5 October 2011 – Former NSW Government Architect, Chris Johnson has been appointed as new chief executive of the Urban Taskforce. This follows the move after four years of former CEO Aaron Gadiel to a senior role at Gadens.
Mr Johnson was NSW Government Architect for 10 years and was later appointed executive director in the NSW Department of Planning. He is also a former member of the Central Sydney Planning Committee and has written and edited 14 books on urban planning and architecture.
Taskforce chairman Noel Hemmings said in a statement that the appointment signified a move by the Taskforce to position the development industry in the broader context of the community.
“Chris Johnson is a highly respected person in the development industry, the design professions, within government and the broader community,” Mr Hemmings said.
Mr Johnson agreed NSW needed to position development as an important part of the community.
“After all, it includes bricklayers, carpenters, painters, the local bank manager, the superannuation funds, the finance industry, building material companies, architects and planners as well as developers and builders,” Mr Johnson said.
“I am also keen to change the simplistic debate on density, from being either for or against, to an understanding that there are a range of at least a dozen types of density and each has a place in the city of the future.”
Taskforce secretary and treasurer David Tanevski said that Mr Johnson’s experience placed him in “an excellent position to provide leadership in urban development.”