Philip Harrison is the South African Research Chair in Development Planning and Modeling at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg. He also serves on South Africa's National Planning Commission. He holds a doctoral degree from the University of Natal (Durban) and a masters degree in urban planning from the same institution. He is a registered member of the South African Council of Planners (SACPLAN) and the South African Planning Institute (SAPI).
Philip has worked in the field of urban planning for around 25 years, in the public, private and academic sectors. He worked previously as an Urban Planner for the Natal Provincial Administration (1988-92); for a private planning firm (1992-93); as a Lecturer and Associate Professor at the then University of Natal (1994-2000); as Professor of Urban Planning and Associate Dean at Wits University (2001-2006); as Executive Director: Development Planning and Urban Management for the City of Johannesburg (2006-2010); and, since March 2010 as South African Research Chair in Development Planning and Modeling at Wits. As Executive Director in the City of Johannesburg, Philip was the head of a department responsible for forward spatial planning for the city, the approval of development applications, spatial information systems, urban management programmes, and had administrative oversight over special projects such as inner city redevelopment, the Alexandra Renewal Programme, Cosmo City development. In April 2010, Philip was appointed by the State President as a member of the National Planning Commission, and has been closely involved in the preparation of a National Development Plan for South Africa.