Australia’s first edited book on urban planning and the sex industry has received national recognition from the Planning Institute of Australia (PIA).

Sub(Urban) Sexscapes: Geographies and Regulation of the Sex Industry, co-edited by UNSW Built Environment’s Dr Christine Steinmetz, was awarded the PIA’s national 2016 Cutting Edge Research & Teaching Award.

According to the judges citation, Sub(Urban) Sexscapes, which includes contributions from other Australian and international scholars, “brings together a range of perspectives on the sex industry – a chronically under-researched area of planning practice”.

Dr Steinmetz’s cutting-edge work focuses on sex industry land-use planning in metropolitan Australia and reveals that Sydney and NSW are world leaders in the decriminalisation of sex work.

“Commercial sex premises and products are part of mainstream city life, from urban streets to suburbia the aesthetics of sex permeates billboards, newspapers and television,” says Dr Steinmetz.


UNSW Built Environment’s Dr Christine Steinmetz was awarded the PIA’s national 2016 Cutting Edge Research & Teaching Award.

“Our book argues that the role of sex in the character of a city cannot be ignored and advocates for evidence-based policy over moral panic,” she said.

Dr Steinmetz and her co-editor Dr Paul Maginn from The University of Western Australia received the award at the Planning Institute of Australia’s National Congress.

UNSW was also successful with other PIA awards.

Current Built Environment Masters of Philosophy student Emma Clinton won the Outstanding Student Project Award for her undergraduate thesis Housing Essentials - Low to moderate income worker housing in Sydney's eastern suburbs while Built Environment alumnus Andrew Wheeler was awarded Planner of the Year for driving debates on health and planning.