Guest seminar: anti-planning narratives in Australia, Professor Nicole Gurran


Event details

Tuesday 11 July 2023
Free Admission


Debates about housing affordability have in many countries focused on the role of land use planning in constraining new supply. Despite differences in regulatory systems and housing markets, there is a striking similarity in these debates which often prescribe deregulatory reform as a fix for affordability pressures. With reference to Australia where calls for planning ‘reform’ have persisted as a rhetorical response to housing system failure since the turn of the new millennium, this seminar examines the disconnection between claims about planning as a barrier to new construction and actual evidence of permissions and housing market activity. Examining a series of policy episodes and reform interventions addressing land supply; restrictive planning controls; and system inefficiency in Australia’s largest state of NSW, and drawing on key housing supply and market indicators, it seems that ‘anti-planning’ narratives have mobilised concerns around housing supply and affordability to pursue deregulatory reform agendas. In turn these reforms have enabled record levels of new housing supply during buoyant market conditions but failed to address fundamental barriers to diverse and affordable housing production.

The seminar is organised by the Urban Institute, Urban Studies and Planning, and School of Architecture and will involve a presentation, Q and A and discussion.

Nicole Gurran is Professor of Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Sydney, where she directs the University’s Henry Halloran Trust. She has led numerous studies on urban planning, housing, and regional growth and authored several books including Urban Planning and the Housing Market (2017Palgrave), Politics, Planning and Housing Supply in Australia, England and Hong Kong, (Routledge, 2016), and Australian Urban Land Use Planning (2011). Beyond academia, Professor Gurran serves as a State appointed independent expert member of the Sydney Planning Panels advising on regionally significant decisions.

Events at the University

Browse upcoming public lectures, exhibitions, family events, concerts, shows and festivals across the University.