As Australia confronts a rush to high-rise living, UNSW is launching the country's first Masters degree in urban renewal and housing, aimed at the planners and policymakers of the future.
The Master of Urban Renewal and Housing, being offered for the first time in 2016 by UNSW Built Environment’s Australian Graduate School of Urbanism, is targeting those with a passion for reimagining city life.
A collaboration with the University’s renowned City Futures Research Centre, the Masters – which will also be offered in more “bite size” graduate certificate and diploma formats – will have a robust research underpinning.
Professor Hal Pawson, an associate director with the Centre, said at least 50% of Sydney is expected to live in apartments by 2050.
“By mid-century half of Sydneysiders will be apartment dwellers,” said Pawson, a Professor of Housing Research and Policy and director of UNSW’s Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute.
Urban renewal is going to be the major challenge facing Australia’s metropolitan areas for the foreseeable future and is becoming increasingly central to the entire city planning agenda.
“Australian cities are shifting from traditional suburban sprawl to greater density, with decades of housing densification ahead.
“Urban renewal is going to be the major challenge facing Australia’s metropolitan areas for the foreseeable future and is becoming increasingly central to the entire city planning agenda.”
Professor Pawson said population growth and the ongoing shift towards more condensed, increasingly rental-based living would pose complex challenges across legal, financial and socio-economic policy frontiers.
Subjects covered in the Masters of Urban Renewal and Housing include housing policy and finance, city equity and wellbeing, community engagement, urban regeneration project implementation, and housing management and markets.
The program is aimed at mid-career professionals working in government, consultancy or not-for-profit organisations as well as recent graduates from relevant disciplines including built environment, social science, social policy, business and law/jurisprudence.
Professor Pawson said the Masters is a first for an Australian university.
“Our program is the first Masters degree in Australia to focus on either urban renewal or housing,” he said.
“The program will benefit from the policy-related research of UNSW’s City Futures Research Centre and its strong links with urban policymakers and practitioners.”