Professor Libby Porter

Professor Libby Porter is a Vice Chancellor’s Principal Research Fellow. Her research is about how urban development causes dispossession and displacement and what we should do about it. Her work has looked at these questions in a number of different ways including: Indigenous rights in urban planning and natural resource management; cities and diversity; gentrification and displacement; the impact of mega-events on cities; sustainability and urban governance.

Her current research focuses on marginalized property rights as ways of reconceiving the right to the city in the very different contexts of Australia, Brazil and Chile. Her new co-authored book Planning for Coexistence? Recognising Indigenous Rights through Land-Use Planning in Canada and Australia will be published with Ashgate [now Routledge] in April 2016.

She is also author of Unlearning the Colonial Cultures of Planning (Ashgate 2010) and co-editor with Kate Shaw of Whose Urban Renaissance? An international comparison of urban regeneration policies (Routledge 2009).

Libby is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and has held academic appointments in the UK and Australia. Prior to that, she worked in policy and research in the Victorian public service and was a member of the Expert Advisory Panel for Melbourne 2030. She is Lead Editor of Interface for Planning Theory and Practice, and is a co-founder and ongoing member of Planners Network UK.

Libby is always keen to speak with students interested in pursuing postgraduate study or postdoctoral research in areas related to her research interests especially in the fields of planning and Indigenous peoples, urban Indigenous studies, and on urban displacement.

Expert commentary on...

Expert commentary on...

Urban planning, Critical urban governance, Indigenous people and planning, Gentrification and displacement, Urban sustainability, Planning theory.

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Projects

Talking Country: Sharing Indigenous stories of place through mobile media

2019–2023

This project aims to investigate how media technologies can facilitate cross-cultural engagement between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people.

Digital innovations, PropTech and housing – the view from Melbourne

2019 (ongoing)

This research is concerned with the collection, digitisation and use of housing information in Australia.

Understanding the assumptions and impacts of the Victorian Public Housing Renewal Program

2018–2019

This research project aimed to evaluate the claims of the PHRP and its underlying model in order to establish an accurate evidence base and assess the anticipated impact of the model on public housing residents in Melbourne.

Willum Warrain Gathering Place: Connecting Country, culture and community

2018–2019

The Willum Warrain Aboriginal Gathering Place offers a space, in Hastings, south-east of Melbourne, where Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people can come together to explore their goals, ideas and identity.

Urban Systems for Liveability

2018 (ongoing)

This project investigates the impacts on the lived experience of people in major Australian cities, focusing on the effects of land-use, diffuse air pollution, transport, urban heat and the interconnections between them.

Who owns the Sustainable City?

2016–2018

Cities are central to achieving sustainability, yet urban redevelopments – often justified as sustainable – have displaced 15 million people. This research asks how we can find socially sustainable paths of urban development.

Planning for Co-Existence? Recognising Indigenous rights in planning

2015

This project looked at what happens when demands for recognition of Indigenous rights meet planning systems in Canada and Australia.

News & Blog

Shh! Don’t mention the public housing shortage. But no serious action on homelessness can ignore it

10 October 2019

Today, October 10, is World Homeless Day. Next week the Council to Homeless Persons will convene the Victorian Homelessness Conference to discuss options for ending homelessness.

Blog

What kind of state values a freeway’s heritage above the heritage of our oldest living culture?

23 August 2019

What kind of world do we live in when freeways are valued as of greater cultural significance than the practice of the oldest living culture in the world?

Media

Public housing program risks reducing homes for vulnerable groups: report

29 May 2019

A new report evaluating the Victorian Government’s program to redevelop inner suburban public housing estates says the plan may reduce the amount of homes available for vulnerable households.

News

Willum Warrain Gathering Place: Connecting Country, culture and community

27 May 2019

A new RMIT project celebrates the powerful story of an Indigenous gathering place and how it connects cultures, communities and Country.

News

Meet the women helping plan the cities of tomorrow

05 March 2019

As Melbourne grows, we need to better plan how we build healthy, equitable and liveable cities. Here four RMIT researchers talk about how their work is helping deliver better cities.

Blog

Business as usual? The Sustainable Development Goals apply to Australian cities too

19 September 2018

We are still settling Australian cities on unceded Aboriginal lands. With the global agreement on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in 2015, development has finally come home to the developed world.

News

Remaking Cities: 14th Urban History Planning History Conference Proceedings

30 May 2018

Remaking Cities was the theme of the 14th Urban History Planning History conference, a biennial and multi-disciplinary gathering of scholars and practitioners with interests in the histories of cities and urban planning.

Blog

Decolonising Settler Cities

29 May 2018

Decolonising Settler Cities was a series of events held throughout 2017 bringing together Indigenous and non-Indigenous activists, scholars, communities and practitioners to share their questions and critiques, experience and knowledge of cities as settler-colonial modes of power, and the possibilities and obstacles they present for Indigenous land justice.

News

Remaking imperial power in the city: The case of the Barak building

18 May 2018

On 3 March 2015, the enormous drapes that had been covering a new building in central Melbourne were thrown off to reveal an extraordinary sight: a colossal image of a face staring down the city’s civic spine.

Blog

Indigenous communities are reworking urban planning, but planners need to accept their history

08 May 2018

Nearly 80% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Australia live in urban areas but cities often exclude and marginalise them.

News

Indigenous people and planning: How Australian planning practice has miserably failed

23 May 2017

While planning is undoubtedly important in creating better places for people, the connection between people and place, for Indigenous people globally, in all their diversity, is even more profound and central to everyday life.

News

Decolonising Settler Cities Symposium — call for participants

04 May 2017

This event is the joint initiative of the Urban Geography Study Group and the Indigenous Peoples’ Knowledges and Rights Study Group of the Institution of Australian Geographers.

Publications

Placing Property: Theorizing the Urban from Settler Colonial Cities

Naama Blatman-Thomas, Professor Libby Porter

International Journal of Urban and Regional Research

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