Professor Jago Dodson

Jago Dodson was appointed Professor of Urban Policy and Director of the Centre for Urban Research at RMIT University in 2014.

With a wide interest in theoretical and applied urban questions, Professor Jago Dodson has an extensive record of research into housing, transport, urban planning, infrastructure, energy and urban governance problems. He has contributed extensively to scholarly and public debates about Australian cities and has advised national and international agencies on urban policy questions.

Before taking his current role at RMIT, Jago held positions at Griffith University, as a Research Fellow from 2004–2014 and as Director of Griffith’s Urban Research Program from 2011–2014.

Jago’s PhD studies investigated problems in housing policy reform in Australia and New Zealand focusing on the production of policy ‘truths’ and the subjective constitution of housing assistance recipients.

During his early post-doctoral enquiries, he investigated transport questions including important interventions into transport policy debates in New Zealand and provided new insights into transport disadvantage in Australian cities. Subsequent work addressed a wide range of problems relating to transport, housing and metropolitan governance as well as the energy dimensions of suburbanisation.

A highlight has been his new insights into the problem of ‘oil vulnerability’ in Australian cities, particularly household socio-economic stresses from rising housing and transport fuel costs, and a new method – ‘the VAMPIRE index’ – to assess this phenomenon. This work won the John H Taplin Prize for Best Paper at the 2006 Australasian Transportation Research Forum. Jago has also provided summary reviews on housing and social theory and on planning and human geography, to key reference texts.

Recent work has studied questions of urban socio-technical practices within suburbia and the challenges of managing compact urbanisation and housing markets, as well as problems of urban governance and infrastructure planning. In addition Jago has assessed the role of the private development sector in climate change adaptation; the national broadband network and metropolitan planning; private motor vehicle fuel efficiency; and national level urban policy making in Australia, among other topics. His most recent book is Australian Environmental Planning (2014) co-edited with colleagues Jason Byrne and Neil Sipe which won the Planning Institute of Australia National Award for Cutting Edge Research.

Jago’s research record includes more than 70 publications, with one sole author, one joint author and one joint-edited book and 26 refereed journal articles, 18 book chapters and 30 refereed conference papers. He has contributed extensively to scholarly, policy and public debates on urban problems in Australia and internationally.

Jago currently supervises six PhD students and welcomes enquiries from prospective PhD scholars on topics relevant to his expertise.

Expert commentary on...

Urban planning, Urban policy, Transport planning, Housing policy, Infrastructure, Urban governance, Urban energy, Urban vulnerability, Planning theory, Urban economics.

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Projects

Policy@RMIT

2017–2020

Policy@RMIT (P@R) aims to study and enable collaborations between researchers and policy practitioners in co-producing research that supports evidence-informed policy in addressing major policy and societal issues.

Innovative responses to urban transportation: current practice in Australian cities

2019–2020

This project investigates drivers and processes of change within Australian metropolitan transport systems to identify future options and directions for policy development.

What can Geelong learn from international second cities?

2016

This project investigates the success of second cities overseas outlines a future economic vision for Geelong and second cities across Australia.

Building research infrastructure for urban policy research

2016–2017

Australian Policy Online is curating an open access collection of historic urban policy resources in collaboration with University partners.

Improved Urban Systems for Liveability

2016–2021

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.

News & Blog

Blog

Think taxing electric vehicle use is a backward step? Here’s why it’s an important policy advance

26 November 2020

The South Australian and Victorian governments have announced, and New South Wales is considering, road user charges on electric vehicles.

Blog

Regional cities beware – fast rail might lead to disadvantaged dormitories, not booming economies

17 July 2019

Governments are looking to fast rail services to regional cities to relieve population pressures in major cities, but will subsidising metropolitan workers to live in cheaper regional towns have a positive economic effect?

Blog

Australia’s social housing policy needs stronger leadership and an investment overhaul

03 July 2019

Australia will need another 730,000 social housing dwellings in 20 years if it is to tackle homelessness and housing stress among low-income renters.

News

Social and spatial characteristics of the future urban vehicle fleet

05 April 2019

Innovative data use and modelling is helping uncover important questions around social justice in our urban vehicle fleets.

Media

RMIT experts available for comment on State Budget

01 May 2018

Experts from RMIT are available to talk to media from 6am this morning about a range of topics and issues relating to the 2018-19 State Budget.

Media

Expert comment on Melbourne Airport train link

12 April 2018

RMIT University infrastructure and urban planning expert Professor Jago Dodson says a new rail link for Melbourne’s airport is welcome news, but needs to be part of a broader transport plan if it is to have major benefit.

News

New report helps guide urban investment in growing outer suburbs

21 March 2018

A new report examining transformational urban projects across Australia aims to provide councils experiencing rapid population growth a guide on how to restructure economic and community functions.

Blog

IPCC cities conference tackles gaps between science and climate action on the ground

14 March 2018

Some 600 climate scientists, urban researchers, policymakers and practitioners attended the International Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) first ever conference on cities last week.

Blog

All the signs point to our big cities’ need for democratic, metro-scale governance

01 March 2018

Infrastructure Australia has called for metropolitan-scale governance of Australia’s largest cities. The new report by the Commonwealth’s statutory infrastructure agency, which sought to scope out the prospects for Sydney and Melbourne over the next 25 years, identifies integrated governance and leadership as keys to success.

Blog

Transurban’s West Gate tollway is a road into uncharted territory

21 December 2017

Like the controversial East West Link, this project has no electoral mandate, and was rushed through the formal planning processes. It’s also part of a trend seen in other Australian states for projects to be announced before alternative planning options are considered.

Blog

How Melbourne’s west was greened

17 October 2017

Urban greening projects in Melbourne’s west are contributing to making the region cooler, more pleasant and healthier to live in and travel through. The key to this success is the Greening the West initiative.

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Who’s responsible? Housing policy mismatched to our $6 trillion asset

22 June 2017

Does the Australian government have the policy, organisational and conceptual capacity to handle the country’s A$6 trillion housing stock?

Publications

Social housing as infrastructure: rationale, prioritisation and investment pathway

Associate Professor Julie Lawson, Todd Denham, Professor Jago Dodson, Kathleen Flanagan, Keith Jacobs, Chris Martin, Ryan van den Nouwelant, Hal Pawson, Laurence Troy

Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute

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Understanding the role of the water sector in urban liveability and greening interventions

Casey Furlong, Caroline Uittenbroek, Natalie Gulsrud, Montserrat Termes-Rife, Professor Jago Dodson, Rob Skinner
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Transformational Infrastructure Projects in Australia’s Fast Growing Outer Suburbs

Todd Denham, Professor Jago Dodson, Dr Matthew Palm, Professor Carolyn Whitzman, Dr Cathryn Hamilton, Professor Jon Kellett, Dr Paul Maginn, Dr Kirsten Martinus
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