Planning Institute of Australia Awards success for Melbourne researchers

February 17 / 190

Three researchers from the Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning were rewarded by the Planning Institute of Australia (PIA) for outstanding contributions in their fields late last year.

Carolyn Whitzman became a Fellow of the Planning Institute of Australia.

Urban Planning’s Professor Alan March was named Victoria’s Planner of the Year, while Professor 

Professor March’s award recognises his contribution to improved planning practice regarding bushfire vulnerability, disaster risks and resilience, as well as leadership in planning education.

Following the 2015 bushfires in Wye River and Separation Creek, Professor March worked with the CFA, CSIRO and other partners to improve urban planning and design response to threats. 

He has brought about better connections between emergency management and applied planning research, and leads the Bushfire and Natural Hazards Cooperative Research Centre.

Professsor Whitzman was elevated to Fellowship of the Planning Institute of Australia, having demonstrated significant commitment to the profession, and by having shown leadership “beyond an individual organisation’s interests”.

Her research is focussed on planning for social justice in cities, with particular emphasis on supporting access to affordable housing, public transportation, social services, and public space for women, children and people with disabilities.

Professor Whitzman’s passion for social justice began when she was a community activist for affordable housing in Montreal, Canada. From 1989 to 1999, she worked for the City of Toronto on healthy city initiatives, particularly integrated local government policy to prevent violence, which led to an international reputation in this field.

PhD graduate Claire Boulange received the PIA’s Award for Excellence in an Outstanding Tertiary Student Project for her impressive doctoral thesis, The Walkability Planning Support System. Dr Boulange developed an interactive, computer-based tool to predict the probability of walking as a mode of transport. The tool evaluates variables such as residential density, land use mix and street connectivity to determine whether the built environment will help or hinder walkability.

Image courtesy PIA flickr

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