Before you get too embroiled in 2012, pause and take a moment to think of those you consider most influential in planning for 2011. Which Australian “planners” do you consider to have exerted a broad influence on urban planning thought, action and ideas.
Ideally they are leaders who have not just been influential within a particular organisation or region, but are recognisable nationally as influencing the direction of urban planning in Australia.
To get your thoughts started we have compiled a list of the top 5 most influential planners in Australia for 2011, to hopefully inspire us as we move into 2012.
Top 5 Most Influential Planners in Australia 2011 – ‘the Draft List’
1. Dorte Ekelund
Head of the Major Cities Unit, the only Australian Government Division solely devoted to urban affairs. Dorte has overseen the release of the first, and now second State of Australian Cities Report, providing an overview on how Australian cities are tracking. She has also been instrumental in getting city and regional planning focused funding on the agenda, illustrated by a raft of new programs and other achievements such as the Australian Urban Design Protocol and recently announced Urban Policy Forum.
2. Dr Peter W Newton
As Research Professor in sustainable built environments at Swinburne University’s Institute for Social Research Peter has been instrumental in forward thinking urban research including the recent report Towards a new development model for housing regeneration in greyfield residential precincts (AHURI July 2011) and the release of books including Urban Consumption (2011 CSIRO Publishing). Peter’s academic interests in sustainability, urban planning and urban regeneration, provide the perfect confluence for understanding and interpreting where we are headed with urban planning and infill and how to achieve better outcomes.
3. Dr Paul Mees
Senior Lecturer in transport planning at RMIT, Mees legal background has put him in good stead for analysing the validity of planning policy thought. Always challenging, and the author of numerous books and papers including more recently Public Transport Network Planning in Australia (Mees and Dodson May 2011). He is also a regular in the media due to his thought provoking insights that sometimes seem set to derail mainstream planning ideas. Stay tuned!
4. Sue Holliday
Director of consulting firm Strategies for Change and active across a range of boards and forums, Sue is a regular speaker at public events on planning matters. Her involvement in shaping discussion on urban planning in Australia includes as member of the COAG Cities Expert panel, Chair of the Built Environment Industry Innovation Council and member of the recently announced Australian Government’s Urban Policy Forum.
5. Kirsty Kelly
Possibly the youngest CEO of the Planning Institute of Australia, Kirsty has brought a town planning background and Gen X perspective into the organisation. With her prior experience as President of the South Australian branch of PIA she has a good working knowledge of the organisation and its complexities and has been able to introduce fresh ideas on representing the planning profession in Australia.
To vote for your top 5, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject heading ‘Most Influential Planners 2011’ or add your comments to this article. We look forward to your feedback!