The Planning and Transport in City Regions Program seeks to understand processes of urban development and patterns of mobility at the metro-regional scale, and the policy measures needed to improve the productivity, livability and sustainability of city-regions.

The program is focused on the case of Melbourne as a mega-city in the making and addresses the problems and challenges faced by planners in grappling with the city’s transformation.

The program’s work is nonetheless positioned within a national and international context and looks toward experience elsewhere in metropolitan scale land-use and transport planning to inform its research agenda.

Projects

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.

Western Suburbs Transport Studio (2017)

2017–2018

What’s best for the west? Plan Melbourne 2017-2050 and alternative transport futures for Melbourne’s western suburbs.

Networks and Space: Autonomous Vehicles in Suburban Melbourne Design-Research Studio

2017–2018

Assessing the spatial implications of Autonomous Vehicles as feeders to railway stations in suburban Melbourne

Early delivery of equitable and healthy transport options in new suburbs

2018–2020

The project will produce evidence and tools to assist both the public and private sectors provide transport options to residents of Melbourne’s new suburbs as soon as they move in.

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.

The Benefits of Elevated Rail: Lessons from the graduate design studio “Rail UP!”

2015–2016

The Victorian state government has committed to removing 50 level crossings in two terms of office: a faster rate of removal than in any other period in the history of railways in Melbourne.

Public Transport Accessibility in the City of Port Phillip

2015

Spatial Network Analysis for Multimodal Urban Transport Systems (SNAMUTS)

Key People

Lead researchers

Dr Tiebei Li

Dr Tiebei Li

Convener of Planning and Transport in City Regions

Associate Professor Andrew Butt

Associate Professor Andrew Butt

Convener of Planning and Transport in City Regions

Program Researchers

Higher Degree by Research Candidates

Related Content

News & Blog

Media

Response, recovery and resilience: experts react to the bushfire crisis

14 January 2020

Our experts respond to Australia's bushfires with perspectives on topics ranging from policy and planning, to community resilience, the mental health of first responders and the psychology of loss.

News

Seven ways the 1969 Transportation Plan shaped Melbourne

12 December 2019

December 12 2019 marks 50 years since the landmark 1969 Transportation Plan. Here, we take a look back on the plan that brought Melbourne its network of freeways and roads, and how its legacy stacks up in 2019.

Blog

We’re still fighting city freeways after half a century

11 December 2019

Like the modernist plans of its time, the 1969 Melbourne Metropolitan Transportation Plan was bold in ambition. Major motorways have been built across the city as a result of the plan.

Blog

The problem with transport models is political abuse, not their use in planning

10 December 2019

On the 50th anniversary of the Melbourne Transportation Plan, we review the role of transport modelling as a planning tool. What are models now telling us about the future of Australian cities?

Blog

50 years on from the Melbourne Transportation Plan

08 December 2019

The 1969 Melbourne Transportation Plan was perhaps the most influential planning policy in the city’s history. Every freeway and major arterial road built since then, as well as many current freeway and tollway projects and proposals, stem from this plan.

Media

Canberra model the key to creating successful new cities

21 October 2019

It often gets a bad rap, but Canberra could hold the secret to planning for Australia’s growing population and successfully decentralising our major cities, researchers say.

Blog

Australian city workers’ average commute has blown out to 66 minutes a day. How does yours compare

31 July 2019

Average daily commuting times across Australia also increased from about 49 minutes in 2002 to almost one hour in 2017 according to the latest Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA).

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

Walking and cycling to work makes commuters happier and more productive

04 July 2019

In Australia, more than 9 million people commute to work every weekday. The distance they travel and how they get there – car, public transport, cycling or walking – can influence their well-being and performance at work.

Blog

Of all the problems our cities need to fix, lack of car parking isn’t one of them

17 May 2019

Parking is a fiery issue in Australian cities. That’s because cars dominate our cities, supported by decades of unbalanced planning decisions favouring space for cars over other land uses or forms of transport

Blog

Crowded trains? Planning focus on cars misses new apartment impacts

12 May 2019

Wondering why you can’t get a seat on the train? Perhaps it’s because we don’t actually know how many extra people will use public transport when new building developments are planned.

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.

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.

News

Livin’ on the edge: How to plan a new suburb on Melbourne’s fringe

18 February 2019

With the Victorian Government releasing 50,000 housing lots for 12 new suburbs on Melbourne’s urban fringe, how can we ensure new areas like these are liveable and thrive?

News

Six ways to keep Melbourne moving at 8 million

11 February 2019

More people living in Melbourne means more trips across our transport network. RMIT experts share their views on how to plan for this pressure and keep our city moving.

News

How can we manage congestion on Victoria’s roads?

16 November 2018

Congestion is a key issue affecting Victoria’s transport sector. Here, our experts provide their insights on how we can better manage our roads.

News

Nine things to make Melbourne even better

30 October 2018

Here our experts share everything you need to know about how policymakers can make Melbourne more liveable, improve our liveability, reduce commuter crushes and increase housing affordability.

News

Researchers inviting participants for transport project

22 August 2018

A team of researchers at RMIT University are seeking interview participants for the project “Early delivery of equitable and healthy transport options in new suburbs: Critical reform and tools”.

News

Filling the space between trams and place

10 August 2018

How is movement and place represented across Melbourne’s tram network?

News

August 2018 edition of The Urban Observer out now

09 August 2018

With Australia’s population reaching 25 million this month, the liveability of our cities has become critically important for our national prosperity and sustainability.

Blog

How many people make a good city? It’s not the size that matters, but how you use it

08 August 2018

Australia’s population clock is, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, steadily ticking away at an overall total population increase of one person every 1 minute and 23 seconds.

Blog

Empty car parks everywhere, but nowhere to park. How cities can do better

20 July 2018

It’s a familiar story in Australian cities: a new apartment building is proposed, and debate soon follows about whether the new residents will have enough public transport or coffee shops. Just kidding.

News

New research puts the brakes on city car parking glut

22 June 2018

New research by an RMIT urban academic has revealed that up to 40 per cent of apartment parking in central areas of Melbourne are going unused.

News

May 2018 edition of The Urban Observer out now

18 May 2018

This third edition of our dedicated Centre magazine The Urban Observer, is testament to the strength of our research effort. This issue reports a remarkable volume of thinking and analysis across a diverse array of topics.

News

The evolution of metropolitan planning

18 May 2018

If one were to conduct an opinion poll among all the urban planners currently employed by local government authorities across metropolitan Melbourne with regard to the issue of state government regulation and interference, one might be reasonably safe to assert that the survey response would be ‘there is too much.’

News

Can remote sensing help answer planning and transport policy questions?

18 May 2018

With cars stationary 95 percent of the time, car parking is essential to car-based travel. Parking is also a widespread and controversial policy concern in planning and land use decisions. 

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.

Blog

Melbourne Airport is going to be as busy as Heathrow, so why the argument about one train line?

24 April 2018

In Melbourne, the politics of this debate has so far prevented a railway from being built, because it is not possible for one line to meet all of the landside access needs of the airport.

News

Melbourne needs second metro to get demand on track, experts warn

19 April 2018

Urban researchers are calling for a second Melbourne Metro Rail, warning the current project won’t meet the expected capacity demand unless the city plans for more rail line infrastructure.

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.

Media

Expert comment on Infrastructure Australia priority list

27 March 2018

RMIT University infrastructure expert Dr Ian Woodcock says the Victorian projects in Infrastructure Australia’s 2018 priority list will “lock Melburnians into increasingly toll-paying car dependence”.

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

New cities? It’s an idea worth thinking about for Australia

14 March 2018

Is there a case for revisiting the idea of new cities for Australia in the light of recent population projections and resurgent debate about the implications of a big Australia?

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

The elephant in the planning scheme: how cities still work around the dominance of parking space

29 January 2018

Car parking is expected but often unnoticed, taking up surprisingly large proportions of city space. A parking bay occupies at least 13 square metres – some codes specify up to 30 square metres including access ways.

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.

Media

New report raises serious concerns about West Gate Tunnel

07 December 2017

The West Gate Tunnel Project could worsen Melbourne’s traffic congestion, increase car dependency and should be rolled back, according to a new report from six leading planning academics.

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.

News

New bus route improves well-being and social connection in Melbourne’s new communities

18 August 2017

Research exploring the impact of a bus route a new housing development on Melbourne’s south-east growth corridor has revealed the positive effects on community well being with the early delivery of bus services in new greenfield developments.

News

How can we make living on the edge better?

18 August 2017

New research by RMIT urban academics calls for greater collaboration between urban planners and social workers to deal with new and emerging forms of poverty and spatial disadvantages affecting Australians.

News

The price for abundant free car parking is greater than we think

18 August 2017

Car parking - we all use it and expect it everywhere, but the hidden cost it has on our cities is huge.

Blog

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

07 August 2017

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.

Blog

Airport rail link can open up new possibilities for the rest of Melbourne

29 June 2017

Melburnians have been talking about a train to Tullamarine Airport since well before it opened. Now Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has made clear his enthusiasm for an airport rail line, with or without state government support.

Blog

When will the democracy deliver ‘car independence’ day in Yangon

08 June 2017

At the dawn of the 21st century, planners around the world will consider a new agenda for cities. They would shrug off the dimly remembered nightmare of snaking concrete highways and smog-occluded horizons.

News

2017 Vice-Chancellor Fellows at CUR

23 May 2017

The Vice-Chancellor’s Research Fellows are researchers with an excellent track record who can make a significant contribution to RMIT's research priority areas.

Blog

We must plan the driverless city to avoid being hostage to the technology revolution

28 April 2017

As with Uber and the taxi industry, public sector planners and regulators will be forced to respond to the anger of those displaced by the new products the IT and automobile industries will bring to the market. But can we afford to wait?

Blog

Making sense of the global infrastructure turn

06 April 2017

This is the final article in our series Making Cities Work. It considers the problems of providing critical infrastructure and how we might produce the innovations and reforms needed to meet 21st-century needs and challenges.

News

The Victorian Planning System: Practice, Problems and Prospects

20 March 2017

Dr Stephen Rowley discusses his new book 'The Victorian Planning System' – the perfect introduction to the Victorian planning systems for new planners and the wider public who need to deal with the planning system.

Blog

Airport privatisations have put profit before public safety and good planning

28 February 2017

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

News

Student designs on the right track for future rail crossing removals

16 November 2016

A collaborative research project between RMIT University and the University of Melbourne explores new ways to improve the integration of public transport and urban design in Melbourne.

Blog

Victoria needs a big-picture transport plan that isn’t about winners vs losers

04 October 2016

There has been no shortage of ideas about how to spend the A$9.7 billion the Victorian government will receive from selling a 50-year lease for the Port of Melbourne.

News

New book plans out quality public transport system for Melbourne’s future

28 September 2016

RMIT Centre for Urban Research launches a new book, introducing interactive decision-making tool to incorporate greater accessibility for Australia’s public transport infrastructure.

News

Liveable Melbourne: Is it really?

22 September 2016

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.

Media

Expert Comment on Port of Melbourne lease

19 September 2016

Director of the RMIT Centre for Urban Research Professor Jago Dodson is available to talk about the State Government’s proposal to spend the proceeds of the $9.7 billion deal to lease the Port of Melbourne.

News

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

15 September 2016

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.

News

New book maps Melbourne’s past, present and future

24 August 2016

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.

News

RMIT’s urban research centre launch new transport community group

08 August 2016

The Victorian State Government has committed to a number of major infrastructure projects for the state, but what’s the plan for Melbourne transport and how do these projects fit in?

Blog

Commuters help regions tap into city-driven growth

01 August 2016

Long-distance commuting may help promote the development of regional cities by boosting local populations, skills and income.

Blog

Election 2016: what will a re-elected Coalition government mean for key policy areas?

11 July 2016

The Conversation’s experts respond to what the Coalition’s agenda will mean for key policy areas.

News

Are regional commuters getting sick of the daily travel grind?

10 June 2016

CUR PhD student Todd Denham is investigating changing commuter trends for people travelling from regional Victoria to Melbourne for work.

News

Urban Futures Competition

30 May 2016

With Melbourne’s population moving beyond four million, significant challenges and opportunities for planning, designing and managing our city arise. How can you help urban environments adapt to meet the future needs of our population?

Blog

Federal budget 2016 political experts react: A damp squib for infrastructure

05 May 2016

This is an uninspiring budget for urban infrastructure.

Blog

Ideas for Australia: City v4.0, a new model of urban growth and governance for Australia

20 April 2016

In providing for the well-being of the next three million urban Australians, we need to take unvarnished stock of our situation.

News

Looking upwards for transport solutions

11 March 2016

Level crossing removals should be part of a total picture for an effective transport system and “skytrains” are the best way to do this, according to RMIT and Melbourne University researchers.

Blog

Raising expectations for Melbourne’s railways

03 March 2016

Improved public transport has long been a high priority among Victorian voters however; the recent announcement of the $1.6 billion project to remove nine level crossings between Caulfield and Dandenong has not been met with the expected enthusiasm.

Blog

Negative gearing: scrap or preserve?

25 February 2016

The Australian tax debate has placed negative gearing under scrutiny.

Blog

The ‘sky rail’ saga: can big new transport projects ever run smoothly?

23 February 2016

Tensions are rising in Melbourne over plans to use elevated rail to remove suburban level crossings.

Media

Study examines issues around residential car parking

09 December 2015

Residents of Australian cities are needed to take part in RMIT University research to better understand residential car parking habits, wants and needs.

News

Human talent key to successful cities: Turnbull

26 November 2015

For Australian cities to be competitive, productive and economically sustainable, they need to attract the best human talent, Lucy Turnbull has told a conference at RMIT.

News

Urban research critical for securing Australia’s future

25 February 2015

Improving how cities work is critical for Australia's future, according to the new director of RMIT's Centre for Urban Research (CUR), Professor Jago Dodson.

News

Urban researcher in profile: Dr Crystal Legacy

25 November 2014

Community concern can be ignored when government considers transport planning, but one RMIT researcher is delving deeper into the issue.

Events

Past Events

Looking Back and Going Forward: The Melbourne Transport Plan 50 Years On

12 December 2019, 5:30PM-8:30PM

An evening with Melbourne transport experts looking at how our city is still shaped by the 1969 Transportation Plan and where to from here.

Past Events

2019 Transport research symposium: Ethics and transport planning

2 February 2019, 9:00AM-5:00PM

The 2019 Transport Research Symposium brings together activists, academics, and built environment professionals currently working and thinking critically about the ‘state of transport planning’ in Victoria and beyond. 

Past Events

The Ethics of Transport Planning: Lessons From Near and Far

16 August 2018, 6:00PM-7:30PM

This event is Part 2 of the three part series; The Ethics of Transport Planning: A conversation about the past, present and future of transport planning

Past Events

Ethics and Transport Planning: How Do We Fare?

9 August 2018, 6:00PM-7:30PM

This event is Part 1 of the three part series; The Ethics of Transport Planning: A conversation about the past, present and future of transport planning

Past Events

Pathways and barriers to the implementation of mobility pricing in Vancouver

20 July 2018, 12:00PM-1:00PM

In this seminar our guest from Canada, Professor Anthony Perl examines the Commission’s research and public consultation process to assess the progress and pitfalls of advancing a workable mobility pricing scheme for Metro Vancouver.

Past Events

Regional Fast Rail: Prospects, implications and challenges for regional communities

29 May 2018, 6:00PM-7:30PM

This Talking Transport forum brings together people to discuss what high speed rail may mean for regional Victorians.

Past Events

Railway Remedies Cutting the crush on Geelong trains

9 August 2017, 7:30PM-9:00PM

Are your Geelong line trains becoming ever more overcrowded? Do they often run late? Why can’t they be faster? What can and should be done to overcome these problems, now and into the future?