Planning Metropolitan Australia: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Planning Metropolitan Australia

1st Edition

Edited by Stephen Hamnett, Robert Freestone


224 pages | 70 B/W Illus.

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Paperback: 9780367501952
pub: 2020-04-01
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Hardback: 9781138241077
pub: 2017-10-23
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pub: 2017-10-24
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Australia has long been a highly (sub)urbanized nation, but the major distinctive feature of its contemporary settlement pattern is that the great majority of Australians live in a small number of large metropolitan areas focused on the state capital cities. The development and application of effective urban policy at a regional scale is a significant global challenge given the complexities of urban space and governance. Building on the editors’ previous collection The Australian Metropolis: A Planning History (2000), this new book examines the recent history of metropolitan planning in Australia since the beginning of the twenty-first century. After a historical prelude, the book is structured around a series of six case studies of metropolitan Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide, Perth, the fast-growing metropolitan region of South-East Queensland centred on Brisbane, and the national capital of Canberra. These essays are contributed by some of Australia’s leading urbanists. Set against a dynamic background of economic change, restructured land uses, a more diverse population, and growing spatial and social inequality, the book identifies a broad planning consensus around the notion of making Australian cities more contained, compact and resilient. But it also observes a continuing gulf between the simplified aims of metropolitan strategies and our growing understanding of the complex functioning of the varied communities in which most people live. This book reflects on the raft of planning challenges presented at the metropolitan scale, looks at what the future of Australian cities might be, and speculates about the prospects of more effective metropolitan planning arrangements.


'… this work paints a comprehensive picture of urbanized Australia and how it has evolved in the last 20 years. By opening the way to new debates and offering new insights on many urban processes, Planning Metropolitan Australia is well positioned to become an urban-planning textbook and reference work, both in Australia and globally.' - Margot Abord de Chatillon, Metropolitics (

Table of Contents

1. The Metropolitan Perspective 1

Stephen Hamnett and Robert Freestone

2. Beginnings: The Evolution of Metropolitan Planning to the Late Twentieth Century 26

Robert Freestone and Christine Garnaut

3. Melbourne: Growing Pains for the Liveable City 51

Robin Goodman

4. Sydney: Growth, Globalization and Governance 76

Raymond Bunker, Robert Freestone and Bill Randolph

5. Adelaide: Tough Times in the City of Light 101

Stephen Hamnett and Jon Kellett

6. Perth: From ‘Large Provincial City’ to ‘Globalizing City’ 124

Paul J. Maginn and Neil Foley

7. South East Queensland: Change and Continuity in Planning 148

Paul Burton

8. Canberra: ‘Normalization’ or ‘the Pride of Time’? 170

Karl Friedhelm Fischer and James Weirick

9. The Metropolitan Condition 195

Brendan Gleeson

About the Editors

Stephen Hamnett is Emeritus Professor of Urban and Regional Planning at the University of South Australia in Adelaide and a Commissioner of the Environment, Resources and Development Court of South Australia.

Robert Freestone is Professor of Planning in the Faculty of Built Environment at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia.

About the Series

Planning, History and Environment Series

This series offers a unique window on the creation of the modern environment. Designed for an international readership, the emphasis is on:

  • urban and regional planning
  • recent as well as longer-term history
  • what the past can tell us about the present
  • local as well as global and comparative topics

Within this framework the books address three themes:

  • regional, continental and comparative studies
  • planning histories of key cities
  • changing planning ideologies and policies


Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
ARCHITECTURE / Urban & Land Use Planning