International Winner, Tehran International Award, 6th International Research and Innovation Festival on Urban Management, 2013



    National Winner, Christie Walk Ecocity Project – Inner-city Sustainable Housing Development, ENERGY GLOBE Award, 2009.


    Silver Prize in the international Ryutaro Hashimoto Asia Pacific Forum for Environment and Development (APFED) Awards for Good Practice (an international environment and development award), 2006


    Finalist in the international Building and Social Housing Foundation (BSHF) World Habitat Awards, 2005

    Short documentary about Christie Walk and its residents
    A more in-depth look at Adelaide's 'piece of ecocity'