Barbara  Norman Author of Evaluating Organization Development

Barbara Norman

Chair & Professor Urban & Regional Planning
University of Canberra

Prof Barbara Norman is Chair of Urban Planning and Director of Canberra Urban & Regional Futures, University of Canberra. She is Chair of the ACT Climate Change Council, Hon Professor University of Warwick (UK) and Visiting Fellow at ANU. Barbara is past national president of the Planning Institute of Australia. Barbara has a Bachelor of Town & Regional Planning, Masters of Environmental Law and a PhD on sustainable coastal planning. Barbara received an Australian Centenary Medal.


Professor Barbara Norman is the Foundation Chair of Urban and Regional Planning and Director of Canberra Urban and Regional Futures (CURF) at the University of Canberra. Professor Norman is Chair of the ACT Climate Change Council, an Honorary Professor at the University of Warwick and a Visiting Fellow at the Australian National University. Barbara is a Life Fellow and past national president of the Planning Institute of Australia and a Life Honorary Fellow of the Royal Town Planning Institute (UK). Barbara’s qualifications include a Bachelor of Town & Regional Planning, Masters of Environmental Law and a PhD on sustainable coastal planning. She also has a substantial professional background having worked at all levels of government and run her own practice. Her current research and teaching interests include sustainable cities and regions, coastal planning, climate change adaptation and urban governance. Barbara was a contributing author to IPCC 5 WG 2 report on Impacts 2014. Professor Norman advises the public and private sector in Australia and has strong international linkages within Asia, Europe and the United States. Barbara was awarded an Australian Centenary Medal for her contribution to the community through urban and regional planning.


    Bachelor Urban Planning, University of Melbourne, 1979
    Master Environmental Law, ANU, 1996
    PhD, RMIT University, 2010

Areas of Research / Professional Expertise

    Sustainable cities and regions
    Integrated coastal planning
    Climate change adaptation

Personal Interests

    Playing guitar
    Swimming at the coast
    Great books and films



Featured Title
 Featured Title - Sustainable Pathways for our Cities and Regions- Norman - 1st Edition book cover


Global Asia

The Future of Global Warming and Its Impact on Asia

Published: Jan 19, 2018 by Global Asia
Authors: Barbara Norman & Nicole Gurran
Subjects: Built Environment, Environment and Sustainability, Urban Planning

If we imagine an Asian future under climatechange, the scenario is bleak — violent weather, displaced communities, coastal flooding, foodshortages and more. But this does not have to happen. Concerted efforts at the urban, rural and national level can help create a manageable future. China and the US already showed a way forward by agreeing to limits on global warming.

ANU Press

Regional solutions for Multi- level Governance Challenges in Australian Coast..

Published: Nov 01, 2017 by ANU Press
Authors: Barbara Norman & Nicole Gurran
Subjects: Built Environment, Environment and Sustainability, Urban Planning

This chapter explores the experience of regional alliances in identifying what strategies could provide the foundations for more sustainable coastal planning and the implications for multi-level governance. The chapter suggests that a national policy framework for sustainable cities and regions should underpin long-term regional arrangements for a more sustainable and resilient coastal future.

Journal for Nature Conservation

Biodiversity on the brink: Evaluating a transdisciplinary research collaboration

Published: Aug 01, 2017 by Journal for Nature Conservation
Authors: Michael Mitchell, Susan A. Moore, S Clement, M Lockwood, G Anderson, S Gaynor, L Gilfed, B Norman, E Lefroy
Subjects: Environment and Sustainability

This paper presents an evaluation of the strategies fostering transdisciplinarity adopted by the Landscapes and Policy Hub. A heavy emphasis on communication, with skilled knowledge brokering, regular face-to-face meetings using participatory activities and shared field engagements enhanced transdisciplinary interaction between researchers and research users.


Sustainable urban systems: Co-design and framing for transformation

Published: Aug 01, 2017 by AMBIO
Authors: R Webb, X Bai, M Stafford Smith, R Costanza, D Griggs, M Moglia, M Neuman, P Newman, P Newton, B, Norman, C Ryan H & ors
Subjects: Environment and Sustainability, Urban Studies

There is an increasing need for collaborative knowledge development that supports a whole-of-system view, and transformational change at multiple scales. Such holistic urban approaches are rare inpractice. A co-design process involving researchers, practitioners and other stakeholders, has progressed such an approach in the Australian context, aiming to also contribute to international knowledge development and sharing. DOI 10.1007/s13280-017-0934-6

National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility, Australia

Climate Ready Cities

Published: Oct 01, 2016 by National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility, Australia
Authors: Barbara Norman & Nicole Gurran
Subjects: Built Environment, Environment and Sustainability, Urban Planning

Projected population growth in Australia is from 24 million at present to 40 million by 2050, and the vast majority of these people will live in our large urban centres. Preparing cities to be 'climate ready' is critical to minimising risk for urban communities and, in the longer term, improving urban resilience to projected climate change impacts.


Navigating through the Urban Age: Principles and Innovations

Published: May 01, 2016 by Solutions
Authors: Xuemei Bai, Barbara Norman, Peter Edwards
Subjects: Built Environment, Environment and Sustainability, Urban Planning, Urban Studies

There are numerous challenges associated with rapid urbanization, including providing for rapidly growing urban populations, managing air pollution, reducing carbon emissions, preparing for climate change risks, and improving social integration and governance procedures. In this regard, understanding cities as systems that are nested within larger systems will be critical.


COP 23: three ways cities are leading the fight against climate change

By: Barbara Norman
Subjects: Built Environment, Environment and Sustainability, Urban Planning

The global population is predicted to rise to 10 billion by 2050, and the majority of those people will live in cities. Given that cities already account for 75% of the world’s energy use and 76% of carbon dioxide emissions, there’s a growing focus on how urban planning and design can reduce emissions and help humanity to adapt to the impacts of climate change.

Representatives of the world’s global powers have gathered in Bonn to attend the 23rd Conference of the Parties to the UN Convention on Climate Change – more pithily known as COP 23.

Working together to affect large-scale change has been the key message of the conference. There has been a groundswell of urban innovation on show, largely driven by the mayors and governors of cities and regions, as well as industry leaders and universities interested in promoting opportunities for greener growth.

These bodies have formed alliances and networks to develop ideas and strategies around smart mobility, renewable energy, living infrastructure and sustainable urban design. This has been the good news story of COP 23. The conference has given nation states a unique opportunity to work more closely with cities, to plan for climate change.

In Quito, the world meets to discuss the future of cities

By: Barbara Norman
Subjects: Built Environment, Environment and Sustainability, Urban Planning

As the global population grows from seven to nearly ten billion by 2050, we will need to build the equivalent of a city of one million people every five days to house them.

The world already has ten cities with more than 20 million inhabitants, including Tokyo (37 million), Beijing (21 million), Jakarta (30 million) and New Delhi (25 million). Out of the seven billion people in the world, 6.7 billion live with pollution above WHO clean air standards.

By 2050, around 12 million people from 23 cities in East Asia alone will be at risk from coastal inundation. Planning for climate change will be critical to minimise risk to these areas.

These are just some of the stark facts about our global urban future.

With these issues in mind, up to 50,000 participants have gathered in Quito this week to discuss a New Urban Agenda at Habitat III – the United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development.

The adoption of the agenda will set standards for sustainable development with a strong emphasis on social inclusion, cultural diversity, urban prosperity, urban governance, urban spatial development, and integrated urban planning including climate change.

Australia courting danger with the Great Barrier Reef

By: Barbara Norman
Subjects: Built Environment, Environment and Sustainability, Urban Planning

What is really needed to rescue the reef is an integrated regional plan. That would take into account the environmental impacts both on land and on water, from port development and associated infrastructure, coastal urban development, agriculture and tourism. It should also factor in impacts such as farm run-off and climate change.

Without such a plan, decisions such as those taken about Abbot Point are piecemeal and premature.

As a maturing developed nation, it’s time for Australia to decide what is really important to our future. Protecting the Great Barrier Reef – one of the great wonders of the world and a treasure to be preserved for future generations – must be on that list.