Richard Tomlinson

Professor of Urban Planning, University of Melbourne

As of 2015 I taught urban governance, housing markets and policy in Australia, and governance and slum upgrading in the Global South. Since 2016 I have a research contract focusing on urban governance.

My publications include articles and books on international urban policy processes, urban governance, housing and services, local economic development. search engine optimisation and the implications for urban policy, mega-events and their urban legacies, and urban aspects of HIV/AIDS. The relative focus has been Australia, South Africa and India.

As an urban policy consultant in Southern Africa I have worked on, inter alia, urban economic development, housing and related infrastructure, HIV/AIDS, and mega events. Clients included the South African Ministry in the Office of the President and the Departments of Housing and Provincial Local Government, the Gauteng Provincial Government and the City of Johannesburg; the South African Cities Network; The World Bank, USAID and UN-HABITAT; international and local NGOs; and also the private sector.


  • 2016–present
    Professor in Urban Planning, University of Melbourne
  • 2009–2015
    Professor, Chair in Urban Planning, University of Melbourne
  • 1993–2008
    Visiting Professor, University of the Witwatersrand
  • 1993–2008
    Urban policy consultant, Self-employed
  • 2007–2008
    Visiting Professor, Columbia University
  • 1989–1993
    Manager, Planning Unit, Development Bank of Southern Africa
  • 1991–1992
    Guest Scholar, Brookings Institution
  • 1981–1988
    Senior Lecturer, University of the Witwatersrand
  • 1986–1987
    Guest Scholar, MIT


  • 1981 
    Rutgers University, PhD


e.g. Resident scholar, Rockefeller Foundation, Bellagio Center