Dr Mike Harris

Dr Mike Harris

Senior Lecturer
Arts, Design & Architecture
School of Built Environment

Mike is a researcher, teacher and practitioner in landscape architecture and urban design with experience across Australia, Europe and the US covering a wide range of project types and scales including precinct planning, public domain design and active transport. This breadth of experience combined with a passion for urban quality of life has given Mike a strong interest in the tensions between ‘big picture’ city planning and the lived urban experience. Mike has been recognised with design and research awards as well as speaking invitations and advisory roles.

Mike is currently engaged in two primary areas of research:

One is mixed-use megaprojects - investigating how the aims of large-scale, ‘competitive city’ projects are reconciled with the delivery of strategic infrastructure, liveability goals and equitable urban access. One of Mike’s current research projects in this area is a monograph by Palgrave Macmillan; Mixed-Use Megaprojects and the Competition for Capital, investigating projects in Sydney, Melbourne, Copenhagen and New York.

The other is active travel - investigating network planning, street design and governance with the overarching aim of delivering more social, accessible and healthy cities. This work builds on more than a decade of consultant work in which Mike’s international research has been tested in local and state government projects. Mike’s current research projects in this area include leading a 2-year research grant for Transport for NSW and iMOVE Cooperative Research Centre on international best practice facility design to increase cycling participation with virtual reality testing; as well as a number of publications on street design, governance and community preferences of cycling infrastructure.

  • Book Chapters | 2022
    Harris M, 2022, 'Bicycle infrastructure and street politics Sydneys flagship cycleway to covid-19 pop-ups', in Routledge Handbook of Urban Landscape Research, pp. 50 - 64, http://dx.doi.org/10.4324/9781003109563-6
    Book Chapters | 2018
    Harris M, 2018, 'Coding the "Authenti-city": North Harbour and the Århusgade Quarter, Copenhagen', in Laura L; Shannon B (ed.), Planning for AuthentiCITIES, edn. 1, Routledge, New York, pp. 287 - 308
    Book Chapters | 2018
    Harris MS, 2018, 'Barangaroo: Machiavellian megaproject or erosion of intent?', in Ruming K (ed.), Urban Regeneration in Australia Policies, Processes and Projects of Contemporary Urban Change, Routledge, New York, pp. 111 - 134, http://dx.doi.org/10.4324/9781315548722
  • Journal articles | 2023
    Harris M; McCue P, 2023, 'Pop-Up Cycleways: How a COVID-19 “Policy Window” Changed the Relationship Between Urban Planning, Transport, and Health in Sydney, Australia', Journal of the American Planning Association, 89, pp. 240 - 252, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01944363.2022.2061578
    Journal articles | 2022
    Evans C; Harris MS; Taufen A; Livesley SJ; Crommelin L, 2022, 'What does it mean for a transitioning urban waterfront to “work” from a sustainability perspective?', Journal of Urbanism, pp. 1 - 24, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17549175.2022.2142648
    Journal articles | 2021
    Hawken S; Avazpour B; Harris M; Marzban A; Munro PG, 2021, 'Urban megaprojects and water justice in Southeast Asia: Between global economies and community transitions', Cities, 113, pp. 103068 - 103068, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cities.2020.103068
    Journal articles | 2017
    Harris MS, 2017, 'Competitive Precinct Projects: The five consistent criticisms of “global” mixed-use megaprojects', Project Management Journal, 48, pp. 76 - 92, http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/875697281704800607
  • Reports | 2021
    Roberts L; Harris M, 2021, Designing for the ‘Interested but Concerned’: A literature review on cycling infrastructure design
    Reports | 2019
    Harris M, 2019, Hornsby Park Access & Circulation Investigation
    Reports | 2019
    Hawken S; Avazpour B; Harris M; Marzban A, 2019, The Impacts of Urban Megaprojects on Water and Sanitation Related Human Rights in Southeast Asia: Submission to the UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights to safe drinking water and sanitation, Urban Water Resilience Lab UNSW, UNSW Sydney, http://dx.doi.org/10.26190/5ce4abb1e863a, https://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Issues/Water/MegaProjects/CSO/HawkenSAvazpourBHarrisMMarzbanA.pdf
    Reports | 2019
    Padgett Kjaersgaard S; Evans C; Harris M, 2019, Guide to Low Carbon Landscapes, http://builtbetter.org/node/7832, http://builtbetter.org/node/7832
    Reports | 2018
    Harris M, 2018, Kunshan West Slow Movement Strategy, CRC for Water Sensitive Cities
    Creative Works (non-textual) | 2018
    Harris MS, 2018, UNSW BE LuminoCity Exhibition, UNSW BE LuminoCity Exhibition, 01 September 2018 - 07 December 2018, at: https://www.be.unsw.edu.au/event/luminocity-2018
    Creative Works (non-textual) | 2017
    Lochhead H; Harris M; Evans C; Tyrell M; Padgett Kjaersgaard SR, 2017, 2017 International Festival of Landscape Architecture, 2017 International Festival of Landscape Architecture, Overseas Passenger Terminal Circular Quay, 13 October 2017 - 14 October 2017, medium: Conference, at: http://www.aila.org.au/the3rdcity
    Creative Written Works | 2016
    Harris MS, 2016, Reconfiguring Sydney Streets: Copenhagen case studies and Sydney adaptations, Reconfiguring Sydney Streets: Copenhagen case studies and Sydney adaptations, Sustainable Transport Consultants, http://sustainabletransport.com.au/Documents/ReconfiguringSydneyStreets2019-WEB.pdf
    Creative Written Works | 2014
    Harris M; Simpson R; Phibbs P; Walton J, 2014, A guide to achieving good outcomes in precincts (the Bays in particular), The Fifth Estate, https://www.thefifthestate.com.au/articles/a-guide-to-precincts-the-bays-in-particular-to-achieve-good-outcomes/70572/

2021-2023 Interactively Visualising Street Design Scenarios for Communicating Bike Infrastructure Options to Communities and Policymakers
Project Partners: Transport for NSW, iMOVE Cooperative Research Centre 
UNSW CIs: Mike Harris (lead), Chris Pettit, Brian Lee, Vinayak Dixit
Grant value: $300,000

2019-2020 Hornsby Quarry Park Sustainable Access and Circulation Investigation
Project Partner: Hornsby Shire Council
UNSW CI: Mike Harris
Grant value: $49,800

2019 Guide to Low Carbon Landscapes
Project Partner: Collaborative research Centre (CRC) for Low Carbon Landscapes
UNSW CIs: Sara Padget-Kjearsgaard (lead), Mike Harris, Catherine Evans
Grant value: $10,000

2018 Kunshan West Slow Movement Strategy
Project Partner: Collaborative research Centre (CRC) for Water Sensitive Cities & Realm Studios
UNSW CI: Mike Harris
Grant value: $5,200


2021 - Cycling advisor on one of three teams shortlisted for the Sydney Harbour Bridge Northern Cycleway Ramp design competition, with Realm Studios.

2020 - Australian Institute of Landscape Architects (AILA) Award for Research, Policy and Communication: CRC For Low Carbon Living: Guide to Low Carbon Landscapes

2014-2015 - Waverley Council Environmental Sustainability Advisory Committee

2014 - Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute (AHURI) Postgraduate Scholarship

2014 - Urban and Regional Planning Research Scholarship “Awarded every alternate year to a commencing Doctor of Philosophy student of exceptional research promise, with a focus on city form and urban infrastructure.” 

2014 - Lindsay Robertson Memorial Award  “Awarded every alternate year to encourage a UNSW graduate in Landscape Architecture to undertake postgraduate study or research in Australia or overseas.”

2013 - Marjory and Lloyd Rees Prize for Urban Design

2013 - Invited as keynote speaker at UK national conference 'Cycle City' in Birmingham

2012 - Invited speaker and facilitator on urban mobility at the BMW Guggenheim Lab in Berlin: "A mobile laboratory travelling around the world to inspire innovative ideas for urban design and urban life."

2009 - Australian Institute of Landscape Architects (AILA) Future Leaders Awards

2007 - Hassell Travelling Scholarship “Awarded by HASSELL panel of directors for best graduating Landscape Architecture design project in Australia.”

My Research Supervision

Ela Glogowska - The cultural potential of the public square. The formation, use and meaning of urban public space in a densifying Sydney.

Josh Hernandez - Enabling the implementation of urban sound planning.

Kevin Cherian - Mega-events and Global Cities: Planning towards Sustainable Global Cities.

My Teaching

LAND2411 Urban Landscape Design Studio

LAND2421 Urban Public Domain Studio

LAND7201 Public Realm Studio