AHURI Research Webinar Series

Connecting affordable housing and jobs in Australian cities

Wednesday 5 August 2020 at 10am (AEST)

View the video recording

View the presentation slides

About the event

Australian cities show a growing mismatch between the locations of employment and the geography of affordable rental housing. Low-income workers, who play a critical role in urban labour markets, are finding it increasingly difficult to access affordable rental housing near major employment centres.

This free webinar presented the findings from a new AHURI research project — Strategic planning, ‘city deals’ and affordable housing — led by Dr Madeleine Pill, University of Sheffield, UK (formerly University of Sydney) and Professor Nicole Gurran, University of Sydney. Following the research presentation, the report authors participated in a discussion with AHURI’s Executive Director Dr Michael Fotheringham and took questions from the audience.

This research examines international and Australian practice in using place-based planning and funding interventions (i.e. they are targeted at specific areas or regions such as at a particular city or geographical area), such as ‘city deals’, to deliver affordable rental housing near employment centres and to enhance urban productivity.

In this 90 minute webinar you will learn:

  • How place-based deals in Australia can be leveraged to enhance urban and regional productivity by improving the links between jobs, transport and affordable rental housing
  • International examples of place-based deals and funding interventions from the US, UK, Canada and France
  • The role satellite cities such as Geelong (Victoria) and Wollongong (NSW) can play in addressing growth and affordability pressures in Melbourne and Sydney

This is an interactive webinar, so you will be able to submit questions throughout and the presentation, which will be responded to during the Q&A session. Please note that this webinar will be recorded and made available following the event.

We would like to acknowledge the generous support of our sponsor for this webinar – the Housing Industry Association.



Madeleine PillDr Madeleine Pill, University of Sheffield, UK (formerly University of Sydney)

Dr Madeleine Pill’s research focuses on the theory and practice of governance and policy at the urban/ local and neighbourhood levels.  As Senior Lecturer in Public Policy at the University of Sydney, Dr Pill was a member of the research team led by Professor Gurran for the Inquiry into urban productivity and affordable rental housing supply.  She also worked with Professor Gurran to research the scale, drivers and policy responses to Sydney’s informal housing, with the support of the Urban Housing Lab and Sydney Policy Lab.

Dr Pill has written journal articles and reports on collaborative governance in the context of austerity in the UK and US, and on shifts in governmental policy and practice in the UK, including the English localism agenda and neighbourhood planning.  In January 2020 Dr Pill returned home to the UK and is now at the University of Sheffield’s Department of Urban Studies and Planning, where she is Deputy Director (Cities, Environment and Liveability) for the White Rose Doctoral Training Partnership, supported by the Economic and Social Research Council.  Her book, Governing Cities: Politics and Policy, will be published by Palgrave in 2021.

Nicole GurranProf Nicole Gurran, The University  of Sydney

Nicole Gurran is Professor of Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Sydney, where she directs the University’s AHURI (Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute) research centre. Her research focuses on intersections between urban planning and the housing system and she has led and collaborated on a series of studies on aspects of urban policy, housing, sustainability and planning, funded by AHURI, the Australian Research Council, as well as state and local government. Professor Gurran has authored and co-authored numerous publications and books including Politics, Planning and Housing Supply in Australia, England and Hong Kong,(Routledge, July 2016), Australian Urban Land Use Planning: Principles, Policy, and Practice (2011), and Urban Planning and the housing market (2017, Palgrave).

Professor Gurran has taught post-graduate students at the University of Sydney across planning practice, housing policy, history and theory, since 2002. She has served as State appointed independent member of the Sydney South and Western Sydney Planning Panels since 2016 and currently co-convenes the Australian Cities Research Network which hosts the bi-annual State of Australian Cities Conference. She serves as an Associate Editor on the Journal of the American Planning Association and Reviews and Debates editor for Urban Policy and Research journal.


Michael FotheringhamDr Michael Fotheringham, Executive Director, AHURI (facilitator)

Michael is a research and policy development specialist with experience in a wide range of areas including housing and homelessness, public health, urban and community services planning. After joining the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute in 2014, he was appointed Executive Director in 2017 and is now responsible for setting the strategic direction of the Institute and leading the development of a contemporary and policy relevant evidence-base on housing, homelessness and urban issues.

Michael has expertise in building research programs and policy agendas with not-for-profit, government and academic organisations. He currently serves on a variety of expert advisory panels including the Australian Government’s Smart Cities Reference Group, the Housing Supply Expert Panel, the Queensland Housing and Homelessness Research Alliance, The Urban Futures and Sustainable Living Expert Research Advisory Group, and the Homes for Homes Housing Advisory Group.

A message from our sponsor

Maintaining housing supply in every part of the housing spectrum, from public to private, is the key to supporting access to safe, decent and affordable housing options for all Australians. HIA’s members are engaged every day to build these homes. The growth in smart cities and the future innovation in housing is something on the mind of all home builders and their customers. Supporting this webinar provides a way to engage with AHURI’s stakeholders to understand the challenges of achieving housing supply across the housing spectrum and to identify potential actions to improve this outcome.


Register here