HomeOur Staff

Urban and regional planning research has been established in the Faculty since the late 1940s, covering a wide range of subject areas, including international studies with a focus on South-East Asia and the Pacific; metropolitan planning; housing studies; regional policy and many other fields of policy and development. A recently established urban design program provides additional opportunities to conduct research into the design dimensions of urban form. Besides providing individual study areas for research, the Faculty is home to an extensive library collection and the Planning Research Centre, which is an independent university foundation.


Bigger cities are richer, breeding greater inequality

New University of Sydney research confirms as Australian cities get bigger they also get richer as a disproportionate amount of the wealth goes to top income earners, which is breeding greater inequality within and between cities.

Find out more here

Affordable urban housing

Urban planners Nicole Gurran and Rebecca Chiu are collaborating on research that investigates and compares the extraordinary housing pressures in Sydney and Hong Kong.

Find out more here

Open letter to the NSW Premier on Sydney's housing affordability

NSW Federation of Housing Associations Inc urges the government to think beyond increasing housing supply.
Find out more here

Housing Supply versus Affordability
Peter Phibbs in the Sydney Morning Herald

Professor Peter Phibbs comments on housing supply versus affordability in the Sydney Morning Herald, 5th of September 2016.

Article link

Professor Nicole Gurran on the 'Open for Discussion' Podcast
Home ownership: facts and fiction

In the latest University of Sydney 'Open for Discussion' series, our host Dr Chris Neff speaks with Professor Nicole Gurran, an urban planner and policy analyst, to explore the research and cut through the confusion on this important issue.

Podcast details here

Professor Carlo Ratti Lecture | Senseable Cities

International guest, Professor Carlo Ratti (Director, MIT Senseable City Lab & Founding Partner, Carlo Ratti Associati.) addresses the issues of how our cities are being radically transformed - alongside the tools we use to design them and the impact on their physical structure, through projects by the Senseable City Laboratory, a research initiative at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the design office Carlo Ratti Associati. Lecture recorded at the Faculty of Architecture, Design and Planning on 03.06.16.

Lecture link here

Festival of Urbanism - August 2016

The Festival of Urbanism is back for 2016 brought to you by Henry Halloran Trust and Cities Network. The festival is a series of talks and conversations on planning and making our cities. It provides a platform for a range of views, academic reflection and critique, international expertise and experience and community discussion to challenge practice and define approaches that maximise the public interest and benefit.

Program and Registration details here

Talking The Property Council of Australia in The Conversation

Professors Nicole Gurran and Peter Phibbs write about how The Property Council is shaping the debate around negative gearing this election in The Conversation.

Informal Settlements in The Conversation

Associate Professor Paul Jones writes about informal settlements and the upcoming UN Habitat III Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development in The Conversation.

Peter Phibbs on the Powerhouse move

Professor Peter Phibbs weighs in on the controversial Sydney Powerhouse Museum move in the Sydney Morning Herald.

Urban Housing Lab and Sydney Urban Lab launch new websites

The Urban Housing Lab@Sydney is funded under the Henry Halloran Trust's research incubator scheme, which includes three year's support to develop a research platform for examining housing market dynamics in Sydney and potential levers for change. Led by Professor Nicole Gurran (urban policy and housing) and Dr Somwrita Sarkar (complex networks, computational models), research fostered within the Incubator will connect to wider scholarship on urban governance, planning, infrastructure, the market and big-data analytics while distilling key implications for policy and practice.

Urban Housing Lab Site

Sydney Urban Lab Site

Inequality in Australian Cities - Sydney Urban Lab

The Sydney Urban Lab has been featured in a Huffington Post article by Andrew Giles about income inequality scaling with city size.

Find out more here

Sydney Urban Lab source blog post here

Sydney peak hours worsening

Professor Peter Phibbs talks to The Sydney Morning Herald about worsening peak hours and surging house prices.

Find out more here

The Politics of Housing Affordability

Professors Peter Phibbs and Nicole Gurran talk housing affordability in The Conversation.

Find out more here

What Sydney can learn from Hong Kong about affordable housing

Professor Nicole Gurran is featured on domain.com.au discussing planning and housing supply across London, Hong Kong and Sydney.

Find out more here

Our Research

  • Urban planning and regional comparative planning system
  • Collaborative environmental planning and management
  • Planning for environmental sustainability
  • Planning for housing accessibility, diversity and affordability
  • Coastal protection & growth
  • Australian Urban Land Use Planning Policy Monitor
  • Social and environmental justice
  • Community forestry
  • Political ecology
  • Natural resource management
  • Sustainable development and climate change
  • Urban policy and planning locally and internationally
  • Suburban economic development
  • Poverty and inequality
  • Rural communities
  • Community development and sustainable planning
  • Urban planning research and education
  • Gated communities
  • Tourism development in Pacific urban planning
  • Development aid policy
  • Environmental impact assessments (EIA)
  • Housing policy in developing countries
  • Indigenous settlement and land tenure issues
  • Geographic Information Systems (GIS)
  • Economic development
  • Planning Support Systems
  • Visualization
  • Communting behaviour
  • Spatial decision making

Research Topics

2011-2014 | ‘Measuring the impact of urban regulation on housing affordability in Australian cities and regions’ ARC DP (Lead CI)

2011 | “Planning for climate change adaptation in coastal Australia: State of practice” (National Sea Change Task Force)

2011 | ‘Affordable housing, urban renewal, and planning’ Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute (AHURI) (with Bill Randolph, Gethin Davies and Simon Pinnegar)

2011 | ‘Quantifying planning system performance and the national housing reform agenda: An Investigative Panel’ AHURI (with Peter Phibbs)

2011 | University of Sydney Brown Fellowship

2007-09 | “Planning, government charges, and the costs of land and housing” AHURI (with Bill Randolph and Kristian Ruming)

2006 – 08 | “Planning for Climate Change in Coastal Communities” “Best Practice Models of Planning for Sea Change Communities” (National Sea Change Taskforce)

2006-08 | “International Practice in Planning for Affordable Housing: Lessons for Australia” AHURI