Professor Michael Buxton

Michael Buxton is a professor of Environment and Planning at the School of Global, Urban and Social Studies, RMIT University.

Professor Michael Buxton joined RMIT in 1998 after 12 years in senior management with Victorian Government Planning and Environment agencies, and with the Victorian Environment Protection Authority. He formerly headed the intergovernmental process for developing Australia’s National Greenhouse Strategy, and the group responsible for the development and implementation of environmental policy in Victoria. He was an elected Victorian local government councilor and Mayor for ten years and was a member of the Upper Yarra Valley and Dandenong Ranges Authority for six years. He is a former lecturer at Monash University, Melbourne.

Michael heads a research team carrying out extensive research into peri-urban regions, including a national study titled Change and Continuity in Peri-Urban Australia. This team’s national and Victorian studies have investigated the nature and extent of contemporary peri-urban regions in Australia; identified future patterns of socio-economic, environmental change in peri-urban landscapes; and developed scenarios for future land use and management based on ‘business as usual’, interventionist and deregulated options. Change and Continuity in Peri-Urban Australia was a collaborative project between RMIT and Griffith Universities, funded by Land and Water Australia.

Michael Buxton has contributed extensively to government policy and maintains strong industry and professional connections. He is former chairperson Premier’s Green Wedge Working Party which advised the Victorian government on the introduction of a legislated urban growth boundary and revised green wedge zones for Melbourne’s green belt; former member of the Melbourne 2030 Implementation Reference Group; and has been a member of many government committees.

Expert commentary on...

International environmental law and its impact on national policy, Greenhouse policy, Integrated transport-land use planning and city planning, Fringe area and rural planning, Natural resource use.

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Projects

Improved Urban Systems for Liveability

This project investigates how major cities function and the effects of their land-use, housing and infrastructure systems on the humans that live in them.

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Melbourne at 8 Million: Matching Land Supply to Dwelling Demand

This project investigated available land supply for residential development in Melbourne to test the city’s capacity to cater for a projected population of 8 million by 2050.

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News & Blog

This is how regional rail can help ease our big cities’ commuter crush

In Sydney and Melbourne, the squeeze is on. Population is booming; house prices are still rising; roads and trains are congested. Australian governments generally have ignored the benefits of relating metropolitan and regional planning.

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Airport privatisations have put profit before public safety and good planning

The plane crash at Essendon Airport last week shows the folly of allowing runways to co-exist with commercial development.

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Liveable Melbourne: Is it really?

Melbourne has been named the world’s most liveable city again, but is it really? Environment and planning professor Michael Buxton explains why Melbourne is at risk of losing its liveable status.

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Shift in regional rail policy crucial to meet population growth: study

RMIT Centre for Urban Research together with Rail Futures launch a new landmark report calling for major investment in Victoria's regional rail system to meet the state’s future challenges.

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New book maps Melbourne’s past, present and future

A new book by RMIT urban planning experts delves into our city’s past to present a citizen’s handbook that unlocks the potential for shaping Melbourne's future.

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Publications

When growth collides: conflict between urban and airport growth in Melbourne, Australia

This paper examines the failures of Commonwealth, State and local policy and planning systems to prevent extensive urban encroachment over the past 50 years in the green belt surrounding Melbourne Airport and the reciprocal impacts from this development.

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Planning Melbourne: Lessons for a Sustainable City

The book examines past debates and policies, the choices planners have faced and the mistakes and sound decisions that have been made.

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Soil moisture change and land use in Victoria, Australia

Professor Michael Buxton, N.Y. Osman-Schlegel, D. Lopes

This study examines trends in soil moisture in three, twenty-year, and six, ten-year periods from 1948-2007.

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Spatial planning and changing landscapes: a failure of policy in peri-urban Victoria, Australia

Llausas, A, Buxton, M and Beilin, R 2016, 'Spatial planning and changing landscapes: a failure of policy in peri-urban Victoria, Australia', Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, vol. 59, no. 7, pp. 1304-1322.

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Spatial planning and changing landscapes: a failure of policy in peri-urban Victoria, Australia

Albert Llausas, Professor Michael Buxton, Ruth Beilin

This paper identifies the most likely environmental impacts on rural landscapes in the study area if forecasted trends in land development and demand, and population growth, eventuate in rural environments.

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Alternative Futures for Melbourne’s Peri-Urban Region

Alternative futures for Melbourne’s peri-urban region is a collaborative research project by researchers from RMIT University’s School of Global, Urban and Social Studies, Spatial Vision and La Trobe University’s School of Humanities.

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Melbourne at 8 Million: Matching Land Supply to Dwelling Demand

This report proposes one approach to preparing for a doubling of the population of Melbourne without assuming the desirability or other of such an increase.

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The impact of planning ‘reform’ on the Victorian land use planning system

Buxton, M and Goodman, R 2014, 'The impact of planning 'reform' on the Victorian land use planning system', Australian Planner, vol. 51, no. 2, pp. 132-140.

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