From left to right: Associate Professor and Director of the UNSW Built Environment's City Planning program, Simon Pinnegar, Research Associates Dr Laurence Troy and Dr Laura Crommelin from the UNSW City Futures Research Centre.

The 2016 Award for Planning Excellence was for the "Cutting Edge Research and Teaching" category.  
The research focused on a key challenge facing city planners in Australia on how to renew older areas of multi-unit housing in the coming decades needed to accommodate population growth, without exacerbating social inequalities and collateral social disruption. The research therefore addresses questions of both feasibility and equity regarding the termination and renewal of strata schemes.
The replacement of older strata blocks has been largely ignored as a planning issue. This is changing with strata blocks now able to be terminated on a 75% majority vote of lot owners. In many areas now targeted for renewal, replacing existing multi-unit housing presents a complex challenge and poses significant issues of equity, displacement and erosion of affordable housing stock. 
Renewing the Compact City is the first systematic research in the world to explore how strata redevelopment can be achieved that is both economically viable and socially fair. While the project focused on Sydney, its findings are relevant to other jurisdictions grappling with similar challenges.
Working with community, government and industry partners, this research project represents an exemplary piece of forward looking applied urban planning research, with far reaching implications for the longer term renewal of our urban areas.
Read more about our UNSW City Ftures Research Centre here.