Changing our planning culture

Queensland’s first ‘planner in residence’ says planners are facing mounting pressure to change the way they operate.

As Australian urban planning embarks on its biggest cultural shake-up in a generation, Queensland University of Technology (QUT) has installed a “planner in residence” to remain on the cutting edge of this real-world change.

Michael Papageorgiou is Queensland’s first planner in residence, an appointment that QUT says will bring current and high-level industry expertise to enhance the academic output of the university.

A prominent Brisbane planner and consultant, Papageorgiou was previously the Queensland Government’s senior planning policy expert. He also held the city planner role at both Brisbane and Gold Coast – Australia’s two largest city councils.

He says Australian planners are facing mounting pressure to change the way they operate, as most state governments are introducing major reforms or new legislation for the processes guiding planning and development applications.

“Part of this reform process is that governments expect urban planning professionals to make changes to their culture – everything about the way they do business and how they think about the developments they consider for approval,” Papageorgiou says.

“It’s also about how the risks involved in planning and decision making can be better managed. This means that the way planners are educated must change, and I hope to help QUT through this process.

“I will be working closely with QUT’s planning students and helping to guide their project work into areas that are directly informed by the current planning debates on regulatory reform and evidence-based policy development. I hope to embed a closer relationship between planning education and planning practice.”

Image courtesy of QUT.

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