urbandesign blocks

16 – 18 November 2015

Brisbane, Queensland

" Empowering Change: Transformative Innovations and Projects "

Keynote Speakers

The Hon. Ms Jacklyn (Jackie) Trad MP- Deputy Premier, Minister for Transport, Minister for Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning and Minister for Trade

Adj. Prof Penelope Coombes - The People for Places and Spaces, NSW

Penelope CoombesPenelope is co-founder and managing director of The People for Places and Spaces. Her work is collaborative, people-centred and place-based. She is an Adjunct Professor, University of Canberra, Faculty of Health.

She has acted as advisor to individuals, all sectors of government, the private sector and not-for-profits throughout Australia and in New Zealand, Asia, Europe and USA. She has been a Consultant to the Hong Kong Government, United Nations and World Health Organisation.

Over the last 30 years she has worked with clients to transform places and enhance liveability and health outcomes in capital cities, metropolitan, regional and rural areas.

Prior to founding PPS, when Foundation Head, School of Occupational Therapy, Cumberland College (now University of Sydney) she led the establishment of the first degree in occupational therapy in NSW and Hong Kong.

As a Fulbright Scholar and WHO Fellow, Penelope completed post-graduate studies in USA. She holds a Masters Degree majoring in organisational change.

Penelope is currently a Councillor of HCF of Australia and is on the Advisory Board of Partners for Liveable Communities, Australia.

Mr Michael Dixon - General Manager, IBM's Global Smarter Cities Business

Michael DixonMichael J. Dixon is the General Manager for IBM's global smarter cities business. He leads IBM's vision, strategy and operations for teams active in cities around the world which are focused on a core element of IBM's long term strategy. The integration of transport, health, public safety, energy, utilities, social services, education and urban management are at the heart of numerous initiatives.  

Prior to a brief period as the Managing Partner for IBM's consulting and systems integration business (GBS) in Central / Eastern Europe in 2011, Michael was the Vice President of Public Sector for GBS in the growth markets, leading teams focused on supporting client initiatives in Government, Healthcare Payers and Providers and Education across Asia Pacific, the Middle East, Africa, Central / Eastern Europe and Latin America. Client success in numerous projects resulted from IBM providing strategic advice, business change and process transformation to improve services and deliver cost efficiencies.

During an IBM career spanning 30 years, Michael has held a series of sales, management and executive positions associated with the public sector across increasingly broad geographies.  His depth of industry experience has seen him range from working with policy makers and senior executives in public sector organizations through to presenting to Government leaders at APEC summits; and from advising Public Sector CEOs on strategy development and project implementation through to partnering with private companies to deliver associated services. Michael spent several years based in Tokyo and was a Brookings Congressional Fellow, based in Washington, D.C..

Before joining IBM Michael completed a BBSc at La Trobe University, an MSc at the University of Melbourne and a PhD at the University of Alberta.

Michael is an Australian and spends his time in Melbourne, New York and all parts of the world.

Mr Gavin Kain – Principal, Woods Bagot

Gavin KainGavin Kain is Woods Bagot's Global Lifestyle Sector Leader and Principal in the Sydney studio. He has 20 years' experience in the design and delivery of major mixed-use and civic projects.

With a strong interest in regionalism and sustainability, Gavin is currently leading the AUD 350 million Adelaide Convention Centre Redevelopment. He has also advised the NSW government on the 1B Sydney Convention Centre redevelopment and Darling Harbour and is involved in major urban projects in New Zealand including the Christchurch Blueprint, and Convention centres in Auckland and Christchurch.

Gavin has national and international experience as a designer and urban designer in Adelaide, Brisbane, Sydney, Darwin, Dubai, Vancouver, London, Auckland and Christchurch.

Mr Paul Scott - Make Architects, London, UK 

Paul ScottPaul Scott is a partner at Make, one of the UK’s foremost architectural firms. He has spent over 20 years shaping cities around the world through his involvement in a diverse range of schemes, ranging from boutique to iconic. 

Paul is currently leading several high-profile projects including 40 Leadenhall Street in London’s insurance district; Wynyard Place, an office, station concourse and retail development in Sydney; and two striking 290m-tall residential towers in Mumbai. 

Paul’s approach is to consider how people, history and culture influence architectural design. He led Make’s work on ‘The Cube’, a mixed-use development which helped revitalise the centre of Birmingham, praised for the way it draws on the city’s character to create a distinctive destination.

Paul specialises in the design of tall buildings, which he believes is an increasingly important aspect of urban design. He’s championing the role they play in supporting population growth while mitigating their impact on global warming to create more integrated and sustainable spaces.

Paul is external examiner for the University of Nottingham’s course in Sustainable Tall Buildings and has been a keynote speaker at many leading international events including the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat’s Future Cities Conference in Shanghai 2014.

Invited Keynotes

  • Prof Jason Pomeroy
    Founding Principal, Pomeroy Studio, Singapore
  • Professor Peter Newman
    Professor of Sustainability, Curtin University

The conference committee would like to thank our 2014 keynote speakers.

Mr Ludo Campbell-Reid, Design Champion, Manager Environmental Strategy & Policy, Auckland Council, New Zealand

Mr Robert Caulfield, Architect, Caulfield Krivanek Architects Pty Ltd, VIC

Professor Rachel Davey, Professor of Health Research, University of Canberra

Mr Ben Hewett, South Australian Government Architect and Executive Director of the Office for Design and Architecture SA (ODASA)

Professor Graeme Hugo, ARC Australian Professorial Fellow, University of Adelaide, SA

Dr Christine Satchell, Senior Research Fellow, Urban Informatics Research Lab, Queensland University of Technology, QLD

Mr Malcolm Snow, Chief Executive, National Capital Authority, ACT

Dr Marcus Spiller, Economist and Planner, SGS Economics & Planning, VIC

Ms Caroline Stalker, Director, Architectus, Adjunct Professor, School of Design, Creative Industries, QUT