Built Environment research is about cities, people, places, property, buildings, design, infrastructure, environment, landscapes, institutions, and the complex interactions between them.

It addresses a spectrum of vital policy and theoretical issues across a range of scales from different disciplinary perspectives examining Australian and international problems. Our overall mission statement is geared towards designing, delivering and managing sustainable 21st century cities and all their critical elements.

The faculty offers a collegiate and supportive research environment facilitating high quality and innovative research by both staff and students.


Built Environment Research

The Faculty’s research agenda tackles the challenges of change in urban environments at all scales.

Our research strengths reflect multi-faceted professional foundations in a mix unique in Australia in its combination of disciplines such as architecture, landscape architecture, construction, property, planning, industrial and urban design.

In the 2015 Excellence for Research in Australia (ERA) , UNSW was rated as the equal-top university nationally in Built Environment and Design. Its rating in Urban Planning research was also the joint highest in Australia.

Our work embraces numerous aspects of applied, theoretical, social and design research including:

  • Sustainable development
  • High performance architecture
  • Housing, urban and social policy
  • Urban science
  • Management strategies in the construction sector
  • History and theory of the built environment
  • Urban design
  • Digital design
  • Accessible and industrial design
  • Creative practice
  • Scholarship of learning and teaching

The City Futures Research Centre is the faculty’s specialised research centre has four major programs dedicated to housing, urban development, analytics and wellbeing.

We also have a close relationship with the Cooperative Research Centre for Low Carbon Living based at UNSW. The CRC supports end user-driven research collaborations to address the major challenge of climate change facing Australia.

Interdisciplinary research clusters bring together teams working on important and emerging areas of built environment research such as place making, design and landscape history, digital research, creative design collaborations, and sustainable architectural design.

Our researchers have collaborative partnerships occurring at all levels, networked across the university, city, state, country and the world.

Cutting edge research informs both undergraduate and postgraduate teaching curricula creating a stimulating environment for learning and teaching. We have around 100 higher degree research students representing many different countries.

Built Environment is a genuine knowledge community dedicated to academic excellence, social engagement and global impact.

A/Prof Catherine Bridge
Associate Dean (Research)



Page Last Updated: 19 Jul 2017