Dr Scott Hawken

Urban Development and Design
Urban Development and Design, Research Cluster Staff, Smart Cities

 PhD (USyd), BLArch Hons University Medal (UNSW) 

Red Centre
+61 403 858 162
+61 2 9385 4507

Dr Scott Hawken is an Urban Designer, Landscape Architect and Landscape Archaeologist. His work focuses on the agency of open space as a variable in the spatial makeup of the city. Open space networks and patterns are infrastructures in their own right and will increase in importance as cities around the world continue to develop. Scott's expertise is focused in three thematic areas: 1.) Smart Cities, Planning and Design, 2.) Asian Urbanism, 3.) Ecological Networks and Biophilic Cities. 

Current Projects include an assessment of urban landscapes and ecological infrastructure in the rapidly developing cities of Asia. Hawken is working with international scholars on this project which aims to deliver options for providing ecosystem services to the expanding populations of such mega-cities. Emerging Asian mega-cities will double in size over the next few decades. The implementation of ecological infrastructure as part of their open space pattern is essential for the future liveability and sustainability of these cities. His work uses a synergistic approach using advanced geospatial technologies and innovative fieldwork approaches within the Asia-Pacific region. He leads the Urban Water Resilience and Sponge Cities Lab which seeks to develop current approaches to blue infrastructure in cities. Dr Hawken has worked with leading international institutions such as Tsinghua University, Kyushu University and Shanghai Jiao Tong University on Smart Cities and Urban Development projects. He brings a multidisciplinary analytic and design approach to these ongoing collaborations.

Hawken is also a landscape archaeologists and is focused on using archaeological case studies to explore issues of socio-ecological resilience over long time frames. Current approaches to urban sustainability are biased towards ‘future gazing’ and lack the depth of an archaeological time perspective. Such long term perspectives provide insights into the possibilities and consequences of future development scenarios in relation to ecological systems, climate and urbanisation. Archaeological case studies also highlight the inertia and legacy of massive urban infrastructures.


Research Activities: 

Scott's research covers four areas: Urban Design, Urban Ecology, Smart Cities, Landscape Planning and Landscape Archaeology.

Urban Ecology and Biophilic Cities

Dr Hawken is currently working with industry, government and academia on strategies for improving the green networks in cities both locally and abroad. In Sydney work with the industry partners on Sydney's Green Grid project has identified important opportunities for strengthening green infrastructure. He is working on 3D data sets to better understand how to integrate green infrastructure at the urban scale. Another research focus includes planning ecological infrastructure for megacities in Asia. He leads a project on Sponge Cities which involves collaborations with Shanghai Jiao Tong University, the Faculty of Engineering UNSW and the Faculty of Arts and Social Science. Multidisciplinary integration and global reach are features of Scott's research. 

Smart Cities and Urban Design

Dr Hawken convenes the Smart Cities Research Cluster at UNSW. The Cluster is currently producing a book on the global open data movement and its impact and potential within cities. Titled "Open Cities | Open Data : collaborative cities in the information era" it is due for publication by Palgrave Macmillan in 2018. He is currently analysing the spatial heterogeneity within Sydney using remote sensed datasets and 3D GIS. Work is aimed at identifying economic and biological patterns within a 3D environment.

A recent research project includes the development of digital infrastructure initiatives for villages of Southeast Asia. Digital fabrication techniques promise new opportunities for developing livelihoods and alternative approaches to architecture in Southeast Asia's urbanising communities. This project involves collaboration with Kyushu University in Fukuoka, Japan.

Landscape Archaeology

Scott completed his PhD in archaeology on the role of role of open space in the low density urban environment of Greater Angkor, Cambodia the largest city of the pre-industrial world. Using and re-interpreting high end geospatial methods developed for the study of industrial urbanism, the study recovered various spatial signatures that provide insights into the spatial evolution of the metropolis over a 3000 year period. Deliverables include a range of digital maps and a series of qualitative and quantitative spatial analyses generated through analysis of remote sensed features in a GIS. The research informs understanding of both past and present environments. The findings are highly significant for the future development of socio-ecological resilience in monsoon cities. Scott's work has been featured on the BBC and National Geographic.

Research Keywords
  • geospatial analysis of metropolitan and urban landscapes
  • remote sensing of cities
  • rapid urbanisation in Asia
  • Desakota landscapes of Southeast Asia
  • landscape heritage and landscape archaeology of Southeast Asia
  • urban ecology
  • urban design
  • ecological informatics
  • urban landscape design



The quality of Scott Hawken’s research and social engagement has been recognised through various awards and scholarships.

In 2015 and 2016 he received two grants from Department of Foreign Affairs and trade to engage with global smart city projects and initiatives in Asia. The outcomes of the grants include special issue of City Culture Society Journal on Smart Cities and Urban Innovation and an ongoing Smart City Knowledge Exchange Network between India and Australia. He has also received funding from Urban Growth and AURIN to further smart city knowledge locally.

In 2013 and 2014 he has received scholarships to research rapid urbanisation within the Southeast Asian delta cities of Yangon, Myanmar and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. He is working with a team of international scholars to classify, plan and design ecological infrastructure in these emerging megacities.

In 2007 he received the Marten Bequest Travelling Scholarship, awarded to talented Australians in the arts. In the same year he also received funding from the Carlyle Greenwell Bequest awarded for archaeological research, while in 2008 he was awarded the Endeavour Research Fellowship in order to evaluate the management of the archaeological landscape by contemporary Khmer communities. This project was based upon the international imperatives for the conservation of cultural landscapes as identified by UNESCO.


Scott was a member of the winning team for the International Urban Design Competition for Barangaroo, with Jane Irwin Landscape Architecture , Hill Thalis Urban Projects and Paul Berkemeier Architecture. The highly significant competition received 140 international entries with competitors including Richard Rogers and Morphosis. 

Teaching & Supervision: 

Dr Hawken's research and supervision interests include: 

  • urban ecology
  • urban design
  • urban landscape design
  • geospatial analysis of metropolitan landscapes
  • landscape heritage and landscape archaeology
  • rapid urbanisation in Asia
  • Desakota landscapes of Southeast Asia

Students interested in applying for a research degree with Dr Hawken as supervisor should download the EOI form here and forward the completed form along with all academic transcripts and a portfolio to

Dr Hawken convenes and teaches the following postgraduate masters courses within the urban development and design program: 

  • Urban Landscape and Heritage UDES0009
  • Urban Development and Design Advanced Studio UDES0002 
  • Urban Development and Design International Studio UDES0003
  • Communication in Urban Design UDES0010



In the Media

Angkor Wat’s Hidden Megacity, Jungle Atlantis Episode 1 of 2. BBC 2. Retrieved from

Ross, M. 2015, Wild Researchers, November 4, Retrieved from


Scott Hawken has worked and collaborated with various well respected design consultancies in Sydney including Jane Irwin Landscape Architecture, Hill + Thalis Urban Projects, Terragram, Room 413, CAB Consulting and the NSW Government Architect. While working with the NSW Government architect he was seconded to China where he worked on major projects in various provinces.


Supervision Area: 

Southeast Asian Urbanism, smart cities, urban ecology, urban design, urban development and planning, landscape heritage, landscape archaeology, GIS and remote sensing of metropolitan landscapes,

I am currently seeking to work with students in the area of urban design, smart cities, green ecological networks and digital design for architecture and urban design.


I'm currently supervising various PhD students and various masters reserach students in  

  • Urban Heritage
  • Vernacular Architecture
  • Asian Urbanism and Community Resilience
  • Smart Cities
  • Sponge Cities

If you would like to apply for a PhD under my supervision please prepare an application within my areas of interest and send to me along with your portfolio, CV and several papers you have written. This will help me understand your interests and research and communication abilities. I am currently seeking to work with students in the area of urban design, smart cities, green ecological networks and digital design for architecture and urban design.

Book Chapters

Hawken S; Yenneti K; Bodilis C, 2020, 'Mapping Climate Vulnerability with Open Data: A Dashboard for Place-Based Action', in Open Cities | Open Data, Springer Singapore, pp. 151-175, 10.1007/978-981-13-6605-5_7

Hawken S; Leao SZ; Gudes O; Izadpanahi P; Viswanath K; Petit C, 2020, 'Safer Cities for Women: Global and Local Innovations with Open Data and Civic Technology', in Open Cities | Open Data, Springer Singapore, pp. 85-105, 10.1007/978-981-13-6605-5_4

Hawken S; Han H; Pettit C, 2019, 'Introduction: Open Data and the Generation of Urban Value', in Hawken S; Han H; Pettit C (ed.), Open Cities | Open Data: collaborative cities in the information era, Palgrave Macmillan Springer, Singapore

Hawken S; Yenneti K; Bodilis C, 2019, 'Open data and Urban Climate Action: place-based approaches for addressing heat vulnerability', in Hawken S; Han H; Pettit C (ed.), Open Cities | Open Data: collaborative cities in the information era, Palgrave Macmillan, Singapore

Hawken S; Leao SZ; Gudes O; Izadpanahi P; Viswanath K; Pettit C, 2019, 'Safer Cities for Women: global and local innovations with open data and civic technology Scott Hawken; Simone Z. Leao; Ori Gudes; Parisa Izadpanahi; Kalpana Viswanath; Chris Pettit', in Hawken S; Han H; Pettit C (ed.), Open Cities | Open Data: collaborative cities in the information era., Palgrave Macmillan, Singapore

Pettit C; Wentz E; Randolph B; Sanderson D; Kelly F; Reades J, 2019, 'Tackling the Challenge of Growing Cities: An Informed Urbanisation Approach', in Hawken S; Han C; Pettit C (ed.), Open Cities and Open Data: Collaborative Cities in the Information Era, Palgrave MacMillan, Singapore

Praharaj S; Han JH; Hawken S, 2018, 'Evolving a Locally Appropriate Indicator System for Benchmarking Sustainable Smart Cities in India', in World Sustainability Series, pp. 253-274, 10.1007/978-3-319-73293-0_15

Hawken SG, 2018, 'The Expert and the Entrepreneur: architecture and the neoliberal city', in Murray A; Ruan X (ed.), Hand and Mind: Exchanges on architecture and the built world, UNSW Press, Sydney,

Han JH; Hawken S; Williams A, 2017, 'Smart CCTV and the management of urban space', in Smart Technologies: Breakthroughs in Research and Practice, pp. 508-526, 10.4018/978-1-5225-2589-9.ch023

Hawken S, 2017, 'The Urban Village and the Megaproject: Linking Vernacular Urban Heritage and Human Rights-based Development in the Emerging Megacities of Southeast Asia', in Durbach A; Lixinski L (ed.), HERITAGE, CULTURE AND RIGHTS: CHALLENGING LEGAL DISCOURSES, HART PUBL, Univ New South Wales, Sydney, AUSTRALIA, pp. 91-117,

Han JH; Hawken S; Williams A, 2015, 'Smart CCTV and the management of urban space', in Handbook of Research on Digital Media and Creative Technologies, pp. 430-447, 10.4018/978-1-4666-8205-4.ch019

Journal articles

Pettit CJ; Hawken S; Ticzon C; Leao SZ; Afrooz AE; Lieske SN; Canfield T; Ballal H; Steinitz C, 2019, 'Breaking down the silos through geodesign – Envisioning Sydney’s urban future', Environment and Planning B: Urban Analytics and City Science, vol. 46, pp. 1387-1404, 10.1177/2399808318812887

Sepasgozar SME; Hawken S; Sargolzaei S; Foroozanfa M, 2019, 'Implementing citizen centric technology in developing smart cities: A model for predicting the acceptance of urban technologies', Technological Forecasting and Social Change, vol. 142, pp. 105-116, 10.1016/j.techfore.2018.09.012

Shirleyana S; Hawken S; Sunindijo RY, 2018, 'City of Kampung: risk and resilience in the urban communities of Surabaya, Indonesia', International Journal of Building Pathology and Adaptation, vol. 36, pp. 543-568, 10.1108/IJBPA-02-2018-0025

Han H; Hawken S, 2018, 'Introduction: Innovation and identity in next-generation smart cities', City, Culture and Society, vol. 12, pp. 1-4, 10.1016/j.ccs.2017.12.003

Praharaj S; Han JH; Hawken S, 2018, 'Towards the right model of smart city governance in India', International Journal of Sustainable Development and Planning, vol. 13, pp. 171-186, 10.2495/SDP-V13-N2-171-186

Praharaj S; Han JH; Hawken S, 2018, 'Urban innovation through policy integration: Critical perspectives from 100 smart cities mission in India', City, Culture and Society, vol. 12, pp. 35-43, 10.1016/j.ccs.2017.06.004

Hawken SG, 2017, 'Blurred Lines: landscapes that bridge the physical and virtual worlds', Foreground,

Hawken S; Han JH, 2017, 'Innovation districts and urban heterogeneity: 3D mapping of industry mix in downtown Sydney', Journal of Urban Design, vol. 22, pp. 568-590, 10.1080/13574809.2017.1301203

Hawken SG, 2017, 'On Using Tech To Improve Urban Areas', GQ Australia,,51159

Chen J; Judd B; Hawken S, 2016, 'Adaptive reuse of industrial heritage for cultural purposes in Beijing, Shanghai and Chongqing', Structural Survey, vol. 34, pp. 331-350, 10.1108/SS-11-2015-0052

Hawken SG, 2016, 'Barangaroo Reserve', Landscape Architecture Australia, vol. 149, pp. 40-45

Hawken SG, 2016, 'Coastal Leisure', Architecture Bulletin,


Hawken SG, 2016, 'Decentralized supply : a new park is part of Sydney's search for untapped water supplies', Landscape Architecture Magazine, vol. 106, pp. 36-38

Hawken SG; Praharaj S, 2016, 'Leaders in Thought: Driving Urban Innovation', Australia and New Zealand Property Journal, vol. March Vol 5, pp. 254-255,

Hawken SG; Bull C; Holmes À Court J, 2016, 'Significant Projects 2001–2016', Landscape Architecture Australia, pp. 31-38

Hawken SG, 2015, 'The new Chinatown: Sydney's Southern CBD', Landscape Architecture Australia, vol. No. 146, :, pp. 54-62

Hawken SG, 2014, 'Banking biodiversity: The Australian Plantbank Garden', Landscape architecture Australia, pp. 52-58,

Hawken SG, 2014, 'Sydney Olympic Park 2030: the city in a park', Landscape Architecture Australia, pp. 21-22,

Hawken S, 2013, 'Designs of kings and farmers: Landscape systems of the greater Angkor urban complex', Asian Perspectives, vol. 52, pp. 347-367, 10.1353/asi.2013.0010

Hawken SG, 2012, 'Walla Mulla Park', Landscape architecture Australia, pp. 59-62,

Hawken S, 2011, 'Paddington Reservoir: a new public space for Sydney', Topos: the international journal of landscape architecture and urban design, vol. 2011, pp. 78-83,

Hawken SG, 2011, 'Urban Forests in the New Carbon Economy: the Regenesis model', Landscape architecture Australia, pp. 15-16,

Conference Papers

Pettit C; Hawken S; Ticzon C; Nakanishi H, 2019, 'Geodesign — A tale of three cities', in Lecture Notes in Geoinformation and Cartography, pp. 139-161, 10.1007/978-3-030-19424-6_9

Hawken S; Han JH, 2017, 'Industry mix and 3D urban heterogeneity: insights into innovation districts', in Seto K; Robinson D; Virji H; Kovacs Z; Zhai J; Sami N; Pettit C; Sridhar KS (eds.), URBAN TRANSITIONS CONFERENCE, ELSEVIER SCIENCE BV, Shanghai, PEOPLES R CHINA, pp. 549-561, presented at Urban Transitions Conference, Shanghai, PEOPLES R CHINA, 01 September 2016, 10.1016/j.proeng.2017.07.110

Praharaj S; Han JH; Hawken S, 2017, 'Innovative Civic Engagement and Digital Urban Infrastructure: Lessons from 100 Smart Cities Mission in India', in Procedia Engineering, pp. 1423-1432, 10.1016/j.proeng.2017.04.305

Chen L; Judd BH; Hawken S, 2015, 'Adaptive Reuse of Industrial Heritage for Cultural Purposes in Three Chinese Mega-Cities:" Beijing, Shanghai and Chongqing', in RICS COBRA AUBEA 2015, Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, London, Sydney, presented at RICS COBRA AUBEA 2015, Sydney, 08 - 10 July 2015

Osmond P; Corkery L; Wilkinson S; Thompson S; Hawken S, 2015, 'The arable city: Quantifying the potential for urban agriculture in the 21st century metropolis', in SSS 2015 - 10th International Space Syntax Symposium

Hawken S; Metternicht G; Chang CW; Liew SC; Gupta A, 2014, 'Remote sensing of urban ecological infrastructure in desakota environments: A review of current approaches', in 35th Asian Conference on Remote Sensing 2014, ACRS 2014: Sensing for Reintegration of Societies


Hawken S; Avazpour B; Harris M; Marzban A, 2019, The Impacts of Urban Megaprojects on Water and Sanitation Related Human Rights in Southeast Asia: Submission to the UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights to safe drinking water and sanitation, Urban Water Resilience Lab UNSW, UNSW Sydney, 10.26190/5ce4abb1e863a

Praharaj S; Hawken SG, 2018, A Knowledge Exchange Network for Australian and Indian Smart Cities, Smart Cities Research Cluster UNSW, Sydney, 10.26190/5cddf3e8d8eb5

Pettit CJ; Hawken S; Ticzon C, 2017, Sydney Geodesign Workshop 2016: Developing a framework for collaborative multi-agency scenario planning, City Futures Research Centre, Faculty of Built Environment, UNSW Sydney, Sydney, 10.4225/53/5a8dfd09de724

Weirick J; Hawken SG; Lawton J; Fischer K, 2016, City Visions II: method and design, UNSW Built Environment, UNSW, MUDD Folio

Tyrrell Studio; Hawken SG; Tyrrell M, 2016, Sydney Green Grid: Spatial Framework and Priority Projects, Office of the Govt Architect, Sydney

Theses / Dissertations

Hawken SG, 2012, Metropolis of Ricefields : A Topographic Classification of a Dispersed Urban Complex, University of Sydney,

Conference Presentations

Hawken S; Lloyd S; Raxworthy J; Cengimbo A, 2018, 'Informal Landscapes of Capetown From Remote Sensing: mapping human traces in landscapes of vulnerability and opportunitiy', ASIA-PACIFIC INFORMAL URBANISM SYMPOSIUM - UNDERSTANDING THE CITY AS IT IS, The University of Sydney, School of Architecture, Design & Planning, presented at ASIA-PACIFIC INFORMAL URBANISM SYMPOSIUM - UNDERSTANDING THE CITY AS IT IS, The University of Sydney, School of Architecture, Design & Planning, 25 - 25 September 2018,

Hawken SG, 2016, 'Industry mix and 3D urban heterogeneity: insights into innovation districts', Urban Transitions Global Summit, Shanghai, presented at Urban Transitions Global Summit, Shanghai, 05 - 09 September 2016,

Hawken SG, 2016, 'Internet of Things and Urban Design', City Disrupt: Smart Cities | IoT | Energy Symposium, Sydney, presented at City Disrupt: Smart Cities | IoT | Energy Symposium, Sydney, 22 - 22 September 2016,

Creative Written Works

Hawken SG, 2017, Blurred Lines: landscapes that bridge the physical and virtual worlds, Foreground - a digital publication produced in partnership with the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects.,

Hawken SG, 2017, Urban Designer Dr. Scott Hawken On Using Tech To Improve Urban Areas, Australian GQ Magazine,,51159

Recorded / Rendered Creative Works

Chandler T; McKee B; Polkinghorne M; Yeates M; Wilson E; Ung C; Fletcher R; Hawken S, 2018, Visualising Angkor: Part 1 - Envisaging a Living City,, Editor(s): Arts and Culture G, Published: 01 January 2018, Recorded / Rendered Creative Works,

Hawken SG; Green N, 2014, Angkor Wat's Hidden Megacity, Jungle Atlantis Episode 1 of 2, BBC, London, Editor(s): BBC, Video, Published: 25 September 2014, Duration: 01:00:00, Recorded / Rendered Creative Works,

Evans D; Hawken SG, 2013, Access 360° World Heritage: Angkor Wat, National Geographic, Washington, Editor(s): Pully D; Hobbie S, Video, Published: 01 January 2013, Recorded / Rendered Creative Works,

Edited Books

2020, Open Cities | Open Data: collaborative cities in the information era, Palgrave Macmillan Springer, Singapore, 10.1007/978-981-13-6605-5