Robert Freestone is Professor of Planning and Urban Development
in the Faculty of the Built Environment at the University of New
South Wales in Sydney. He has held previous appointments in the
Department of Geography at the University of Melbourne, the Urban
Research Program at the Australian National University, the NSW
Department of Planning, and Sydney planning consultancy Design Collaborative.
He has a master’s degree in geography and public affairs from the
University of Minnesota and a doctorate in urban studies from Macquarie
University. His research interests are in planning history, metropolitan
planning, and education.
He has been involved in Australian Research Council-funded research
on the role of sustainability in planned remote communities; the
contribution of early town planning associations to the development
of Australian planning culture; patterns and processes of suburban
housing renewal; and the evolution and policy implications of major
airport activity centres. His work has won several professional
research awards for excellence.
He is associate editor of the journal Planning Perspectives and
sits on the editorial advisory boards of seven other international
journals. He has written and edited or co-edited eleven books. These
include Urban Nation: Australia’s Planning Heritage (2010), Cities,
Citizens and Environmental Reform (2009), Designing Australia’s
Cities (2007), Human Scale in Architecture (2003), The Australian
Metropolis: A Planning History (2000), Urban Planning in a Changing
World (2000), Spirited Cities (1994), and Model Communities (1989).
He was elected to Fellowships of the Planning Institute of Australia
in 2005, the Institute of Australian Geographers in 2008, and the
Academy of Social Sciences in Australia in 2009. He is immediate
Past President of the International Planning History Society, serves
on the Planning Institute of Australia’s National Education Committee,
and in 2010 was appointed to the Research Evaluation Committee in
Humanities and Creative Arts for the Australian Government’s Excellence
in Research for Australia initiative.
William Cobbett has been Manager of the Cities Alliance
since May 2006. He joined the Cities Alliance in March 2001 on secondment
from the United Nations Human Settlements Programme in Nairobi,
where he had designed and launched the Global Campaign for Secure
Tenure. Born in South Africa, William was overall coordinator of
Planact, an urban NGO providing policy and technical support to
civic organisations and trades unions. He moved to the African National
Congress (ANC) headquarters in 1992, where he was National Coordinator
of the Department of Local and Regional Government, and Housing.
After the 1994 General election, he was appointed Director General
of the National Department of Housing, reporting to Minister Joe
Slovo. Prior to joining the United Nations, he was Director of Housing
for Cape Town. William has a BA (Hons) degree from Middlesex Polytechnic
in London, and lives in Maryland with his wife Mary, and four children.