New home for urban research

RMIT University has launched a new inter-disciplinary research centre focusing on critical urban issues and sustainable city living.

Professor Mike Berry with his book, The Affluent Society Revisited.

Professor Goodman, Deputy Dean, Sustainability and Urban Planning in the School of Global, Urban and Social Studies and Director of the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute (AHURI) at RMIT, said the new centre reflected the University’s urban orientation.

“We research major urban issues to help shape sustainable cities and draw inspiration from the challenges and opportunities they provide – from Barcelona to Hanoi, Melbourne to Manchester, Rio to Shanghai,” she said.

“This significant new centre provides a leadership role for the University in the study of critical urban issues, and is also successful in building connections with industry, not-for profits and government.”

The Centre for Urban Research will provide a home for inter-disciplinary research, with a strong capacity for policy-orientated research and collaboration with industry and government.

Former Education Minister Bronwyn Pike (left) and Professor Robin Goodman (right) launch RMIT’s newest research centre.

Centre researchers are trained in urban planning, geography, environmental sciences, history and sociology – to name just a few disciplines that are strongly represented.

It also builds on the tradition and excellent reputation of AHURI at RMIT, established in 1999, which now sits within the new centre.

Since its inception a year ago, the Centre for Urban Research has experienced rapid growth. It now has 24 academic staff and a growing number of affiliated academic members.

Its aim is to be the largest and most significant of its kind in Australia, with a national and international profile.

The latest book by centre researcher Professor Mike Berry, The Affluent Society Revisited, was also launched at the event.

Professor Berry was foundation CEO of the National Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute and was the first Director of AHURI at RMIT.

He is a leading scholar of urban studies and public policy, with his research role at RMIT focusing on urban development processes, urban social theory, economics and public policy, and housing markets and policy.

The Affluent Society Revisited (Oxford University Press) examines John Kenneth Galbraith’s classic text The Affluent Society in the context of the background to – and causes of – the 2008 global economic crisis.

Each chapter takes a major theme of Galbraith’s book, distils his arguments, and then discusses to what extent they cast light on current developments.

Originally published on RMIT News.