Researcher

Associate Professor Amelia Thorpe

My Expertise

urban governance, local government and planning law, public participation, DIY urbanism, gender and diversity in planning, legal geography, socio-legal studies

Keywords

Field of Research (FoR)

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Biography

I am currently Research Director (Impact and Engagement) and Associate Professor in Law. I am also Chair of the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee in Law, and co-Chair of the UNSW Women In Research Network (WiRN).

My research centres on the governance of cities, ranging from small scale, informal urban interventions to institutional frameworks for decision-making in planning and development. My approach is interdisciplinary, drawing...view more

I am currently Research Director (Impact and Engagement) and Associate Professor in Law. I am also Chair of the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee in Law, and co-Chair of the UNSW Women In Research Network (WiRN).

My research centres on the governance of cities, ranging from small scale, informal urban interventions to institutional frameworks for decision-making in planning and development. My approach is interdisciplinary, drawing on degrees in Architecture and City Policy as well as Law, and professional experience working on planning, housing and major infrastructure projects. I am currently working on three main research projects: one on equity and diversity on planning and design review panels across Australia; one on DIY urban infrastructure in Australia and North America; and one on housing diversity in Sydney.

Some of my publications can be downloaded for free from SSRN: http://ssrn.com/author=2832516 

I joined UNSW Law in 2012, having worked previously as a director at the Environmental Defender’s Office, Australia’s largest and oldest public interest environmental law organisation. At the EDO I led a capacity-building program for environmental law in the Pacific region, working primarily on climate change at national and international levels.

Before Law I studied Architecture and City Policy, and worked for the planning, transport and housing departments in Western Australia. I worked on projects including the award winning TravelSmart and Liveable Neighbourhoods programs, as well as New Metro Rail, then the largest infrastructure project ever undertake in the state, and Dialogue with the City, a deliberative planning process involving more than 1,000 people. A particular interest in the policy and regulatory aspects of urban development led me to study law. I completed degrees at the University of Oxford and at Harvard Law School and, later, a PhD at ANU. I remain actively involved in the practice of planning, and am currently community representative on the City of Sydney Local Planning Panel.

I have three young children and work part time.


My Grants

‘Creating the City we Want: Tackling the Barriers to Housing Diversity in NSW’, Collaborative Research Project, Landcom University Roundtable, 2018, $153,510 (with Gerard Reinmuth, Brooke Jackson, Harry Scheule and Adrian Lee, UTS, and Louise Crabtree and Neil Perry, WSU)

‘Urban renewal and the privatisation of public space: implications for democracy and equity’, Cross-Faculty Research Grant, 2018, $9,853 (with Luke McNamara, Laura Crommelin, Alyce McGovern, Chris Martin, Nofar Sheffi and Philip Wadds)

‘6th Fordham International and Comparative Urban Law Conference’ Law Workshop Support Scheme, 2018, $3,750 (with Cathy Sherry)

UNSW Law Research Fellowship, 2018

‘Constituting Cities: Multi-disciplinary perspectives on the governance of urban spaces’ Law Workshop Support Scheme, 2017, $8,000 (with Luke McNamara)

‘Co-Producing Multi-Media Resources for Environmental Law’, UNSW Learning and Teaching Innovation Grant, 2014, $25,000 (with Cameron Holley)

‘Reducing Corruption Risks in Climate Change’, United Nations Development Programme, 2010, US$24,000

‘Negotiation Training for Multilateral Environmental Agreements’, Secretariat for the Pacific Regional Environment Programme, 2010, US$5,000


My Qualifications

BEnvDes BArch (Hons) UWA, BPolSt (City Policy) (Hons) Murdoch, BA (Jurisprudence) (Hons) Oxford, LLM, Harvard, PhD, ANU


My Awards

UNSW Law Research Fellowship, 2018

People's Choice Award, UNSW Presidents Awards, 2017 (WiRN Executive Committee)

Legal Innovation Index (winner, individual category), 2016

Lawyers Weekly Women in Law Awards, Academic of the Year (finalist), 2016

Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Teaching Excellence (early career), 2014

Australian and New Zealand Law and History Society prize, 2014

Distinguished Environmental Law Education Award (junior category), IUCN Academy, 2014

Salzburg Global Fellow, 2013

Future Thought Leader, HC Coombs Policy Forum, Australian National University, 2012

Saltonstall Scholarship, Harvard Law School, 2006


My Research Supervision


Currently supervising

Costa Avgoustinos, "Reconciling Climate Change and Social Justice in Earth Jurisprudence" (with Ben Golder and Gabrielle Appleby).


My Engagement

Memberships and professional affiliations

City of Sydney, Local Planning Panel

Planning Institute of Australia

Sydney Urbanistas

Association of Law, Property and Society

International Academic Association of Planning, Law and Property Rights

Institute of Australian Geographers, Legal geography study group

Australian and New Zealand Law and History Society

IUCN Commission on Environmental Law

New York Bar, attorney
 

Editorial roles

Guest Editor, Journal of Law and Society (with Bronwen Morgan), Spring 2018

Editorial Board member, Environmental and Planning Law Journal, 2015 -

Editorial Board member, Australian Planner, 2014 - 

Casenote Editor, Harvard Environmental Law Review, 2006 - 2007

Associate Editor, Oxford University Commonwealth Law Journal, 2005 - 2006

 

Media and professional publications

“People love parklets, and businesses can help make them happen” Future West and The Conversation, 6 December 2017

“The homeless have no choice but to live life in public” The Sydney Morning Herald, 29 June 2017

“Bush democracy wins out but council mergers continue in Sydney” The Conversation 24 February 2017

“A Day for Turning Parking Spaces into Pop-up Parks” The Conversation and The Guardian, September 14, 2016

“Tiny houses, big queues” Australian Design Review 21 October 2015

“The Block shows up limitations in definition of ownership” The Sydney Morning Herald, 7 July 2014

 


My Teaching

My teaching has been recognized with a Distinguished Environmental Law Education Award from the IUCN Academy of Environmental Law, a UNSW Vice-Chancellor's Award for Teaching Excellence, and a Lexis Nexis Legal Innovation Award.

Courses taught

Cities, Planning, Law and Justice (LAWS3073)

Development and Planning Law (LAWS8071)

Land and Environment Court Clinic (LAWS3302)

Climate Law (LAWS8066)

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Location

Room 314
The Law Building
University of New South Wales
UNSW Kensington Campus
Sydney NSW 2052
Australia
(Access via Gate 2 off High Street)

Contact

+61 2 9385 7602
+61 2 9385 1175

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