Professor Nicole Gurran

Professor, Research Director of the Urbanism Research Group
Nicole Gurran is an urban planner and policy analyst whose research focuses on comparative land use planning systems and approaches to housing and ecological sustainability. She has been with the School of Architecture, Design and Planning at the University of Sydney since 2002. Prior to this time she practiced as a planner in several state government roles, concerning local environmental plan making, environmental management, and housing policy.

Professor Robyn Dowling

Associate Dean (Research)
Robyn joined the School in 2016, bringing with her longstanding research in urbanism. Her current research is concerned with the ways in which urban governance and urban life are responding to climate change and technological disruptions. Funded by a number of ARC Discovery grants in collaboration with Professor Pauline McGuirk of the University of Wollongong, she builds upon the foundations of urban planning to explore the partnerships and complex relationships through which contemporary cities are governed, and most recently the notion of smart cities. A related project is documenting the new forms of autonomous mobility that are being forged in cities, and in particular car sharing and the challenged posed by autonomous vehicles (self-driving cars).

Robyn is well known for her work on social and cultural geographies of cities, and in particular suburban homes, neighbourhoods and lives. This includes long term research on the suburbs and homes of Sydney, documented in international journal publications and her co-authored book Home (with Alison Blunt, published by Routledge). This is currently being extended in a project on the ways in which energy transitions are being enacted in commercial office spaces. She conducted Australia’s first qualitative research on car sharing that is being widely cited internationally.

Robyn is a regular reviewer for a wide range of international journals in urban studies, and is currently Co Editor of Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers. She has conducted research with a range of external collaborators, principally local governments. She is an enthusiastic mentor of early- and mid-career researchers, and is relishing the opportunity to extend her cross-disciplinary urban engagement at the University, especially with architecture, design, health and engineering.

Professor Peter Phibbs

Director of the Henry Halloran Trust
Peter Phibbs is a geographer, planner and social economist with extensive experience in program evaluation, financial analysis and cost benefit analysis. He has over twenty years’ experience undertaking housing research. Currently he is the Director of the Henry Halloran Trust at Sydney University.
His recent housing research has been on the development of the affordable housing sector in Australia and the impact of housing on a range of other well-being issues including health and educational outcomes. He is currently a member of the World Health Organisation’s working group which is preparing a set of guidelines on the connections between housing and health. He is also on the NSW Ministerial taskforce on Affordable Housing.
He is also undertaking research on the performance of planning systems and the relationship between planning systems and housing supply.

Associate Professor Paul Jones

Associate Professor and Program Director
Paul Jones came to the Urban and Regional Planning and Policy Program on a full time basis at the beginning of 2011 with diverse experience as a planning practitioner, and an excellent academic record. Paul is an urban development and management practitioner with 30 years professional experience in developing sustainable urban management, urban development and planning solutions in Australia and overseas.

Dr Cameron Logan

Program Director, Heritage Conservation
Dr. Cameron Logan was recently appointed as the Director of Heritage Conservation in the School of Architecture, Design and Planning at the University of Sydney. He is an urban and architectural historian whose work focuses on the ways that heritage conservation shapes cities. He is interested in the places we choose to keep, why we choose to keep them and who decides. This involves researching the ways in which regimes of cultural value inform and delimit property value; the social politics of deciding what places to protect and how; and the possibilities of understanding and adapting large-scale landscapes and built ensembles such as hospitals, stadiums and universities. He is the author of Historic Capital: Preservation, Race and Real Estate in Washington, DC (forthcoming, University of Minnesota Press) and co-author of Architecture and the Modern Hospital: Nosokomeion to Hygeia with Julie Wills and Philip Goad (forthcoming Routledge). He has published in top-ranked urban and architectural history venues, including The Journal of Architecture, and Journal of Urban History as well as in leading conservation venues such as APT Bulletin: The Journal of Preservation Technology.

Dr Tooran Alizadeh

Senior Lecturer
Dr. Tooran Alizadeh is an interdisciplinary academic leading cutting-edge research in policy and planning implications of telecommunication infrastructure with a focus on the National Broadband Network (NBN) in Australia, smart cities, urban digital strategies, and telework. Her broader research interest, however, include spatial planning and urban design, post-disaster/war planning, spatial justice, and planning education.
Tooran is a passionate and effective teacher with a commitment in excellent student-centered learning outcomes, evidenced by outstanding student evaluation, and several teaching commendations. She has developed, convened, and delivered diverse undergraduate and postgraduate courses including architecture studios, urban design and planning studios, urban design and planning theory and practice, critical infrastructure, practice placement, and urban analysis.
Prior to academia, Tooran had several years of professional practice and project management experience in metropolitan planning, new town development, urban design, and disaster management.

Dr Adrienne Keane

Adrienne Keane is a lecturer, researcher and urban planner. Her primary research interest is in the area of statutory land use planning particularly the consequences of policies in nature conservation. Adrienne is a graduate of the School of Architecture, Design and Planning having completed a Master in Urban and Regional Planning and a PhD. Current research falls under the umbrella of protecting natural values in cities. Adrienne is a member of the Urban Specialist Group, part of IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas; an Associate Member with the Planning Institute of Australia; a board member of the International Urban Planning & Environment Association; and the community representative (President), Observatory Hill Environmental Education Centre, NSW Department of Education.

Dr Dallas Rogers

Senior Lecturer
Dallas’ research and teaching focuses on the relationships between poverty, wealth, urban planning and governance in global cities. He leads the multi-institutional and multi-disciplinary Global Real Estate Project (GREP), which undertakes relational examinations of housing poverty and wealth in global cities. GREP studies focus on the intersections of housing, migration, education, intercultural relations, digital technologies and geopolitical issues. Dallas has undertaken a critical analysis of Australian urbanism through fine-grained empirical research with low-income urban citizenries as well as super-rich transnational property investors, developers and their agents. He publishes on: 1) relational examinations of housing poverty and wealth in globalising cities; 2) the changing nature of Asia-Australia housing, economic, technology and intercultural relations; and 3) the intersections of local democracy, urban planning and private sector urban development. Dallas has secured nationally competitive grants, and completed research projects for local and state government and the private and non-government sectors. He won a prestigious Australian Federal Minister’s Award for housing research, has appeared in the national and international media, participated in a parliamentary briefing and has been invited to speak at academic and professional forums around the world. His recent books include a monograph on ‘The Geopolitics of Real Estate: Reconfiguring Property Capital and Rights’ and an edited book on ‘Housing in 21st-Century Australia: People, Practices and Policies’.

Dr Jennifer Kent

Postdoctoral Fellow
Dr Jennifer Kent is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Urban and Regional Planning program at the University of Sydney. Prior to joining the University of Sydney, Jennifer was a Lecturer at Macquarie University and Research Associate at the Healthy Built Environments Program at the University of NSW. She has also worked as a town planner in NSW in both local government and as a consultant. Jennifer's research has two key themes. The first relates to day-to-day mobility, with an explicit mandate to record and theorise shifts away from private car use towards more sustainable transport modes in car oriented cities. The second is on the general links between the built environment and health. The various health impacts of transport, including the detrimental health implications associated with private car dependency, exist as the nexus between these two research themes. Jennifer publishes regularly in high ranking scholarly journals and her work has been used to inform policy development in NSW and Australia, including Sydney's most recent metropolitan strategy. Her research was recognised at the pre-eminent conference on urbanism in Australia – the State of Australian Cities Conference – where she was awarded the Peter Harrison Memorial Prize for the best paper submitted by a PhD student in 2013.

Dr Sophia Maalsen

Postdoctoral Fellow
Sophia Maalsen is the Ian Fell Post-doctoral Research Fellow at the University of Sydney, where she is researching the role of technology in ‘smart homes’ as a locus to address future environmental and social challenges. Prior to joining the University of Sydney, Sophia was a postdoctoral researcher on the EU funded Programmable City Project where she investigated the digital transformation of cities and urban governance. In particular, she worked on the development of the Dublin Dashboard, a city metrics indicator designed to provide Dublin City Council and the residents of Dublin with real-time and relevant data on the City’s performance. Sophia has also worked in the Enabling Built Environments Program at the University of New South Wales, specifically on a project that investigated how and why people with a disability were undertaking DIY home modifications. Her particular expertise is in understanding the intersection of the material, digital and the human and how this effects lived experience.

Dr Jathan Sadowski

Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Smart Cities
Jathan Sadowski is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Smart Cities. His research brings together technology studies, urban geography, political economy, and social theory. He applies this interdisciplinary mix to the study of “smart systems” (data-driven, networked, automated). Jathan’s new project seeks to shift the focus of smart urbanism research from the conceptual to the material and from the speculative to the actual. Through an urban ethnography of smart initiatives in Sydney, Jathan will study how these policies and technologies are designed and implemented, and how are they are used and challenged by community organizations. Thus, the goal is not only to flesh out a better understanding of the actually existing smart city, but also consider how the values communities and users can inform the design of alternative smart cities. This project is grounded in the theory of cyborg urbanization. By emphasizing how material, political, social, and spatial assemblages are made, how they interface with people, and how they impact urban society, this theory provides a useful tool for investigating and interpreting the (smart) city.

Dr Harriet Westcott

Postdoctoral Fellow
Dr Harriet Westcott is a sociologist who has been employed in academia for a decade, teaching sociology and undertaking research work. Prior to academia Harriet worked for a decade in social research and social policy roles for NGOs and government in the UK and Australia. Harriet utilises a micro-theory approach to understanding social interaction, with a focus on personal relationships, emotion, ritual, and reflexivity in the context of social change. Currently she is contributing to research that is focused on translating evidence to support planning strategies for healthier higher density living.


Barrie Shelton

Honorary Associate Professor
Barrie has broad interests in urbanism with core expertise in urban design and urban history, morphology and theory – arising from a fascination with how cities look, feel, work and change. Experience covers university teaching, research, scholarly and popular writing and urban design practice – drawing on knowledge and skills from design, planning and geography. His more important investigations over the past two decades have focused on East Asia and he is author of major books on built form and culture in that region: Learning from the Japanese City: Looking East in Urban Design (London: Routledge 2012) and (co-author) The Making of Hong Kong: from Vertical to Volumetric (London: Routledge 2011), translated respectively into Japanese (Tokyo: Kajima Shuppankai 2014) and Chinese (Beijing: PHEI 2013). His work crosses discipline boundaries and appears in a very wide range of publications across four continents.

Glen Searle

Honorary Associate Professor


Giovanni Cirillo, Adjunct Associate Professor

Gary Cox, Adjunct Associate Professor

Harvey Sanders, Adjunct Associate Professor

Higher Degree Researchers

Yuan Wei

PhD Candidate

Thesis title: Understanding the Role of the Urban Agriculture in the Transformation of the Village in the City in Contemporary Urban China: Case studies in Kunming, Yunnan Province
Supervisors: Paul Jones, Adrienne Keane

Oumr Adnan A Osra

PhD Candidate

Thesis title:Sustainability and the regeneration of housing in Saudi Arabia
Supervisors: Paul Jones, Peter Armstrong

Fawaz Alasmari

PhD Candidate

Thesis title:An institutional Analysis of State Capacity in the Saudi Arabian Housing System: A Case Study of Riyadh
Supervisors: Peter Phibbs, Nicole Gurran