Fixes for Australia’s dysfunctional housing system

Tax reform principles for improved housing affordability, measures to channel institutional investment into rental housing and policy integration of infrastructure, planning and housing measures all feature as key themes of the City Futures submission to the Senate Economic References Committee inquiry on affordable housing. This comes hard on the heels of our submission to the NSW Select Committee on Social, Public and Affordable Housing. Attending a 12 March closed session of the NSW inquiry, Hal Pawson, Vivienne Milligan and Judy Yates (newly-appointed City Futures Senior Visiting Fellow – see below) presented key recommendations and responded to Committee questions.

New City Futures Visiting Appointments

City Futures proudly welcomes Dr Judith Yates and Professor David Mullins, recently joining the Centre on a Visiting Fellowship basis.
Respected as among Australia’s top housing economists, Dr Yates is also an Honorary Associate Professor at the University of Sydney. Aside from her internationally esteemed academic status, Dr Yates has been an expert appointee to numerous high level Government panels and commissions during her career. She has also already collaborated with City Futures colleagues over many years on a wide range of research projects.

David Mullins (Professor of Housing Policy at the University of Birmingham) is an internationally acclaimed expert on not for profit landlords and other public service provision by ‘third sector’ agencies. Similarly, his formal association with the Centre cements a long history of joint working with a number of City Futures staff.

City Futures in the News

Another busy 3 months on this front since the last newsletter! Bill Randolph, rarely long absent from its pages, was quoted by the Sydney Morning Herald on the potential for urban renewal opened up by the North West rail link (8 April), on the Western Sydney housing market (6 April) and on the inner city housing market (21 March). Meanwhile, commenting on the Miller’s Point public housing privatisation Hal Pawson was also quoted in the Herald (22 March) and interviewed on Channel 10’s The Project (20 March). CF Honorary Research Fellow Judy Stubbs provided expert input to the Herald’s in-depth analysis of housing need in Western Sydney (9 May). And the SMH turned to Bruce Judd for its feature on Downsizing (30 April), while Bruce was also cited on this topic by (28 April).

Making !t Happen – HBEP Symposium

Marking World Health Day on 7 April the City Futures Healthy Built Environments Program (HBEP) hosted a day long Symposium: ‘Making !t Happen’. Designed to explore ideas for activating healthy built environments, this featured presentations from Professor Peter Sainsbury, Dr Iain Butterworth and others, as well as a vision session and a field trip around rapidly densifying inner Sydney suburbs.

Award winning paper

Congratulations to Dr Shanaka Herath on his recent Highly Commended Paper Award! Shanaka’s paper (with Gunther Maier at WU-Vienna) Local particularities or distance gradient: What matters most in the case of the Viennese apartment market? is published in the Journal of European Real Estate Research. It was praised by the journal’s Editorial Team as ‘one of the most impressive pieces of work the team has seen throughout 2013’.

Urban Renewal course to feature in new Masters in Urban Policy and Strategy program

Drawing on City Futures research and specialist expertise, a UNSW masters option on Urban Renewal (UR) is due for launch in early 2015. Alongside our Housing Policy and Finance (HPF) course launched last year, the Urban Renewal course will be available to students on the University’s new Master of Urban Policy and Strategy (MUPS) program, running for the first time in 2014. Aimed at policymakers and others in fields such as planning, transport, architecture, property and treasury, MUPS is Australia’s first program focused on the challenging policy issues our cities face, and the tools needed to address them [read more on MUPS]. Involving Hal Pawson, Bill Randolph and other City Futures colleagues, the UR and HPF courses are also available as elements of specialist MPhil programs on these subjects

Livability Lab – Launched

Unveiled in February 2014, UNSW’s new Livability Lab will be used to conduct design-focussed anthropometric, biomechanical and spatial testing with older people as they perform everyday activities. Co-funded by the Australian Research Council and Caroma under the UNSW Livable Bathrooms for Older People project, the lab is equipped with 3D motion capture, 3D scanning technology, flexible pressure sensing surfaces and specially fabricated bathroom products. By capturing and analysing a range of human movement data this will help to inform design of new bathroom technologies/equipment to facilitate ageing in place.

Forthcoming BE/City Futures Seminars and Utzon Lectures

Prof David Mullins (University of Birmingham, UK) - 'The Potential of Community-led housing: recent developments in England'

May 21, 12pm.UNSW-Red Centre West Wing. Room 4035

Dr Ron Horvath (Sydney Alliance) & Dr Laurence Troy (City Futures) - 'Walking in Sydney: patterns and process'

June 4, 12pm.UNSW-Red Centre West Wing. Room 4035

Dr Hazel Easthope & Dr Edgar Liu (City Futures) - 'Feeling at home in a multigenerational household: the importance of control'

June 18, 12pm.UNSW-Red Centre West Wing. Room 4035


City Futures Publications: Books, Refereed Journal Articles, AHURI Reports and other Q1 2014

Bridge, C., & Carnemolla, P. (2014) An enabling BIM block library: An online repository to facilitate social inclusion in Australia; Construction Innovation 14(4)

Carnemolla, P. & Bridge, C.  (2014) Summary Bulletin: Gardening at Home [2nd Ed.]; Sydney: Home Modification Information Clearinghouse, UNSW.  Available from

Easthope, H., Warnken, J., Sherry, C., Coiacetto, E., Dredge, D., Guilding, C., Reid, S. (2014). How property title impacts urban consolidation: a lifecycle examination of multi-title developments; Urban Policy and Research; online first publication

Kim, H. Y., Wunneburger, D., & Neuman, M. (2013) High-Speed Rail Route and Regional Mobility with a Raster-Based Decision Support System: The Texas Urban Triangle Case; Journal of Geographic Information Systems 5(6), 559-566

Kim, H. Y., Wunneburger, D., Neuman, M., & Ahn, S. Y. (2014). Optimizing High-Speed Rail Routes Using a Spatial Decision Support System: The Texas Urban Triangle Case; Journal of Transport Geography, 34, 194-201

Lawson, J., Berry, M., Hamilton, C. & Pawson, H. (2014) Enhancing Affordable Rental Housing Investment via an Intermediary and Guarantee; AHURI Final Report no 220; Melbourne: AHURI

Legacy, C., Curtis, C., & Neuman, M. (2014). Adapting the Deliberative Democracy ‘template’ for Planning Practice; Town Planning Review 85(3)

Neuman, M. (2014) Rethinking Borders; in W. Steele, T. Alizadeh & L. Eslami-Andargoli (Eds.), Planning Across Borders; London: Routledge

Pinnegar, S., Liu, E., & Randolph, B. (2013) Bonnyrigg Longitudinal Panel Study First Wave: 2012: Research Report. UNSW, Sydney: City Futures Research Centre

Quinn, J. & Bridge, C. (2014) Summary Bulletin: Electrical Safety in Bathrooms 2nd ed. Sydney: Home Modification Information Clearinghouse, UNSW

Randolph, B., & Tice, A. (2014) Suburbanizing Disadvantage in Australian Cities: Sociospatial change in an era of neoloberalism; Journal of Urban Affairs 36(S1)

Van den Nouwelant, R., & Steinmetz, C. A. (2013). Concentration vs. Dispersal of a Late-night Economy; Spaces and Flows: An International Journal of Urban and ExtraUrban Studies 3(4), 31-43


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

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