ARC bonanza

City Futures scored its best-ever haul in the 2013 Australian Research Council funding round results, just announced. Hazel Easthope was awarded a prestigious ARC Future Fellowship, while Discovery grants were secured by Bill Randolph (Compact City) and Hal Pawson (Long Term Private Renters). Highly sought-after Early Career Researcher Discovery grants were landed by Ilan Wiesel (Urban Inequality and Australia’s Elite Suburbs) and Crystal Legacy (City Planning after the GFC)

Unlocking the door to public housing transfers

According to newly published City Futures research, management and/or ownership transfers to the not-for-profit sector could provide a crucial lifeline for Australia’s increasingly rundown public housing. With several states now formally committed to mass transfers in coming years, this report identifies the policy and financial reforms essential in making this a reality. Acclaimed by one industry stakeholder as ‘without question one of the most interesting and useful pieces of work I’ve read in a long time’, this AHURI-funded report is based on the first in-depth national study of housing transfers undertaken in Australia.

‘Storm in a teacup’ – why local opposition to affordable housing is largely unfounded

The impact of affordable housing projects on local communities is nowhere near as great as many nearby residents often fear, and most opposition is based on entrenched prejudice and mistaken beliefs about affordable housing occupiers, newly-published City Futures research reveals. The study, funded by AHURI and led by Gethin Davison, focused on some of the most controversial affordable housing projects undertaken in recent years in Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane. Crucially, it was found that 80% of respondents in areas close to such schemes said there had been little or no impact on their neighbourhoods or on local house prices.

Trans-Pacific Partnership

City Futures is collaborating with a research project led by Dr. Beatriz Maturana from the University of Chile and funded by Fondecyt (Chilean National Fund for Scientific and Technological Development). The project will assess the environmental sustainability of two ‘socially integrated’ housing projects in Chile. It will also investigate and evaluate Australian schemes embodying the principles of social integration and environmental sustainability for comparison. The study, our first trans-Pacific research collaboration, will include an exchange of ideas and experiences.

City Futures in the News

Read Bill Randolph in the Sydney Morning Herald on Australia’s rising number of long-term renters and on planning for a 9 million Sydney, Gethin Davison on what stirs up community opposition to affordable housing, and Hazel Easthope on NSW strata title reform. Listen to Phillippa Carnemolla’s 4BC Brisbane interview on the economic benefits of home modifications for older people and Hal Pawson’s ABC ‘Life Matters’ slot on the prospects that property transfers to community housing could provide a lifeline for Australia’s rundown public housing. Phillippa’s work was also featured in the Sydney Morning Herald.

UNSW Luminocity 2013

Late November sees UNSW’s 2013 Luminocity program, two weeks of events and exhibitions detailing the visionary work of BE students and staff. The largest multi-disciplinary design exhibition of its kind in Australia, with over 500 Built Environment students presenting their final-year projects. This year’s Luminocity – 18-29 November – also includes a guided visit to the Riverwood North Estate renewal scheme in SW Sydney (Saturday 23 November).

SOAC 2013 – last chance to book

Gracing the program for this year’s State of Australian Cities (SOAC) conference are all the luminaries of the Australian planning research world including Jago Dodson (Griffith University), Brendan Gleeson (Melbourne University), and Carey Curtis (Curtin University) as well as our very own Bill Randolph. With the event being staged at the Shangri La hotel, Sydney 26-29 November 2013, there’s still just time for a late booking – registrations close on 19 November.


Housing MPhil launch

The Australian Graduate School of Urbanism (AGSU) is a new initiative launched by UNSW’s Built Environment Faculty. Housing Policy and Finance is among the subjects made available among the new Masters in Philosophy (MPhil) courses offered under this program. Led by Professor Hal Pawson, the main component will be a research thesis. Students will also enrol on three taught courses, one being the Housing Policy & Finance module run for the first time in Semester 2 2013 (contributors include Associate Professors Judith Yates and Vivienne Milligan and Professors Bill Randolph and Hal Pawson). Other MPhil options now available under the AGSU program include Writing the City, Infrastructure Planning, Procurement and Finance, and Design Research.

Green Square Community Survey

Earlier in 2013, Dr Hazel Easthope and Nicole McNamara developed a survey to measure social interaction and cohesion in urban renewal areas. The survey was piloted in the Green Square urban renewal area in Sydney. To access the Final Report of the pilot project, click here

On international duty

Congratulations to Michael Neuman, City Futures Professor of Sustainable Urbanism, recently appointed Visiting Professor at the University of Malaysia’s Built Environment Faculty, Advisor to the Mayor of Naples, and Member, Urban Planning, Territorial Management and Environment Commission, City of Naples. Michael’s 2013 international duties have also included roles as closing speaker at the International Seminar on Transit Oriented Development, University of Amsterdam, and invited lectures at the Technical University of Delft, and the University of Groningen, the Netherlands.

CFRC Research Associates Celebrate Graduation

Congratulations also to two CF Research Associates who graduated from UNSW in November. Jennifer Kent's PhD thesis was entitled "Secured by automobility: why does the private car continue to dominate transport practices?" while, for her MPhil thesis, Nicole McNamara (right) investigated “Gender and cycling in Sydney – A gender perspective of cycling: space claiming and infrastructure use and preference”. Both Jennifer and Nicole are now working full time at the Centre.

Free Public Lecture on Health and Sustainability

How can the design of our cities support human health and sustainability?  Join Professor Andrew L. Dannenberg for a free public lecture on the different approaches to planning and development used to improve human health and sustainability.
When: Wednesday 4 December 2013, 6.15pm (for 6.30pm start) until 7.30pm
Where: The Barnet Long Room, Customs House, Level One, 31 Alfred Street, Circular Quay
RSVP essential to: Danielle:  by Friday 29 November.

City Futures Publications: Books, Refereed Journal Articles, AHURI Reports and other Q3 2013

Davison, G., Legacy, C., Liu, E., Han, H., Phibbs, P., van den Nouwelant, R., Darcy, M., Piracha, A. (2013). Understanding and addressing local opposition to affordable housing projects. AHURI Final Report No. 211
Kent, J. L., & Dowling, R. (2013). Puncturing automobility? Carsharing practices. Journal of Transport Geography, 32, 86-92.
Neuman, M. (2013). The Futures of City Regions. London: Routledge.
Pawson, H., & Milligan, V. (2013). New dawn or chimera? Can institutional financing transform rental housing? [Online First publication]. International Journal of Housing Policy, 13(4).
Pawson, H., Milligan, V., Wiesel, I., & Hulse, K. (2013). Public Housing Transfers: Past, Present and Prospective AHURI Final Report 215. Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute, Melbourne.
Thompson, S., & Kent, J. L. (2013). Connecting and strengthening communities in places for health and well-being. Australian Planner, 1-12.

For a full list of CF publications see the City Futures website

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