The Urbanism Labs within the Sydney School of Architecture, Planning and Design bring together specialists in urban planning, geography, housing studies, economics, data science, and design. Core Urbanism Labs include the Urban Housing Lab, the Smart Urbanism Lab, the Informal Urbanism Lab and Urban Science Lab which comprise a combination of senior, mid, early career and doctoral researchers; as well as adjunct, visiting scholars, and practitioners in residence affiliated with Lab members. Each of the Labs pursue research agendas and funded projects across their distinct areas of foci, ranging from urban planning and the housing market; to mobility, transport and health; urban form and infrastructure; residential real estate and foreign investment; ‘smart governance’, and informalism; while employing diverse and interdisciplinary methods and data sources – from qualitative approaches to spatial analytics, data science and machine learning.  

Understanding and addressing causes of urban inequality and spatial disadvantage in contemporary cities and regions is a central concern across the work of the four Labs, which seek to foster or ‘incubate’ new research projects  and share findings with a range of interested stakeholders across policy, industry, and community sectors. Our work is strongly international, and we are proud of our cultural diversity, which spans India, Nepal, China, Bangladesh, the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada and Australia.

The four Labs collaborate and intersect through fortnightly ‘Co-Lab’ meetings, research teams, and jointly hosted events. If you’d like to engage with a Lab meeting or event, or to discuss potential research collaborations, contact Professor Nicole Gurran (

Our People

Professor Nicole Gurran

Nicole Gurran is an urban planner and policy analyst whose research focuses on comparative urban planning systems and housing...

Dr Somwrita Sakar

Somwrita Sarkar is interested in cities as spatially and geometrically constrained complex systems

Dr Tooran Alizadeh

Tooran investigates the socio-spatial patterns of infrastructure and how smart city initiatives respond to challenges faced by cities

Dr Dallas Rogers

Dallas is a human geographer whose work focuses on the cultures of housing and urban governance.

Associate Professor Glen Searle

Glen Searle is Adjunct Associate Professor in Planning in the Faculty of Architecture, Design and Planning.

Dr Laurence Troy

Laurence's research focuses on urban renewal, the economies of housing and urban development, and how urbanisation shapes modern society

Dr Pranita Shrestha

Pranita's research has centered on issues of social justice, such as housing affordability; heritage conservation; sustainable development..

Dr Catherine Gilbert

Catherine has a background in planning policy and housing market research, with a particular focus on affordable housing

Dr Sophia Maalsen

Sophia Maalsen is researching the role of technology in ‘smart homes’ as a locus to address future environmental and social challenges.


Dr Caitlin Buckle

Caitlin's research looks into counter-urban migration, regional housing, and lived experiences of home.

Richard Benedict

Richard Benedict is a research-practitioner with 25 years experience working in the private, public and not-for-profit sectors in Australia

Dr Yuting Zhang

Yuting's research examines how share housing and share workspace affect people’s residential choice...

Dr Sha Liu

Sha's research focuses on foreign investment in housing, international financialisation of housing, and housing economics

Dr Jennifer Kent

Jennifer’s research relates to day-to-day mobility, and links between the built environment and health