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Curtin University Sustainability Policy Institute

Curtin PhD students plan a better future for our cities

By Jana Soderlund 10 February 2012 News No Comments »

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This Saturday three Curtin University students from around the globe will receive a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) for research projects that highlight the need for smart, sustainable urban planning.

The students, Joe Kott from San Francisco, Annie Matan from Fremantle and Roman Trubka from Vancouver, have completed studies that focus on public transport, pedestrian access in cities and the importance of city centres.
Curtin University Sustainability Policy (CUSP) Institute Director, Professor Peter Newman, said that all three projects demonstrate CUSP’s commitment to becoming a leader in sustainable change through collaboration with government, industry and community.

“Joe has been working on how to civilise traffic using methods that favour all users – not just cars – with a focus on how to make streets more pedestrian friendly,” Professor Newman said.
“Annie’s PhD examines urban design from a walkability perspective, looking at the impact prominent Danish urban designer, Jan Gehl, has had on making cities around the world more walkable, including here in Perth.
“Roman’s thesis has shown how important public transport is to the productivity of city centres.
“The data Roman has collected has recently been used to assess the infrastructure requirements of Australian cities by agencies such as Infrastructure Australia.”
Professor Newman said that all three students will continue to work in the field of sustainable planning following their graduations.
“Joe is now teaching at San Jose State University and Stanford University while Annie and Roman are now employed at CUSP, doing new research on the sustainability of cities.”
More information about these and other CUSP research projects is available online here:

  1. Louis de Villiers February 19, 2012 8:37am

    Is the City of Fremantle listening to your input on sustainable urban design in their proposals for the proposed massive new development in Freo? Seems to me they’re not?
    Nor the Perth itself re their mad waterfront development proposals?

  2. CUSP February 21, 2012 2:50am

    Dear Louis,
    Thank you for your comments. We strive to work with both councils regarding sustainable urban design, and have been an active part of the current debate in Fremantle and other current development and transport issues in the Perth Metropolitan area, as a look in today’s West Australian demonstrates:

    Recently CUSP hosted a public debate regarding density and design that might be of interest, available here:

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