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avatar for Tony Dalton, RMIT University

Tony Dalton, RMIT University

Tony is an Emeritus professor in the Centre for Urban Research at RMIT University in Melbourne Australia. The focus of Tony’s research has been on changing housing markets, distributional outcomes in a period of social and economic restructuring. More recently he has researched issues that climate change poses for urban housing provision. His current research is focussing is on the continuing path dependant development of new low density suburbs in Australian metropolitan cities. Outcomes of this continuing suburbanisation, such as poor access to employment and social infrastructure, loss of land for food production, biodiversity loss, poor mobility and private motor vehicle congestion and poor public health outcomes, are already well researched.

Through a project, with the working title of 'Producing the new suburbs', Tony is seeking to understand the institutional arrangements behind the production process starting with the sale of rural land on the fringe of cities that finishes with the completion of new low density suburban neighbourhoods on the fringe. This is the world of farmers, real estate agents, land developers, finance institutions, consultants, civil works contractors, public sector land use planners and regulators, house building companies and home purchasers. Melbourne is the initial focus of this research into the institutional arrangements that produce new suburbs and he has plans to extend the research to compare them with arrangements in a Canadian city.

The normative argument driving this project is that urban planning policy, if it is to be more effective in shaping fairer and more sustainable urban growth, must to be be based on a better understanding of the institutional arrangements that drive outer urban growth and result in poor environmental, social and economic outcomes.