Save the Date: UHPH 2018

31st January – 2nd February 2018

Remaking Cities

The 14th Urban History Planning History (UHPH) Conference

RMIT University, Swanston Academic Building, Melbourne

The 14th Urban History Planning History (UHPH) conference will be held in Melbourne in 2018, and the conference theme is inspired by Melbourne as an exemplar of cities that are continually re-made: as a centre of manufacturing, as a city built on land and infrastructure speculation, and as a place that has been re-made over the long-established land-based practices of the Kulin nation.

Manufacturing was central to the social, spatial and economic development of Australasia’s nineteenth-century cities. The decline of manufacturing has had a significant effect on urban environments and urban lives, as has the rise of the financial, service and cultural sectors. In the post-manufacturing era, cities have had to again reinvent themselves in response to the challenges of new internal circumstances and of external forces of change.

Underpinning the making and re-making of Melbourne and other Australasian cities are the processes of settler colonialism and speculation on stolen Indigenous lands. The long shadow cast by colonization challenges us to imagine how cities can be re-made in a just and shared future, and the role of planning within this.

We invite papers that address the theme of re-making cities in the broad senses sketched above: the making and re-making of manufacturing and post-manufacturing cities; infrastructure and institutions; cultural heritage; indigenous identity; plans and planning; community; and urban environments.

We also welcome papers on any historical aspect of Australasian urbanism.

If interested, please put the dates in your calendar.

Further details and calls for papers to be circulated shortly.

Remembering Eve Gibson (1940-2014)


Eve Gibson, December 2013, courtesy Ian Gibson

Eve made significant contributions to our understanding of the modern urban and planning histories of Darwin. She passed away in August 2014 following complications from emergency heart surgery.

She was born in Dublin, Ireland, and studied graphic design, working in London in the early 1960s then Spain to the early 1970s. She came to Australia in early 1972 and married Ian in December 1973. They enjoyed a peripatetic life as Ian progressed through his naval career in the ACT, Victoria and NSW. When he was posted to Darwin in late 1978, Eve started studying history at the Darwin Community College. This was interrupted when Ian was posted back to Nowra, NSW and then to London. In late 1983 they returned to Darwin and Eve resumed studies, at the University College of the Northern Territory, then part of the University of Queensland (UQ). Eve and Ian remained in Darwin after he left the navy in 1985, and continued her studies.

Eve subsequently gained her BA (UQ) in February 1989 and BA (Hons) (UQ) in May 1990. She was the author of many other publications on NT history. She was the first Honours graduate in History from the former University College. Bag-Huts, Bombs and Bureaucrats, based on her honours thesis, was published by the Historical Society of the Northern Territory in 1997. During the 1990s Eve commenced her PhD studies under Professor David Carment. After Ian retired in 2002 they moved to Bellerive in Hobart, where Eve continued her research and writing. She gained her PhD from Charles Darwin University two years later in October 2004. She subsequently transformed this into the monograph Beyond the Boundary which was also published by the Historical Society of the Northern Territory in 2011.

Eve served as a Councillor of the Historical Society of the Northern Territory and was co-founder of the Fannie Bay History and Heritage Society. She was an avid reader of history and the built environment and her interest in the houses of the local area of Bellerive led to a third book, Walks around Historic Bellerive, published by the Bellerive Historical Society.


Select bibliography

2011    Beyond the boundary: Fannie Bay 1869-2001, Historical Society of the Northern Territory, Darwin.

2010    Walks around historic Bellerive, Bellerive Historical Society, Bellerive.

2006    ‘Planning for people – or Profits for the Privileged’, in CL Miller and MM Roche (eds.) Past Matters: Proceedings of the 8th Australasian Urban History/Planning History Conference, Massey University, Wellington, February 2006, 147-156.

2003 ‘Beyond the Boundary: A history of the impact of planning and politics on the Darwin area of Fannie Bay 1869-2001’, PhD thesis, Charles Darwin University.

2002    ‘A loss for planning – a gain for heritage: post World War II planning for      Darwin’s Fannie Bay, in David Jones (ed.) 20th Century Heritage: Our Recent Cultural Legacy, Proceedings of the 2001 Australia ICOMOS National Conference, 28 November – I December 2001, University of Adelaide, 300-303.

2001   Through the Louvres: Post World War II planning for Fannie Bay in tropical Northern Australia, Planning History Bulletin, 23(1 and 2), 45-55. First presented as a paper at the 9th IPHS Conference, Helsinki,2000.

2000   ‘Planning in chains: The effects of speculation on planning ideals in Darwin 1869-2000’, in Christine Garnaut and Stephen Hamnett (eds.), Fifth Australian Urban/Planning History Conference: Conference Proceedings, Adelaide 13-15 April, University of South Australia, 201-211.

1999    ‘Development – or displacement?: The social and economic effects of development since the 1970s’, in Planning in the Hothouse, RAPI 27th National Congress, Darwin, 19-22 September, Darwin.

1998    A planner’s dream – a citizen’s nightmare: town planning for the tropical town of

Darwin 1937-1950, Australian Planner, 35(4), 192-196, An earlier version of the paper was published in Robert Freestone (ed.), The Twentieth Century Planning Experience, Proceedings of the 8th International Planning History Conference, 15-18 July, University of New South Wales, 243-248.

Coverof 1997 bokSCAN0065

1997     Bag-huts, Bombs and Bureaucrats: The History of the Impact of Town Planning and Land Acquisition on the Town and People of Darwin 1937-1950, Historical Society of the Northern Territory, Darwin.

1990-1996       24 entries in the Northern Territory Dictionary of Biography, Volumes 1-3, consolidated in David Carment et al (eds), Northern Territory University Press, Darwin, 2008.

1990    ‘Point Stuart: strategies for cultural heritage tourism’ (with David Carment), Historic Environment, 7 (3 and 4), 34-42. Paper presented at the Australia ICOMOS Conference on History, Architecture, Environment: Cultural Heritage and Tourism, Adelaide, 8-10 April.

1989    ‘The heritage resources of the Mary River Crossing, Point Stuart and Wildman River Reserves’ (with David Carment and Barbara McLaren), Conservation Commission of the Northern Territory, Darwin.

Robert Freestone, UNSW Australia

[with thanks to Ian Gibson, and the HSNT Newsletter, No 76, 2014]



Icons: The making, meaning and undoing of urban icons and iconic cities    

Organisation for the 2016 UHPH conference on the Gold Coast is now in full swing with contributors mapping out/ thinking about/ working on their papers (format templates attached) which are due by 15 November 2015. Registration is now open and payment is being processed online through the link from the website (see below) OR through the link from Griffith Pay (see below).
Accommodation at the QT Hotel can be booked by filling in the booking form downloaded from from the conference website here:
Full papers are due to be submitted for peer review by the 15 November 2015.
All paper submissions are via email to
Length: Papers are to be a maximum of 4,500 words including notes and quotations, but excluding abstract (see below).Format: Papers are to be submitted as a single MS Word document (format template attached) with all page margins set to 2cm and paragraph format to double spacing. Please use UK English throughout (using the Oxford English Dictionary as a reference where necessary). Please use 12-point Times New Roman font for all purposes, with no bold or underlined text, and with italics used for source titles in references and only sparingly in the body of the text for emphasis. New paragraphs should be marked by a double return without indentation.

Please save the file with the first author’s surname followed by _UHPH16_FP   (eg): Bosman_UHPH16_FP

Thank you again for your abstract/s, we look forward to receiving registration and your full paper.



UHPH Conference 2016 Call for abstracts now open: deadline 31 March 2015

Proposals are welcome for the 13th Australasian Urban History/Planning History Conference (UHPH) to be hosted by Griffith University and held on the Gold Coast, Queensland between Sunday 31 January – Wednesday 3 February 2016.

Conference Theme

Icons: The making, meaning and undoing of urban icons and iconic cities

The use of icons (projects, places, plans, people and/or practices) to tell stories of urban environments is longstanding. The stories which these icons produce tell us something about ourselves and our everyday urban lives, as well as the social, environmental, economic, political and cultural context of urban environments. They can also prompt questions about the histories and realities of the icons themselves. Moreover, cities increasingly strive for distinctiveness of some kind in an increasingly globalised world. This distinctiveness is frequently achieved through the making of new urban icons, visual, tangible, imaginary and or real. The striving for iconic status can be problematic when it marginalises and polarises people and ways of being. Meanings can also be ascribed which have little relevance to the wider urban context.

This conference offers a special opportunity to explore these histories of iconographies – past, present, prospective. Suggested sub themes relate to the histories and/or planning of the following in urban and regional settings:

  1. New critical appreciations of neglected and established urban icons and icon-making processes.
  2. Planning and development of hard and soft infrastructures, including monuments, buildings, streetscapes, precincts, landscapes, plans and projects, branding etc.
  3. The import/export of iconic ideas.
  4. The environmental impact of urban icons.
  5. Dealing with the heritage of icons (cultural, natural, indigenous).

Papers should be based on original research and may focus on one or a combination of sub themes. In addition, proposals related to other aspects of urban and planning history, in and of relevance to Australia/New Zealand, are welcome. Full papers will be peer reviewed for publication in the conference proceedings. You are required to register and attend the conference for your paper to be published in the proceedings.

The Gold Coast provides a perfect example of an environment with a history constructed around the creation and representations of iconic forms. It has striven for ‘iconic’ status through adaptation from places such as Florida and California. It has sought hallmark events like the Commonwealth Games to be held in 2018. Its current light rail project emulates the global turn to sustainable transport infrastructure. And there are less glamorous stories below the glittering surface.

Abstracts of no more than 250 words should be submitted by 31 March 2015.

Abstracts are to be submitted on the attached abstract template and emailed to Caryl Bosman:

Authors of accepted abstracts will be invited to submit full papers (4000 words text max) for publication in the peer reviewed conference proceedings.

A conference website with further information will be available soon.

Hosted by: Griffith University, Urban Research Program

Conference Convenors: Dr Caryl Bosman, Dr Aysin Dedekorkut–Howes and Paul Burton

Please contact Caryl Bosman on

Also see: uhph

EAUH 2016 Helsinki – Reinterpreting Cities


The 13th International Conference on Urban History ‘Reinterpreting Cities’ will take place in Helsinki from the 24th to the 27th of August 2016.

The call for session proposals is now open until March 1, 2015. Proposals can be submitted on the website – and session organisers will be notified of decisions regarding acceptance in May 2015.

The European Association for Urban History encourages cross-disciplinary and international research on urban history. Therefore the Association invites you to submit sessions that are as comparative and interdisciplinary as possible. Furthermore, we give priority to sessions, which are co-organised by scholars from different countries.

The Urbanists

In the summer months David Nichols and Elizabeth Taylor present a one-hour talk program on Melbourne public radio 3RRR, known as The Urbanists. Recent guests have included David Wadelton of the Northcote Hysterical Society, Dr. Ruth Lane of Monash University talking about hard rubbish and ‘geographies of waste’, Assoc. Prof Marco Amati of RMIT discussing planning exhibitions, Adjunct Assoc. Prof. Phil Heywood of QUT discussing the planning ramifications of the Queensland elections, and many others. The program is the summer replacement for the RRR show Einstein A-Go-Go; to listen to past programs, go to the station’s listen on demand page and follow the links to access the Einstein A-Go-Go timeslot.

“Progress in Australian planning history: Traditions, themes and transformations”

Robert Freestone, “Progress in Australian planning history: Traditions, themes and transformations” Progress in Planning V91, July 2014 pp. 1-29


Planning history is a distinctive strain in modern planning scholarship that provides dividends in the broader understanding of planning’s aims, development, impacts, achievements and limitations. Since the 1970s, with the infusion of more critical social science and creative humanities perspectives, planning history has developed a global reach characterised by cross-cutting themes and international institutions but research remains largely organised on a national basis. This review of recent and cutting edge literature deals exclusively with the Australian realm: its origins, governance, preoccupations and potentials. The major focus is on recent (mainly post-2002) literature and contributions capturing of innovative takes on the historical development of planning. Like urban history, planning history takes shape primarily within topical clusters and Abbott’s (2006) threefold characterisation of urban history concerns for planners provides a useful typology. Against this backdrop, the paper describes the culture, structure and progress of planning history studies from an Australian perspective. It establishes an interdisciplinary framework with other adjectival histories (architectural, urban, environmental, social), reviews recent path-breaking research organised around six major themes resonant of wider planning concerns, and reflects on directions for future research.


• The culture, structure and progress of planning history studies from an Australian perspective are described.
• Timely stocktake of literature focusing on recent (mainly post-2002) contributions.
• An interdisciplinary framework for work at the interface of architectural, urban, environmental, and social histories is established.
• Six major strands of cutting edge work resonant of wider planning concerns are established.
• Reflections on the direction of future research needs and opportunities.