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NSW Minister for Planning Robert Stokes will discuss the changes possible under the new Greater Sydney Commission and Urban Growth NSW portfolios and the importance of university research in developing urban planning as part of the 10th anniversary celebrations of UNSW’s City Futures Research Centre next week Monday, 9 November.

Since its launch in 2005, City Futures has become a national leader in applied urban research. In 2012, together with colleagues in UNSW’s Built Environment’s Planning Program, the Centre was acknowledged by the Australian Research Council as Australia’s leading university research centre in urban planning. 

Centre Director Professor Bill Randolph says his plan is for City Futures to become Sydney’s ‘urban observatory’ over the next decade.

“Since the 1980s, Sydney has undergone profound change, with a vast growth in wealth and productivity in the city centre that is not being matched in our suburbs.

“Unemployment, job insecurity, long commutes to reach available jobs, high house prices and severe rental stress are growing concerns in our middle and outer ring suburbs, and this is limiting the productivity and opportunities for the people living there,” Professor Randolph says.

“City Futures at UNSW looks forward to working closely with the new Greater Sydney Commission, the wider NSW Government and city builders to provide the research and data from which all good decision-making flows.

“Too often, the loudest voices we hear when decisions are being made about our cities are from vested interests. Well, universities are the vested interest representing public good,” he says.

The City Futures’ observatory will focus its research through four key agendas: city equity, productivity, renewal and governance.

What: City Futures 10th anniversary event – NSW Planning Minister guest speaker

When: Monday, 9 November, 6 - 8pm

Where: The Mint, Macquarie Street, Sydney

The event kicks off a week of public talks lead by national and international experts called Cities@UNSW:

  • Neighbourhood Planning in England: roots, development, potential – Professor Nick Gallent, University College, London. Tuesday, 10 November, 4.30pm - AGSU Room (2001) Red Centre West Wing Building, UNSW Kensington
  • Panel Discussion: Housing Market Drivers and Affordability Interventions: New York, London and Sydney – Professor Alex Schwartz, The New School, New York, Professor Nick Gallent, University College London and Professor Hal Pawson, UNSW. Wednesday, 11 November, 6pm, The Mint, 10 Macquarie St, Sydney
  • Big Data, Little Data, Real Time Streaming and the Smart City Professor Mike Batty, University College London. Thursday, 12 November, 5.30pm, The Mint, 10 Macquarie St, Sydney
  • Public Housing in the US: An assessment of the latest preservation efforts – Professor Alex Schwartz, The New School, New York. Friday, 13 November, 12pm, UNSW Business School Room 119, UNSW Kensington