Alex Davies, Tokyo, 2007




The Henry Halloran Trust and Cities Network proudly announce the second Festival of Urbanism. Will building more houses bring prices down? Do more roads reduce traffic congestion? Does living in the city make you sick? These are just some of the questions being answered by our 'urban mythbusters' in a series of talks and conservations on planning and making our cities. A number of our Cities Network members will be speaking at events across the program including, Professor Michael Humphrey, Associate Professor Tess Lea, Dr Jennifer Kent, Dr Cameron Logan.
Let us change your view of the city.
1-10 September 2015
University of Sydney
RSVP: To register for events, visit



This forum explores how two nations with shared traditions, but different systems of urban governance and planning, mediate the supply of new housing, and the roles played by government, planning authorities, developers, property owners and the public in this process. It situates these questions within the wider “politics of housing policy”, which have occupied both countries for the past decade in the context of ongoing concern about inadequate supply, affordability pressures, and declining rates of home ownership.
Speakers: Professor Nick Gallent (UCL Bartlett); Dr Madeline Pill (University of Sydney); and, Professor Nicole Gurran (University of Sydney)
1st April, 2015
6:30 to 8:00PM (6:15 refreshments)
New Law School Lecture Theatre 024, Sydney Law School (building F10), University of Sydney
RSVP: To attend, please email Kim Beecroft



In recognition of the International Year of Light, Cities Network and the Sydney Environment Institute are pleased to co-present a Sydney Ideas lecture by Dr Don Slater and Mona Sloane of the London School of Economics. Recognising the centrality of light and lightscape design in shaping cityscapes, the lecture considers the following: how can light as “stuff” be configured better or differently? How can lighting design consider social needs and contexts more seriously in overall design themes? What difference can or should social knowledge make to the way designers and urban designers work with light? And, what can social research contribute to “configuring light”? These questions are address with reference to Configuring Light / Staging the Social, a multidisciplinary research program at LSE that forges an integral dialogue between social sciences, design, architecture and urban planning, focused on light as one of the most fundamental features of social life.
18 March, 2015
6:00 to 7:30pm
Law LT 024



In semester one of 2015, the Urban and Regional Planning Unit, PLAN 9049, will be held as a studio-workshop in Bandung, Indonesia. The workshop will be undertaken in collaboration with the School of Architecture, Planning and Policy, ITB University, Bandung, and will focus on the Tamansari urban kampung (informal settlement). For further information and to register interest, students should contact Associate Professor Paul Jones.
3rd - 11th April, 2015
Location: Bandung, Indonesia
Estimated cost: $2,500 per person
Further information:


In 2016, the International Media Architecture Biennale will be held in Sydney at The Concourse, a new cultural precinct designed by multi-award winning Australian architects fjmt.
2nd - 4th June, 2016
Location: Chatswood, Sydney, Australia
Further information:



Special Lecture For World Environment Day

The Hon. Rob Stokes MP, Minister for the Environment and Assistant Minister for Planning, will give an opening address, followed by a lecture by Associate Professor Rod Simpson. The lecture, titled Which Comes First? Culture, Society, Economy or Environment?, explores the relationship between city planning and environmental performance, with a particular emphasis on city structure.
5th June, 2014
6.30pm – 7.45pm
University of Sydney – Wilkinson Building - Architecture Lecture Theatre 1


Towards A Regional Agenda for Habitat Iii: Responsive Urbanism in Informal Areas, 25-27 November 2014, Cairo

This international conference is a joint initiative of the Informal Urbanism Hub of the HABITAT University Network Initiative (UNI), the Regional Office for Arab Countries and Cairo University. It will focus on reducing gaps between academia and practice and will explore innovative, interdisciplinary approaches to investigating responsive informal urbanism.
For more information, and to register, click here


Oceanscapes: Cooperation across the Pacific, 22-26 April, 2014

The biennial conference of the Australian Association for Pacific Studies will be held at the University of Sydney from 22-26 April, 2014. Associate Professor Paul Jones, with Professor John Connell, will convene the session ‘Populations on the Move’, which will focus on urbanisation and migration.


Dr. Andy Inch, from the University of Sheffield, discusses his research on ordinary citizens’ interactions with planning processes, with implications for creating more just and democratic forms of planning.


In 2014, the exhibit for the Australian Pavilion at the Venice International Architecture Biennale, Augmented Australia 1914–2014, will allow visitors to explore unbuilt contemporary and historical projects in 3D walkthroughs using a smartphone app. The exhibition is being curated by felix._Giles_Anderson+Goad. Dr. Lee Stickells has been invited to write an article for the catalogue that will accompany the exhibition.
More information is available here

Associate Professor Paul Jones Advises on the State of Asia Pacific Cities

Associate Professor Paul Jones is in Bangkok to participate in the UN-ESCAP / UN-HABITAT advisory committee on the State of Asia Pacific Cities. The committee will monitor and assess changes in urban governance, economic performance, environmental outcomes and more, across Asia and the Pacific in the coming years. The committee’s flagship report will be released at the end of 2014.



Well-known Dutch architect Rudy Uytenhaak discusses how to increase city density while improving the public realm.


Nicole Gurran and Peter Phibbs

Read more at The Conversation

Associate Professor Nicole Gurran Joins E.U. Project On International Coastal Management

Cities Network Co-director, Associate Professor Nicole Gurran travels to Israel and Greece to present on Australian coastal management as part of the EU-funded Mare Nostrum research project. The project is exploring new ways of protecting the Mediterranean coastline, with a focus on bridging the policy-implementation gap between the ideals of Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) and its effects on the ground.
More information on Mare Nostrum is available here

Associate Professor Kurt Iveson Addresses Geonext Conference

Associate Professor Kurt Iveson gives the keynote presentation at the GeoNext Conference in Sydney.


International Working Group on Public Space And Diversity

Associate Professor Kurt Iveson travels to Amsterdam to participate in the second meeting of the Max Planck International Working Group on Public Space and Diversity. The group is concerned with the manifestation, experience and regulation of diversity in the city.
More information is available here



‘China plans 36 million affordable homes: lessons for Australia’

Nicole Gurran
Read More

‘As engineers, we must consider the ethical implications of our work’

Abbas El-Zein
Read More

Associate Professor Lee Stickells Presents at Spaces Of Justice Symposium

Cities Network Co-director Associate Professor Lee Stickells presents at Spaces of Justice: Grounds, Walls, Openings, a symposium hosted by the Socio-Legal Research Centre at Griffith Law School.


Affirmative Architecture

Friday 8 November - Saturday 9 November 2013
Affirmative Architecture has been conceived as an annual event that seeks to define an emergent trend amongst young architects and designers to re-engage with the ability of architecture and the design process to make life better. Consisting of a symposium and associated exhibition it draws together international and Australian architects who have demonstrated commitment to a social agenda and have made significant contribution to the public realm. In a contemporary context, these practitioners have a positive consideration of social engagement, careful analysis of existing conditions and a deliberate, often challenging architectural response.
In 2013, University of Sydney Alumni and Staff including Dr Lee Stickells will join Professor Martyn Hook from RMIT University in convening Affirmative Architecture Sydney.
Curated as a series of interactive lectures and panel discussions the speakers describe their predominately built work and real projects that address real problems.
More Information: Tyin Architectes

State of Australian Cities Conference

On behalf of the State of Australian Cities Research Network (SOACRN), we invite you to participate in the 6th State of Australian Cities Conference, to be held in Sydney, 26-29 November 2013.
The SOAC Conference is the primary focus of the SOACRN and meets every two years at an alternating city around Australia.
Read more here


Launch of the Sydney Environment Institute

The recently launched Sydney Environment Institute (SEI) addresses the key questions of our time: how do we understand and redesign the fundamental relationship between human communities and the natural world that supports them; and how can people and societies adapt positively to environmental change? The Cities Network will be the urban research node of the SEI.

Not Quite Square

Friday 27 September - Friday 15 November 2013
As part of the User Generated Architecture exhibition at Tin Sheds Gallery (running until November 15th) Cities Network leader, Lee Stickells has curated an exhibition entitled Not Quite Square. Exhibition details at
Radio interview with Lee Stickells on ABC Radio National's By Design program here.

Media Facades Summit 2013, Hong Kong

26 October 2013
Organisers: M. Hank Haeusler and Martin Tomitsch
Read more here


Neoliberalism, Violence and Urban Governance in Latin American Cities

3rd September 2013,
5.30pm to 7.00pm
Refractory, Quadrangle
Professor Michael Humphrey
Department of Sociology and Social Policy, the University of Sydney
Read more here


Seminar: Housing discrimination in the rental market

Professor Peter Phibbs will be the discussant at a public seminar: "Housing discrimination in the rental market"
With speakers: Professor George Galster, Associate Professor Heather MacDonald, Dr Chris Martin.
28th August 2013
2:00pm – 3:30pm
University of Sydney – Wilkinson Building – Room 541
RSVP: Dallas Rogers


Baadlands: An Atlas of Experimental Cartography

Exhibition at Tin Sheds Gallery
In strict geological terms badlands refers to barren and eroded land, which is often punctuated by dramatic peaks and hoodoos. In common speech the term has come to refer to area one step removed from centralised rules and power, a place danger and secrecy but sometimes also freedom. Every city has its “badlands” places officially neglected and open to non-official uses and practices. In these areas normal rules do not always apply and the architecture of the city is often temporarily re-made in unexpected ways.
Read more here


‘THE HUMAN SCALE’ film screening

As part of the Sydney Film Festival, Lee Stickells hosted a Q&A with the director and producer for a sold-out audience of 200 people. THE HUMAN SCALE meets thinkers, architects and urban planners across the globe. It questions our assumptions about modernity, exploring what happens when we put people into the center of our planning.

A New Planning System For NSW: White Paper Panel Debate

13 June
Panelists include Deborah Dearing (strategic planning and urban design consultant); Stephanie Barker (A&E Design Studio); Geoff Turnbull (Redwatch); Sally Lewis (Walker Corporation); Nicole Gurran. Facilitated by Professor Peter Phibbs.


People Building Better Cities': Exhibition and Panel Discussion

April 12 to May 12, 2013
Verge Gallery, University of Sydney and Customs House
An exhibition and panel discussion at the University of Sydney looks at how that question has been answered in countries around the world. Convened by Peter Phibbs, Urban and Regional Planning, FADP and Director, Henry Halloran Trust.

Urbanisation in Thailand

Dr Paul Jones writes from Thailand about how urbanisation is unfolding in a diverse and increasingly interconnected Asia Pacific region. Read More


Cities Network member and Tin Sheds Gallery Director Zanny Begg recently launched the Emergen/city program, a series of four interlinking exhibitions that explore various ways in which we can approach life in the city. The program will involve exhibitions, symposiums, publications, lecture and performances that explore the problematic of life in contemporary cities and expands on an earlier project at Tin Sheds Gallery The Right to the City (2011) curated by Zanny Begg and Lee Stickells.
Read more here.

Media Facade Exhibition at Customs House Sydney

22 May - 1 July 2013
Curators: M. Hank Haeusler and Martin Tomitsch
More info at:

Lee Stickells was interviewed and cited by Business Review Weekly: ‘It’s James Packer vs architects on Barangaroo process’ (16 May 2013) Read More

Lee Stickells was interviewed by Channel Ten News: “Packer goes all in” (16 May 2013); “Video Extra: Winning Design” (16 May 2013) Watch the video


Lee Stickells convened Words and Buildings, workshop and public discussion, Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, 9 April 2013 (in partnership with MCA Australia, Australian Design Review Asia Pacific and Make Space for Architecture)

Dr Nicole Gurran, gave the keynote address at the Shelter NSW conference, exploring whether the new urban policy agenda facilitates planning for inclusionary communities. Read more here.


September 2012

Lee Stickells gave the key note address at ‘Temporary Architectures: Relational Infrastructures’Transiting Cities, Symposium at BMW Edge, Federation Square, Melbourne.

May 2012

Lee Stickells gave a lecture at ‘Tools for the Transitional City’, Christchurch Art Gallery, New Zealand, May 3.

April 2012

Lee Stickells curated Urban Interventions, Make Space for Architecture pop-up gallery, The Rocks, Sydney, 13 – 22 April



Lee Stickells curated Hidden Sydney, Paper Mill Gallery, Sydney, 1 – 3 December


Lee Stickells gave a lecture at ‘Flow Urbanism’, The Rocks Interpretive Events Incubator Workshop, The Rocks Discovery Museum, 15 November


Lee Stickells was on the panel of ‘Interactivity and Public Space’, 23 September, Bulletin Place, Sydney


State of Asia and Pacific Cities Dr. Paul Jones is a member of the UNESCAP and UN-Habitat Expert Group on the condition of Asia and Pacific Cities, and attended a think tank session in Chang Rai, Thailand, to contribute to the forthcoming 2014/2015 Asia-Pacific Cities report. This assessment reviews and updates the comprehensive work contained in the earlier report on the The State of Asian Cities, 2010/11. Read more here


Lee Stickells gave a lecture at ‘Swiss Cheese and Beanbags: Producing Interior Urbanism’ at Monash Architecture Design Research Forum, Monash University, 12 November