UNSW Built Environment is celebrating the award of two prestigious Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery Grants announced on November 5.

Rob Freestone and Gethin Davison received an Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery Grant for their research examining the changing economic structure of the CBD, linking the changing form of the city to evolving design policies. It seeks to recover the experiences of participants in the development approval process and communicate instructive stories of the complex intersection between market forces and design regimens. 

With their property acquisition activity reaching record levels in 2014, investor landlords are now key players in Australia’s housing market. This has sparked vigorous public debate on the contribution of this activity to a ‘housing price bubble’ and the crowding out of first home buyers. Given new City Futures research indicating private rental provision growing fastest in urban Australia’s most disadvantaged neighbourhoods, another effect may be to exacerbate the socio-spatial polarisation.

City Futures received an Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery Grant to investigate the drivers and impacts of this phenomenon. Hal Pawson, Bill Randolph and Shanaka Herath will be working with Swinburne University colleagues on this 2015-2017 study of Sydney and Melbourne. Study findings will inform national housing, planning and urban policy.

Our congratulations go out to all the grant winners.