Associate Professor Joe Hurley

Joe Hurley is an Associate Professor with the Sustainability and Urban Planning program, and a member of the Centre for Urban.

Joe’s research focuses on the intersection between urban planning and urban sustainability, and on the role of urban governance and policy in producing sustainable outcomes.

He is Deputy Leader of the Clean Air and Urban Landscapes Research Hub, a multi-institution partnership funded by the National Environmental Science Program. In this hub he leads a program of research called ‘Making Greening Happen in Consolidating Cities’.

He is a chief investigator on several other research projects funded by the Victorian Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning; the New South Wales Office of Environment and Heritage; and the Smart Cities and Suburbs program. Joe takes a particular interest in the relationship between research and practice worlds and is actively involved in work to reduce the barriers to exchange and enhance collaboration.

He is an elected Committee Member of the Planning Institute of Australia Committee, Victorian Division. His teaching is in the areas of Urban Research Methods; Strategic Urban Planning; Urban History; and Global Study Tours.

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Planning Systems, Strategic Urban Planning, Planning Research-Practice Exchange, Urban History, Urban Greening, Sustainable Cities

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Regional Liveability

2018 (ongoing)

This project investigates the impacts on the lived experience of people in major Australian cities, focusing on the effects of land-use, diffuse air pollution, transport, urban heat and the interconnections between them.

Implementing Sustainability in the Built Environment


An analysis of the role and effectiveness of the building and planning system in delivering sustainable cities.

Improved Urban Systems for Liveability


This project investigates how major cities function and the effects of their land-use, housing and infrastructure systems on the humans that live in them.

Melbourne at 8 Million: Matching Land Supply to Dwelling Demand


This project investigated available land supply for residential development in Melbourne to test the city’s capacity to cater for a projected population of 8 million by 2050.

News & Blog


Mapping our urban forests

05 April 2019

How do we ensure we have thriving and extensive urban vegetation as our cities develop, consolidate and grow? This is one of the key urban challenges of Australian cities.


Implementing sustainability in the built environment

09 August 2018

Why we should be challenging the status quo to increase the role and effectiveness of the building and planning system in delivering sustainable cities


August 2018 edition of The Urban Observer out now

09 August 2018

With Australia’s population reaching 25 million this month, the liveability of our cities has become critically important for our national prosperity and sustainability.


How tree bonds can help preserve the urban forest

20 March 2018

Great cities need trees to be great places, but urban changes put pressure on the existing trees as cities develop. As a result, our rapidly growing cities are losing trees at a worrying rate. So how can we grow our cities and save our city trees?


Sustainable cities? Australia’s building and planning rules stand in the way of getting there

27 September 2017

Australia’s building and land-use policy settings fall well short of what’s needed to make meaningful progress toward creating sustainable cities.


Poor policies block green housing goals: study

21 September 2017

Australian states are failing to deliver sustainable housing because of poor building and land-use planning policies, and a lack of enforceable standards, according to a new RMIT University report


When will the democracy deliver ‘car independence’ day in Yangon

08 June 2017

At the dawn of the 21st century, planners around the world will consider a new agenda for cities. They would shrug off the dimly remembered nightmare of snaking concrete highways and smog-occluded horizons.


High school students’ innovative urban solutions rewarded at RMIT

15 November 2016

RMIT’s Urban Futures competition has showcased Victorian high school students’ best and brightest ideas to improve the liveability and sustainability of cities.


Solutions beyond supply to the housing affordability problem

26 October 2016

Treasurer Scott Morrison has outlined his vision for increasing home ownership at a speech to the Urban Development Institute of Australia.


Students re-imagine sustainable cities

16 September 2015

RMIT’s Urban Futures Competition showcased the ideas of Victorian High School students surrounding the development of vibrant, liveable cities.


‘Not a lot of people read the stuff’: how planning defies good theory

09 March 2015

Research into the way cities do – or do not – work can make a critical contribution to urban policy and practice.


Ethiopian urban research delegation visits RMIT

08 October 2014

A visiting delegation has told of the great urban challenges Ethiopia faces due to rapid population growth, during a presentation at RMIT.


Urban Vegetation Cover Change in Melbourne 2014-2018

Associate Professor Joe Hurley, Mr Alex Saunders, Dr Alan Both, Dr Chayn Sun, Dr Bryan Boruff, Dr John Duncan, Associate Professor Marco Amati, Dr Peter Caccetta

RMIT Centre for Urban Research

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