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 Jeffrey Craft - Principal, SWA Group, China

Jeffrey CraftMr. Craft is a landscape architect and practice leader in planning and urban design for SWA Shanghai and SWA Dallas, and is recognized nationally and internationally for his highly contextual and site-sensitive projects. He offers a unique perspective to creative land-based solutions to complex design issues where cultural, social, and economic objectives often influence the design process.

Acting as both project manager and lead designer he believes in a layered, research-based approach to problem solving and is dedicated to providing the highest quality of design with a focus on project marketability and sustainability.

Dr Simon Eassom - Global Offering Manager, IBM Smarter Cities

Simon Eassom Simon Eassom, Philosopher, Educator and Futurologist, is Global Offering Manager and IBM's lead professional for defining and developing Smarter Cities’ solutions and establishing the overall strategy with executive management for the Smarter Cities-Education industry with a specific focus on using education to drive city and regional economic development and labour market reform.

Simon joined IBM in 2005 after 22 years in the education sector as a school and university teacher, researcher and senior administrator and has worked in IBM's Global Business Services division, Software Group, and Sales & Distribution units. Simon has recently been instrumental in developing the cognitive computing offerings using IBM's Watson platform for the public sector. Simon holds a Bachelor, Masters, and Doctorate degree from the UK.

Professor Paul James - Director, Institute for Culture and Society, University of Western Sydney

Paul JamesProfessor Paul James is Director of the Institute for Culture and Society at the University of Western Sydney. He is Scientific Advisor to the Senate Department for Urban Development, Berlin, a Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts, London, and Honorary Professor at King’s College London.

From 2007 till 2014 he was Director of the UN Global Compact Cities Programme. He is author or editor of 31 books. He has been an advisor to a number of agencies and governments including the Helsinki Process, the Canadian Prime Minister’s G20 Forum, the Commission on Reception, Truth and Reconciliation in East Timor, and the Papua New Guinea Minister for Community Development. His latest book is Urban Sustainability in Theory and Practice: Circles of Sustainability (Routledge). This work on urban sustainability is linked to a number of cities around the world such as Porto Alegre on slum reclamation, Milwaukee on water resilience, and Berlin on climate change adaptation.

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.

Professor Ken Maher - President, ASBEC (Australian Sustainable Built Environment Council)

Ken MaherKen Maher is a Fellow of HASSELL and Professor of Practice with UNSW Built Environment. In 2015, he was elected President of Australian Sustainable Built Environment Council, and National President Elect of the Australian Institute of Architects. He is chair of the City of Sydney's Design Advisory Panel, a member of the Sydney Opera House Eminent Architects Panel and a board member of Urban Growth NSW and the Co-operative Research Centre for Low Carbon Living.

Ken advises government on design, sustainability and the future of cities throughout Australia and internationally, writes on architecture and urban design, and has a strong interest in role of design in contributing to public life. In 2009, Ken was awarded the Australian Institute of Architecture's highest accolade, the AIA Gold Medal, and in 2010 received the AILA Australian Award in Landscape Architecture.

Professor Peter Newman - Professor of Sustainability, Curtin University

Peter NewmanPeter Newman is the Professor of Sustainability at Curtin University. He has written 17 books and over 300 papers. In 2014 he was awarded an Order of Australia for his contributions to urban design and sustainable transport.

Peter has worked in local government as an elected councillor, in state government as an advisor to three Premiers, in the Australian Government on the Board of Infrastructure Australia and in the UN on the IPCC as a Lead Author for Transport. His new book is ‘The End of Automobile Dependence: How Cities are Moving Beyond Car Based Planning’.

Professor Edward Ng - Professor of Architecture, Chinese University of Hong Kong

Edward NgProfessor Edward Ng is an architect and Yao Ling Sun Professor of Architecture in the School of Architecture of The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK). He specializes in Green Building, Environmental and Sustainable Design, and Urban Climatology for City Planning. Professor Ng is also the Director of the Master of Science of Sustainable and Environmental Design Programme.

As an environmental consultant to the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, Professor Ng developed the performance-based daylight design practice note, the Air Ventilation Assessment Technical Guidelines and the Urban Climatic Maps for City Planning. He is now working with the governments and agencies in Singapore and Macau, as well as a number of Chinese cities, on Urban Climatic Maps. Professor Ng has published over 400 papers and 3 books. He has twice received the International Award from the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA). 

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