News / Research and Publications

UQ|UP team at ANZAPS conference in Hobart

The Australia and New Zealand Association of Planning Schools (ANZAPS) is a scholarly society formed by the urban planning schools and programs at Australian universities (including UQ) and New Zealand universities, as well as planning educators and individuals concerned with urban and regional planning education and research. ANZAPS is recognised as representing the planning schools and educators of this region.


UQ|UP participation

Gender gaps in Australian planning academia

Dorina Pojani (University of Queensland), Jaime Olvera-Garcia (University of Queensland), Neil Sipe (University of Queensland) and Jason Byrne (Griffith University)

This study examines gender gaps in Australian planning academia. The authors found that wide gender gaps exist, and the “leaking pipeline phenomenon” is significant. Not only do the findings serve an academic purpose, but they may have significant implications related to matters of promotion or prestige within the profession. These findings may be of help to university administrators on matters of review of female planning academics, and serve as a point of comparison between Australian planning academia and the rest of the world.

Getting visual! Building planning students’ spatial skills through a sequential GIS-enabled curriculum

Yan Liu (University of Queensland), Lavinia Poruschi (University of Queensland), Derlie Mateo-Babiano (University of Melbourne), Sebastien Darchen (University of Queensland)

Spatial skills, including spatial thinking, spatial planning, spatial modelling and visualisation are a core skill set for students in the fields of geography, planning and other related fields. For planning students, such skill development is not imbedded in the current educational program. As such, students face the challenge of thinking or visualising an environment they would plan for or assessing the impact of new development prior to it being developed, or visually communicate a planning output with professionals and the general public. This paper reports an intervention that aimed at developing students’ spatial skills in an undergraduate Urban and Town Planning program. It innovatively transforms three core but discrete courses into a sequential GIS-enabled curriculum by developing a computer based 3D city model and using the 3D model as a virtual learning platform for students to build and hone their spatial skills. Built upon the real world case of a dynamically evolving suburb in Brisbane where active urban renewal and redevelopment is occurring, students learn to develop their own 3D city model and use their model to develop spatial awareness, design and evaluate new development options, and present their design outcome online for public consultation and visual communication. After the first project implementation phase, students showed increased capacity to conceptualise 3D models. Preliminary perception data indicates students are enthusiastic about learning spatial skills, despite challenges encountered. Findings have implications for sequential learning strategy, spatial skills instruction and promoting the involvement of students as designers in their own learning process.

Entropy, honesty, sustainability: challenges for planning to 2050

David Wadley (University of Queensland)

Business and politics are arguably obsessed with economic growth, sought not by way of hard-won and wealth-creating technological innovation but by more louche means of demographic expansion and capital deepening. Even planners who can foresee the end-state of this fetish are bound by its high-entropy precepts. Others are locally distracted by variations to form, though form can no longer prevail over high-impact function. In a dynamic and contested milieu, the ‘rational’ method in planning appears a misnomer since practice, at large, is becoming increasingly irrational. This seminar discussion exposes several common manifestations of irrationality constructed to protect the status quo. Yet, planners are not generally well placed to challenge its proponents. In such circumstances, hope can only emerge from the effects, as observed by contrarian writers and commentators, of contradictions within the Ponzi model of late capitalism. It would be furthered if honest (and mainly academic) planners spotlighted the logical consequences of present paths of societal development and called for a re-think of the macro drivers behind the neoliberal model. This move is unlikely given the entrenchment and co-option of the national Zeitgeist.