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 due for publication in 2021 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 10 years 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.
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
AWARDS & HONOURS
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.”
LAND2411 Urban Landscape Design Studio
LAND2421 Urban Public Domain Studio
LAND7201 Public Realm Studio