Built environment and design

Built environment and design research at Macquarie University is focused on urban and regional planning, which was rated at world standard in ERA 2015. This is conducted primarily by academics from the Department of Geography and Planning, and further complemented by scholars in sociology, law, demography and the environmental sciences.

Urban and regional planning at Macquarie encompasses two broad themes: environmental planning (in particular, planning for climate change), and planning responses (both theoretical and empirical) to natural disasters. This multi-disciplinary approach to urban and regional planning is supported by Climate Futures, a university-funded research centre that aims to bridge the divides between climate and adaptation research, and policy and practice needs. Climate Futures serves as a hub for interactions between leading researchers, governmental decision-makers, non-government organisations (NGOs), businesses and vulnerable communities.


Macquarie University is also a major partner in the National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility (NCCARF), which addresses the implications of changing urban planning systems, especially in relation to social impact assessment, housing and recent rounds of planning reform.

Researchers in built environment and design serve on a number of national bodies that have roles in policy, planning assessment and research grant adjudication, including the Planning Institute of Australia and the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute.

National research centres

National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility (NCCARF) 

  • Distinguished Professor Lesley Hughes 
  • lesley.hughes@mq.edu.au
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