Meet the Ecocity Design Team

    Dr Paul F Downton

    Architect, Author, Urban Evolutionary

    BSc(Hons) BArch(Wales) PhD Architect





    Paul is a prize-winning architect, writer, international speaker, green building and ecocity pioneer and early advocate for action on climate change.


    He is a senior consultant on ecocity design for government and private Chinese organisations and has served as an Adjunct Associate Professor at the University of Adelaide. Paul has taught subjects including urban ecology, ecological architecture, urbanism and design at universities and educational institutions in Wales, Jordan, Australia, the US and China.


    His projects include keynote green buildings for Adelaide Zoo and the Australian National University, the iconic Halifax EcoCity Project and the internationally awarded Christie Walk development.


    Paul is a Stewardship Council Member of the International Ecocity Framework and Standards Advisory Committee and is a regular contributor to The Nature of Cities. A primary author since its inception in 2001, he was editor of three editions of the Australian Federal government's ‘Your Home’ Technical Manual and a reviewer and contributing expert for development of the NABERS Building Environmental Rating System.


    Founder of Urban Ecology Australia in 1991, his vision of ecological cities is supported by years of working with communities. In 1989 Paul founded Australia’s first community organisation focused on climate change and he was a State finalist for the 2008 Australian of the Year Awards. With a doctorate in environmental studies and over 30 years teaching architecture, Paul is acknowledged as a world leader in ecocity theory.


    His seminal work Ecopolis: Architecture and cities for a changing climate was published in 2009 and he is currently working on various books and educational programs about ecocities, as well as projects in China, New Zealand and Australia. Paul fervently hopes that his grandchildren will be able to survive on the planet we’ve bequeathed them.




    Sharon Ede

    Communications & Marketing  

    Grad Dip, Regional & Urban Planning





    Sharon is a pioneer in raising awareness of the sharing + collaborative movement in South Australia - in 2012, she launched Share Adelaide, and conceived the idea for Share N Save, a South Australian government platform that maps community sharing assets.


    In 2010, she co-founded the Post Growth Institute, an international network and catalyst for exploring paths to global prosperity and wellbeing that do not depend on economic growth.


    She worked closely with Paul, Cherie and dozens of other volunteers over many years to progress various ecocity projects and outreach/education programs at the Centre for Urban Ecology in Adelaide, including representing Urban Ecology Australia at the 1996 United Nations City Summit in Istanbul.


    Sharon has a track record of building online communities, including singlehandedly developing the Post Growth Facebook page to 17,000+ fans, and establishing and supporting the development of the successful peer-to-peer pet finding community Lost Dogs of Adelaide. She supports change agents to become more effective communicators via Cruxcatalyst.


    Cherie Hoyle

    Taking Care of Business

    Ecocity Activist and Community Organiser





    Cherie Hoyle is an accomplished community organiser with decades of experience. She co-convened Urban Ecology Australia in 1991, organised and ran the Second International Ecocity Conference in Adelaide in 1992, and ran the Centre for Urban Ecology (the home of the Halifax Ecocity Project and Christie Walk) from 1993-99.


    She has held management positions with Trees for Life, served on the executive of the Conservation Council of South Australia, and represented UEA on the Federal National Air Toxics Steering Committee and Air Toxics Indoor Air Quality working group.