One Day Symposium 10 July 2012

Race against Time: Population, Urban Growth and Miracles of Technology

Population and urban growth are leading to problems such as increasing traffic congestion, the depletion of conventional energy sources and greater environmental pollution. For example, population growth has led to more houses, more facilities, more energy and more cars, while urbanisation means more roads, more trees cleared, more concrete, greater urban sprawl and an increase in kilometres travelled. Moreover, the combination of these factors means that increasing numbers of people live, work and recreate in greater proximity to pollution sources.

Whilst new technologies may alleviate some of these problems, for example solar energy, modern public transport networks and better urban planning, this requires a substantial investment of money during global economic conditions that are increasingly restrictive to this type of activity.

With around 20% of the world’s population living below the poverty line, millions of people in developing countries are cooking on primitive stoves that release dangerous pollutants into indoor air. While in the developed world, many thousands of people are displaced every year by natural disasters such as floods, tornadoes, earthquakes and tsunamis, and are subsequently forced to live in cramped and unclean conditions, unable to regain a reasonable standard of living.

As part of the 10th International Healthy Buildings Conference, which will be held from 8-12 July 2012, there will be a one day symposium which will focus on balancing and reconciling the problems of equity and environmental pollution that come with inevitable population growth versus the cost of new technologies to mitigate these issues. More information about the program for the conference and symposium is provided below.

Convenor: Professor Peter Sly, Deputy Director, Queensland Children’s Medical Research and Director, WHO Collaborating Centre for Research on Children’s Environmental Health

Venue: Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre, Queensland, Australia

Program of the Symposium: The program of the Symposia will on the one hand have a very strong international component, but on the other hand will include very relevant local and regional issues. It will include plenary presentations, submitted papers sessions, interactive panel discussions, and poster sessions. The discussions will be led by panels of top practitioners and academics in this broad field.


Plenary #1: Peter Newman (Director, Curtin Sustainability Policy Institute)

Plenary #2: Bert Fabian (Transport Program Manager, Clean Air Initiative for Asian Cities (CAI-Asia) Center)

Panel Discussions

WHO Guidelines on Household Fuels

Chair: Dr Nigel Bruce (WHO, Geneva)
Panellists: Michal Krzyzanowski (WHO, Bonn); Professor Lidia Morawska (ILAQH, QUT)

Read the abstract here.

Experts Design a City for Healthy Living – Get Rid of Cars and Clear the Air?

Chair: Peter Newman (Director, Curtin Sustainability Policy Institute)
Panelists: Andrew Wisdom (Master planning, Economics and Planning), Bert Fabian (Transport Program Manager, CAI-Asia Center), Cameron Hoffmann (Sustainable Town Planning), John Moynihan (Environmentally Conscious Communities), Rebecca Miller (Sustainability Frameworks)

Read the short synopsis here.

Infrastructure challenges – empowering users

Chair: Janis Birkeland (University of Auckland, NZ)
Panelists: David Hood (President, Institute of Engineers), Nadia Boschi (L+N Architects, USA), Heike Neumeister-Kemp (Mycologia, Australia)

Read the Discussion Paper here.


Symposia Registration Fees

Standard Registration
(after 31 March 2012)


On-site Registration
(after 5 July 2012)


Symposia registration includes:

  • admission to the symposia sessions on your day of choice, all coffee breaks, and lunch that day.
  • a symposia program.

Sympsoia registration does not include any social functions.

Click here to Register.


Panel Discussion 2 Biographies

Session Chair: Professor Peter Newman

Peter Newman is the Professor of Sustainability at Curtin University in Perth. He is on the Board of Infrastructure Australia and is a Lead Author for Transport on the IPCC. His books include ‘Green Urbanism in Asia’ (2012), ‘Resilient Cities: Responding to Peak Oil and Climate Change’ (2009), ‘Green Urbanism Down Under’ (2009) and ‘Sustainability and Cities: Overcoming Automobile Dependence’ with Jeff Kenworthy which was launched in the White House in 1999. In 2001-3 Peter directed the production of Western Australia’s Sustainability Strategy in the Department of the Premier and Cabinet. In 2004-5 he was a Sustainability Commissioner in Sydney advising the government on planning and transport issues. In 2006/7 he was a Fulbright Senior Scholar at the University of Virginia Charlottesville. In late 2011 Peter was awarded the Sidney Luker medal by the Planning Institute of Australia (NSW) for his contribution to the science and practice of town planning in Australia.

Panel members:

Mr Andrew Wisdom (Master planning, Economics and Planning)

Andrew Wisdom leads masterplanning, economics and planning services within global design firm Arup. Based in Melbourne, he is a transport planner with a focus over recent years encompassing a broad range of built environment development and transformation issues. In particular, Andrew is interested in the way cities work as systems and what we as planners and designers can do to influence the way those systems operate and develop. For example, how do we best drive action in those contested areas of urban systems beyond the control of any single organisation? What role do communities play within those systems? How can the power and energy of communities be harnessed to influence city systems? Above all Andrew is interested in the transformation of our cities so the way they work will give them a chance to flourish in the challenging times ahead.

Mr Cameron Hoffmann (Sustainable Town Planning)

Cameron is a Principal with RPS, an international consultancy that specialises in planning, environment, energy and sustainable development. Cameron has over 20 years experience as a Town Planning consultant, focusing on regional planning, masterplanned communities, major projects, transport and sustainable development innovation. Cameron is a board director of the Australian Green Development Forum, a member of Brisbane City Council’s City Plan Review Reference Group and participated in a working group on behalf of the Premier’s Climate Change Council.

Ms Rebecca Miller (Sustainability Frameworks)

Rebecca is a senior consultant with 10 years’ industry experience and a strong back ground in planning for sustainability and strategy development, with Arup’s Brisbane sustainability team. She has wealth of experience relating to sustainability frameworks (including policy and strategy development), sustainability reporting, sustainable masterplanned communities, stakeholder engagement, and change management strategies and has worked in the UK, Australia and Thailand. Rebecca recently completed the Cambridge University Program for Sustainability Leadership and has a growing interest in developing resilience based responses to tackle future challenges ranging from how we deal with the impacts of climate change through to addressing the needs of an ageing population.

Mr John Moynihan (Environmentally Conscious Communities)

John is the principal of Ecolateral P/L, a company delivering environmental solutions across industry sectors that are economically viable and practical in application. For over three decades John has been an advocate for more environmentally conscious communities. In his work as a designer, educator, builder and environmental consultant he has worked to encourage communities to take responsibility for environmental delivery. Through his work in Australia and Europe, John has been recognised and honoured by Government, Building Associations and Academia alike. John was the recipient of the Queensland Governments “Medal for the Year of the Built Environment, 2004 and the Queensland Premier’s Award for Environmental Services to the Building Industry”.