Dr Gethin Davison BA (Hons), MA, PhD, MRTPI

Dr Gethin Davison

School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences
Associate Professor of Urban and Regional Planning

Contact details

Gethin Davison is an interdisciplinary researcher and educator with a background in human geography, planning and urban design. He has published widely in the fields of urban planning, design and housing, and has a particular interest in the governance of design and the relationships between people and place.


BA (Hons) Geography

MA Town Planning



Gethin has degrees in human geography, planning and urban design, and his research work and teaching both have a strong interdisciplinary flavour. He has previously held academic posts at Oxford Brookes University and the University of New South Wales (Sydney), as well as having worked as a planning officer in local government. Gethin has taken on many senior management roles in academia, including as a course director, Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) academic lead, and director of postgraduate research. His research focuses on the governance of design and the relationships between people and place. It has been supported by grants from the Australian Research Council (ARC) and Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute (AHURI), and has been published in a wide variety of academic and non-academic outlets across the fields of urban studies, architecture, housing, urban design and planning.


  • Introduction to Spatial Planning
  • Place Making in Practice
  • Dissertation supervision

Postgraduate supervision

Gethin welcomes applications from research students in the fields of urban design and planning, particularly those with an interest in place, governance and/or social justice.


My core research interests are in the governance of design, the relationship between people and place, and the role of planning and design disciplines in the pursuit of social justice.

Other activities

Chartered Town Planner (MRTPI)


Davison, G. and Freestone, R. (2023), 'Architectural design competitions: the effects of competition format on design processes and outcomes', The Journal of Architecture, https://doi.org/10.1080/13602365.2023.2257713

Davison, G. and Woodcock, I. (2023) ‘Researching place in urban design’, in H. Kamalipour, P. Aelbrecht and N. Peimani (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Urban Design Methods. Routledge: New York.

Thompson, Sian E.L.., Easthope, H. and Davison, G. (2022), 'Including the majority: Examining the local social interactions of renters in four case study condominiums in Sydney', Journal of Urban Affairs, https://doi.org/10.1080/07352166.2022.2045869

Easthope, H., Crommelin, L., Kerr, Sophie May., Troy, L., van den Nouwelant, R. and Davison, G. (2022), 'Planning for Lower‐Income Households in Privately Developed High‐Density Neighbourhoods in Sydney, Australia', Urban Planning 7(4), 213--228.

Bassiri Abyaneh, A., Allan, A., Pieters, J. and Davison, G. (2021), Developing a GIS-Based Tourist Walkability Index Based on the AURIN Walkability Toolkit—Case Study: Sydney CBD, in S. Geertman, C. Pettit, R. Goodspeed and A. Staffans (eds.) Urban Informatics and Future Cities.   Springer, pp. 233-256.

Easthope, H., Crommelin, L., Troy, L., Davison, G., Nethercote, M., Foster, S., van den Nouwelant, R., Kleeman, A., Randolph, B. and Horne, R. (2020), 'Improving outcomes for apartment residents and neighbourhoods', AHURI Final Report (329).

Freestone, R., Davison, G. and Hu, R. (2019), 'Designing the global city: Design excellence, competitions and the remaking of central Sydney'. Palgrave Macmillan: Singapore.

Davison, G., Freestone, R., Hu, R. and Baker, S. (2018), 'The impacts of mandatory design competitions on urban design quality in Sydney, Australia', Journal of Urban Design 23(2), 257-277. 

Davison, G. (2017), 'The character of the Just City: The regulation of place distinctiveness and its unjust social effects', Town Planning Review 88(3), 305-325.

Davison, G., Han, H. and Liu, E. (2017), 'The impacts of affordable housing development on host neighbourhoods: two Australian case studies', Journal of Housing and the Built Environment 32(4), 733-753.

Davison, G., Legacy, C., Liu, E. and Darcy, M. (2016), 'The Factors Driving the Escalation of Community Opposition to Affordable Housing Development', Urban Policy and Research 34(4), 386-400.

Legacy, C., Davison, G. and Liu, E. (2016), 'Delivering Social Housing: Examining the Nexus between Social Housing and Democratic Planning', Housing, Theory and Society 33(3), 324-341. 

van den Nouwelant, R., Davison, G., Gurran, N., Pinnegar, S. and Randolph, B. (2015), 'Delivering affordable housing through the planning system in urban renewal contexts: converging government roles in Queensland, South Australia and New South Wales', Australian Planner 52(2), 77-89.

Davison, G. and Legacy, C. (2014), 'Positive Planning and Sustainable Brownfield Regeneration: The Role and Potential of Government Land Development Agencies', International Planning Studies 19(2), 154-172.

Davison, G. (2013), 'Place-making or place-claiming? Creating a 'Latino quarter' in Oakland, California', Urban Design International 18(3), 200-216.

Davison, G., Legacy, C., Liu, E., Han, H., Phibbs, P., Van Den Nouwelant, R., Darcy, M. and Piracha, A. (2013), 'Understanding and addressing community opposition to affordable housing development', AHURI Final Report(211), 1-183. 

Davison, G., Dovey, K. and Woodcock, I. (2012), '"Keeping Dalston Different": Defending Place-Identity in East London', Planning Theory and Practice 13(1), 47-69. 

Davison, G. and Rowden, E. (2012), '"There's Something about Subi": Defending and Creating Neighbourhood Character in Perth, Australia', Journal of Urban Design 17(2), 189-212.

Davison, G. (2011), 'An unlikely Urban symbiosis: Urban intensification and neighbourhood character in Collingwood, Vancouver', Urban Policy and Research 29(2), 105-124.