EVENT PROMOTION: The Festival of Urbanism is now in its eighth year. Happening online as a series of events between 13-24 September, this year’s festival program involves more than 85 speakers across more than 21 panel discussions, podcasts, and film screenings. The festival theme of “endangered” urbanism recognises the profound threats facing cities and regions in Australia and across the world, ranging from the climate crisis to the COVID-19 Pandemic, housing market shocks and ongoing social inequalities.

Engaging urban planners, economists, designers, journalists, ethicists, advocates, researchers, engineers, Indigenous leaders, political representatives and more, the festival offers diverse perspectives on endangered urban environments and how cities might transition from these crises.

Highlights include:

Endangered Urbanism Panel: Is Urbanism Over?

Moderated by Fenella Kernebone from Sydney Ideas, journalist and architecture critic Dr Elizabeth Farrelly will be joined by Fairfield City Councillor Dai Le, Committee for Sydney’s chief executive officer Gabriel Metcalf, and Dr Paul Maginn from the University of Western Australia to debate whether urbanism, as we know it, is over. Panellists will draw on research data on urban mobility, retail, and business trends during the pandemic as well as wider perspectives and reflections on the future of urban life.

Endangered governance: Public trust, urban decisions, and ethical practice

There are ongoing concerns about the integrity of urban development and infrastructure processes, which are uniquely exposed to risks associated with conflicts of interest, politicisation, compromise, and corruption. Panellists Han Aulby, executive director, Centre for Public Integrity, Sue Weatherley, director, city strategy and innovation, Georges River Council, Michael West, investigative journalist, and Dr Crystal Legacy, the University of Melbourne, explore these themes, and strategies for ethical practice.

Planning for recovery: Leading urbanists in conversation

With US cities at the forefront of post-Covid transition planning, this session involves former Seattle Planning Director, Sam Assefa, Irene Figueroa Ortiz from the NYC Department of Transportation and Glenn Grimshaw, senior policy Aadvisor at the Australian Embassy in Washington DC.

The Minister for Planning and Public Spaces, Rob Stokes will deliver a special address as part of this session which will be chaired by Professor Ann Forsyth from Harvard University.

Endangered discourse: Improving the quality of public debate on urban and housing policy

An informed citizenry, independent analysis, and robust public debate are
all essential for good public policy particularly in relation to housing and urban policy. This panel event, which also celebrates the work of the inaugural director of the Henry Halloran Trust, Peter Phibbs, Prof Peter Phibbs, University of Sydney, Dr Erin Brady, ACT Department of Environment, Planning and Sustainable Development, Eliza Owen,
CoreLogic,  Tina Perinotto, The Fifth Estate

All events are free. Registrations are essential, and can be made via this link

The 2021 Festival of Urbanism is organised by the University of Sydney’s Henry Halloran Trust in collaboration with the University of Sydney School of Architecture, Design and Planning, Monash Art Design & Architecture, and the Charles Perkins Centre.

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    1. yes i know.. well jump in and see if you can find a clue. TFE (me ) will also be speaking about why it’s so hard to get messages across in the media when it comes to housing and zoning… drives me nuts!!!

    2. never mind – found it – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Urbanism

      ‘the study of how inhabitants of urban areas, such as towns and cities, interact with the built environment’ ?

      reminds me of maybe 35 years ago – my girlfriend from 45 years ago – when we were together she was studying psychology and science, and when we went places I would ramble on about the psychological effects of architecture – e.g. entering big high ceilinged spaces you tend to stop and look up in awe, etc.

      we separated – I moved to a different city and didn’t hear about her for a few years – then in conversation with an old mutual friend I asked after her, and he told me ‘yeah she got a job as a lecturer – in the Psychology of the Built Environment – a position that didn’t exist before – they created the position for her after they were impressed with the way she talked about it’

      (P.S. I had never heard the term ‘Built Environment’ before that.)

      I was WTF !?!? She took my ideas and got a better paying job than me !?

      Karma sutra !