Professor Heather MacDonald is an academic in planning and head of the School of Built Environment, in the Faculty of Design, Architecture and Building at UTS.
Her research focuses on equity in access to housing, affordable housing finance, spatial analysis, and estimating the economic and social impacts of public investments. She has co-authored two books on geographic information systems (GIS) and urban planning, ‘Unlocking the Census with GIS’ (2004), and ‘Urban Policy and the Census’ (2011). Other research is published in leading urban studies/planning journals and in major reports to government agencies.
Heather received her PhD in Urban Planning at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey in the US. Heather has worked as a policy advisor to state and federal (US) agencies concerned with housing and community development. Her research has received funding in a variety of competitive grants including one US HUD grant and two ARC Discovery grants.
Since moving to Sydney in 2008, her research has investigated the effect of rail investments on housing prices, the impact of planning regulations on housing affordability, ethnic discrimination in the Sydney rental market, and the planning reform process in NSW.