Singapore University of Technology and Design, Lecture Theatre 5, Building 2 Level 5
8 Somapah Road 487372
25 April 2024 @ 10:00 am - 11:15 am
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Since the earliest days of its colonial settlement, Australia has been an urbanised country, with most of the population concentrated in coastal cities, the largest of which – Sydney and Melbourne – now have more than 5 million people each. Unlike other urban nations, however, Australia lacks coherent national policies to guide the growth of its cities. There is also at present no national housing policy, at a time when house prices and rents are rising rapidly and younger people especially are finding access to housing increasingly difficult. Australia’s huge capacity for the development of renewable wind and solar power should allow it to make a smooth transition to a low carbon future. However, the past few years have also seen a lack of political consensus on policies to address climate change and recent studies of the state of the Australian environment paint a worrying picture of continuing loss of biodiversity. This presentation briefly reviews the prospects for developing a national urban policy for Australia and outlines the contemporary challenges– demographic, social, environmental, economic and political – which face Australian cities in the post-Covid period.


Stephen Hamnett has been one of Australia’s best-known planning educators for many years. He is currently Emeritus Professor of Urban and Regional Planning at the University of South Australia in Adelaide. He is a Life Fellow of the Planning Institute of Australia and was given that Institute’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2009. In 2017 he was awarded the prestigious Australian Cities Research Network (ACRN) Urban Research Medal for distinguished service to urban scholarship and practice in Australia. His interests in planning are wide-ranging, with a particular focus on Asian cities and on metropolitan strategic planning. Significant books include ‘The Australian Metropolis’ with Robert Freestone (2000); ‘Planning Asian Cities: Risks and Resilience’ with Dean Forbes (2013); and ‘Planning Metropolitan Australia’ with Robert Freestone (2018). Stephen was a Visiting Professor at LKYCIC in 2017 where he collaborated with Dr Belinda Yuen on a book entitled ‘Planning Singapore: The Experimental City’, first published by Routledge in 2019.

Register here: Planning for Australian Cities: National Urban Policies and Future Challenges

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Public Lecture: "Planning for Australian Cities: National Urban Policies and Future Challenges" » Public Lecture: "Planning for Australian Cities: National Urban Policies and Future Challenges"