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Keynote Speakers

Prefessor Rob Freestone William Cobbett
   


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
Manager
Cities Alliance

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.

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