A ‘slum shack' will be built by urban planning students from The University of Western Australia to highlight the plight of millions of people living in informal settlements in rapidly urbanising areas of the developing world.
The ‘shack' will be constructed during a major UWA-hosted international conference from 4 to 7 July which has attracted planning scholars and researchers from five continents. They will discuss the future of urban and regional planning in an era of global uncertainty and transformation.
"This congress is all about advancing urban and regional planning scholarship, teaching and collaborations" said Conference Chair, Associate Professor Maginn. "I am delighted to say that we have representatives from Slum Dwellers International (SDI), Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing and Organising (WIEGO), and the World Bank taking part.
"SDI and WIEGO will work with our students on the shack in a project that ties in with the keynote address by Mr William Cobbett, who is the Manager of Cities Alliance, Washington DC."
Mr Cobbett joined Cities Alliance - a global coalition committed to poverty reduction - on secondment from the United Nations Human Settlements Program in Nairobi where he designed and launched the Global Campaign for Secure Tenure. Before joining the UN he was Director of Housing for Cape Town, South Africa.
Professor Paul Maginn said the third World Planning Schools Congress - which centres on the theme Planning's Future - Future Planning: Planning in an Era of Global (Un)Certainty and Transformation - was being held in one of the globe's most isolated capital cities.
"Perth is experiencing significant population growth and is on the cusp of another major mining boom," Professor Maginn said. "The city will be transformed over the next decade or so with projects such as the Perth Waterfront, the Link, and Riverside."
From Australia, Asia, Europe, the Americas and Africa, 500 scholars and researchers representing the nine planning regions that make up the Global Planning Education Association Network will deliver more than 400 papers that will consider planning from social, environmental, political, physical and economic standpoints.
"As one of Australia's fastest-growing capital cities experiencing challenging climatic conditions, the greater Perth metropolitan area serves as the ideal location to reflect on the role of urban and regional planning in tackling these issues," he said.
"The conference is set to play a key role in highlighting the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead for policymakers and society in general."
Professor Rob Freestone, Professor of Planning and Urban Development at the University of New South Wales is the other keynote speaker. An internationally recognised planning historian, he will consider the future of planning research and education.
The international achievements of the late Gordon Stephenson, UWA Professor of Architecture and co-author of the 1955 Perth-Fremantle Metropolitan Plan, will also be celebrated in two specially convened sessions.