International Urban Design Conference

10th International Urban Design Conference

Disruption, Divergence and Designed Intervention – Making Change Happen

The 10th International Urban Design Conference will be held at Surfers Paradise Marriott Resort & Spa, Gold Coast, Queensland from Monday 13 – Tuesday 14 November 2017. This year there are optional tours available on Wednesday 15 November.  These will include visiting two of the precincts that have been designed and built for the 2018 Commonwealth Games held on the Gold Coast in April 2018.

The conference theme for the 10th anniversary is Disruption, Divergence and Designed Intervention – Making Change Happen and will showcase innovations and projects embracing and creating transformational change in urban environments. The aim is to include highlights ranging from the modest but high impact idea to the new Eco-city, from technological experimentation to multicultural cities and from the use of big data to physical city making.

Delegates from a wide range of backgrounds are expected including: town planners, developers, politicians, architects, urban designers, senior public servants, landscape architects, consultants, city governance personnel, engineers, demographers, development industry practitioners, policy makers, social planners, academic researchers, infrastructure fund managers and economic commentators.

Crucial issues relating to how cities are formed, how people use urban environments and how cities can be transformed into better places will be examined, dissected and critiqued.

Exploring the links which create the concrete physicality of the built environment, the complex social, economic, political and cultural processes through which the physical urban form is produced and consumed will be examined. The Program aims at developing a framework of ideas to provoke debate and speculate on new forms of practice.

Today, cities are forming and re-forming on an unprecedented scale. Progressive projects in cities around the world address the pressing issues of climate change, economic stability, social equality and sustainable resource use.

This event has been held annually since 2007 in Brisbane, Sydney, Gold Coast, Canberra, Adelaide and Melbourne.

A podcast archive of over 200 Urban Design presentations is available to all delegates and educational facilities in Australia and New Zealand. In 2017 the website will be launched containing recorded material, Books of Proceedings and Conference Papers.

The Conference Program will also include presentations on the operation of an urban design practice, industry standards and the urban design profession. The Conference will provide all participants with an opportunity to contribute, learn and network with peers.

Be inspired by innovations and projects that are transforming cities. This Conference is an opportunity for design professionals to exchange ideas and experiences, to be creative and visionary, and to contribute to redesigning our urban futures.

Featured Speakers


  • Dr Joerg Baumeister, Professor and Director of the Australian Urban Design Research Centre, University of Western Australia
  • Mr Peter Edwards,  Director, Archipelago & President, Urban Design Alliance, Queensland
  • Mr Stephen Yarwood, Former Adelaide Lord Mayor & Urban Futurist @ city2050, Adelaide
  • Ms Raynuha Sinnathamby, Managing Director, Springfield Land Corporation.  Greater Springfield, Australia’s Fastest Emerging New City , Queensland
  • Malcolm Middleton, Queensland Government Architect, Department of Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning, Queensland
  • Mr James Tuma, National Director, Urbis
  • Mr Stanley Quek, Chairman & Founder, Greencliff, Singapore & Mr Nicholas Woolf, Project Director, NSW Arts Infrastructure Projects (co presenters)


  • Hon Paul Fletcher,  Minister for Urban Infrastructure, Australian Government
  • Mr Jeff Connelly, CEO, Siemen’s Pacific, Victoria


  • City making and disruption
  • Community advocacy
  • Creating equitable cities
  • Diversity in the ecology of technology
  • Design and climate change
  • Population growth, densification, renewal, innovation and urban regeneration
  • Urban Design Policy
  • “The Missing Middle” – how to transform suburbia
  • Risk and resilience
  • The future of work, urban impact
  • Transport and traffic
  • Satellite cities
  • Planning, functional design
  • Public space transformation

Cities are not getting Smart

Professor Edward Blakely, Chair, Future Cities Collaboration, The United States Centre, University of Sydney

Who Should Attend:

Urban Designers Policy Makers Town Planners
Politicians Architects Social Planners
Public Servants Landscape Architects Development Industry
Engineers Academics Researchers
Infrastructure Fund Managers City Governance Personnel Economic Commentators

What delegates thought about the 2016 Conference

  • “Great cross section of topics that cover many aspects of the urban development spectrum”
  • “The Conference is great to discuss topical issues, and to meet other people facing similar issues. Also get to hear what is happening around us, and to see new things in the host city”
  • “Great opportunity to widen your knowledge and meet inspiring people doing great work”
  • “Great collegiate/collaborative atmosphere.  Interesting and thought provoking subjects”“Hearing from so many great thinkers across several professions in a very professionally-run format”
  • “A stimulating and enquiring Conference that was also very affordable”
  • “This is a good platform to exchange ideas with other planners”
  • “Breadth and depth of issues affecting urban design”
  • “Variety of topics, thoughtfulness of assembly of panels and speakers, good venues”

The Conference Committee would like to thank the 2016 Keynote Speakers


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