Julian is an Assistant Professor at the Australian Urban Design Research Centre (AUDRC) at the University of Western Australia. His role at the AUDRC includes teaching a master’s program in urban design and conducting urban design related research and design projects.
Julian is an awarded landscape architect and urban designer and has worked in Australia, the USA, the UK and the Middle East on a range of projects.
He has completed a PhD concerning landscape architecture in Dubai and has published three books- including ‘Made in Australia: The future of Australian cities’ (with Richard Weller), ‘Take me to the River: A history of Perth’s foreshore’ and ‘Scavenging the Suburbs’ – a book which audits Perth for ~1,000,000 possible urban infill dwellings.
In 2014 Julian was awarded the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects WA gold medal award (in conjunction with Richard Weller).
A new dream for the Anthropocene
The Australian dream has arguably delivered Australia some of the most livable cities in the world. However in relation to the Anthropocene – the current epoch of significant human impact on the Earth’s systems – the Australian dream is running out of steam on a number of fronts. Infrastructure deficits, basic raw material shortages, species extinction, climate change, bushfires, and entrenched socio-economic disadvantage are all working against further suburban expansion. Concomitantly when the Australian dream has been reinterpreted as dispersed, medium density urban infill the results have typically failed to deliver the benefits we expect from urban densification.
Given this concerning situation, this presentation proposes two alternative models for infill, which attempt to combine the amenity offered by the suburban dream with the transport connectivity of transport orientated development. However despite the variety of infill strategies available, urban densification is unlikely to be able to accommodate Australia’s projected population increases for this century. In response this presentation concludes with a proposition for decentralization of population from capital cities into megaregions – a potentially resilient economic and ecological geographic unit.