Cities are often thought of as organic structures that ‘grow’ and ‘evolve,’ to meet the changing needs of their citizens.  They have a ‘heart,’ ‘arterial’ corridors, ‘a soul’ and they also produce waste. Much like people, this development can be positive or negative.  Cities can ‘sprawl’, develop clogged arteries, struggle to deal with their waste and, worst of all, grow up with no heart.  We also realise that essential to the health of any city is that it is part of a broader community of other cities, or a region, that harnesses the strengths of all its cities.
At this event, we are bringing together thought leaders from state and local governments and Griffith’s newly formed Cities Research Centre for an engaging discussion about how we grow and evolve the South East Queensland (SEQ) region to be world renowned for the way it balances economic growth, environmental sustainability and community development.  With events like the 2018 Commonwealth Games, which will showcase the attractions of the region, how do we plan and manage the growth of major cities in the region, while ensuring the happiness and security of the citizens that live in these cities?
The evening will begin with short introduction from a panel of leading planners to stimulate discussion on three key elements of a successful city and region:

  • intelligent infrastructure – how can we make our cities smarter to be more efficient and sustainable
  • creating a happy city – using spatial and place design to generate civic consciousness and greater quality of life
  • transforming communities – understanding not just the changing built environment of a city but how we also transform communities as social, political and economic systems.

WHEN:    27 July 2016
TIME:     5.30 – 7.00pm networking drinks and canapes after event
VENUE: The Ship Inn – S06_2.02

Brisbane, QLD.


Professor Paul Burton
Director, Cities Research Centre – Griffith University

Paul is Professor of Urban Management and Planning at Griffith University and founding director of the new Cities Research Centre at Griffith University.  Previously he was Director of the Urban Research Program and Acting Director of the Griffith Climate Change Response Program.  Paul is also a member of Regional Development Australia, Gold Coast and an active member of the Planning Institute of Australia and the Urban Development Institute of Australia.

Paul’s current research interests focus on the theory and practice of public participation and community engagement; the everyday professional lives of planners; metropolitan and strategic planning; and adaptive planning for climate change.

Greg Vann
Department of Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning
Projector Director – South East Queensland Regional Plan

Greg Vann is currently Project Director of the SEQ Regional Plan review as well as his usual job as Chairman, Buckley Vann Planning + Development.

He is qualified in planning and economics and has been at the forefront of planning in Queensland for nearly 40 years. He has a wide diversity of experience as a consultant and previously in local and state government. He seeks to make the world a better place through strategic leadership, mentoring, inspirational and advocacy roles and being an honest broker.

Greg has been involved in regional planning since 1990. He is a Life Fellow of the Planning Institute of Australia.

Dy Currie
Gold Coast City Council
Director Planning and Environment

Dy Currie - Gold Coast City CouncilDy is the Director of Planning and Environment at the City of Gold Coast (Australia’s second largest local authority) and also the President of the Commonwealth Association of Planners representing approximately 40,000 planners around the Commonwealth.

She has extensive experience in leadership and management in strategic planning, business process improvements and development assessment. She has a strong track record of delivering major projects across a diverse range of planning programs and enjoys a strong professional network across all levels of government, the development industry and the planning profession. Dy is an Adjunct Associate Professor at the University of Southern Queensland and a member of UN Habitat’s Policy Unit Experts preparing for Habitat III.

Dy is the Immediate Past National President and a Fellow of the Planning Institute of Australia and a Lifetime Honorary Member of the Royal Town Planning Institute.  She is also a Fellow of the Urban Development Institute of Australia and is known for her commitment to working with the Development Industry and for her proactive attitude and results driven approach.