Housing Affordability is a crucial ingredient in connected urban density.  All new mixed-use neighbourhoods should feature intrinsic inclusive...

Housing Affordability: Place by Place Forum


The Connection
2138 NSW

Place by Place Forum – Exploring the Importance of Place Thinking in Affordable and Social Housing


Mr Fong Chun Wah

Mr Fong Chun Wah

Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Singapore Housing and Development Board

Mr Fong Chun Wah is Housing and Development Board's (HBD) deputy chief executive officer (Building) [DCEO(B)]. In this capacity, he leads the five Building Groups in HDB, and is responsible for the physical development and sustainability of HDB’s towns. The five Building Groups carry out long term strategic and comprehensive urban planning, infrastructure planning and development, and the design, construction and contracts management of new development and upgrading projects. The groups also carry out social and economic research and surveys to gather feedback. They also drive the implementation of sustainable and Smart towns.

Mr Fong joined HDB in 1980 as an architect, after graduating with a Bachelor of Architecture (Honours) from the University Of Singapore. He was awarded the HDB overseas postgraduate scholarship and attained his Master of City Planning and Master of Architecture from the University of Pennsylvania in 1986. Mr Fong practised as an architect in the architectural department, and held various positions in the research and planning department before he was appointed as director (Building Quality) from January 2008 to August 2009 where he oversaw the management of HDB’s construction projects for about one and a half years.

He was group director (development & procurement) [GDDP] from Sep 2009 to Mar 2016. As GDDP, he was noted for his key contributions in the development and rejuvenation of public housing through design studies and overseeing design of new and upgrading projects, procurement and management of consultancy and building contracts and financial management, successfully meeting the demands of the ramped up building programme, and achieving sustainable and community-centric designs in public housing developments. In recognition of Mr Fong’s significant contribution to the Singapore public service, he was conferred the Public Administration Medal (Silver) in 2008.

Rick Graf

Rick Graf

Billbergia Group Representative

Rick Graf is a global property expert having delivered major public and private projects in countries including the USA, Hong Kong, Singapore and Australia over the past 40 years, earning numerous international awards. For six years he represented the four Wentworth Point Landowners in the development and delivery of Sydney's Bennelong Bridge, which has become a topical value capture case study in privately funded public infrastructure.

Rick is a member of the Planning Committee and the Urban Development Committee of the UDIA and member of their Housing Affordability and Greater Sydney Commission Task Forces. He is also a director of MetroWest Rail consortium that has submitted an unsolicited proposal to the NSW Government for the development of a new metro rail project connecting Parramatta and Sydney CBDs in 15 minutes by 2024.

Dr Tim Williams

CEO of the Committee for Sydney

Dr Tim Williams is CEO of the Committee for Sydney, ‘an increasingly influential policy forum’ (Australian Financial Review). The Committee has been welcomed by Premier Berejiklian as providing ‘key thought leadership for the city we love’. 
Before coming to Australia in late 2010, Tim was recognised as one of the UK’s thought-leaders in urban regeneration and economic development. Between 2000 and 2010 he wrote 400 weekly columns for the specialist professional journal, Regeneration and Renewal, and in 2003 was named by readers of that journal as the leading personality in the sector in the UK. This award also owed something to the profile Tim developed as CEO of the Thames Gateway London Partnership between 1998 and 2003.
In this position, Tim played an important role in attracting massive new investment in infrastructure into East London and established the urban renewal case which helped secure the 2012 Olympic Games for the area. In recognition of his work, Tim was appointed a founding associate member of Tony Blair’s Prime Minister’s Delivery Unit in 2002. Between 2005 and 2010 Tim was a special advisor on housing, urban regeneration and planning to five successive senior UK ministers, a unique record.
As a special advisor he helped create a new national urban regeneration and affordable housing organisation, the Homes and Communities Agency, which managed an £8 billion budget. He also helped to reignite the £25 billion CrossRail project — on a ‘Thames Gateway’ alignment through both Stratford and Woolwich — part-funded through a value capture model which Tim helped to develop. Tim was part of the government team which created what became ‘UK City Deals’ now being implemented in Australia. 
He has also advised the London mayor on housing and the Australian federal minister for Housing. In 2007, he chaired an inquiry into the quality of housing in East London on behalf of the Housing Corporation and the Commission for Architecture and Built Environment published as The Williams Report. He wrote London Mayor Boris Johnson’s first draft Residential Design Guide for London in 2009 — and accompanied the London mayor on a visit to New York that year as an expert on social housing, for discussions with Mayor Bloomberg’s team. 
Tim has also worked at a senior level in the private sector. His last role in the UK was as managing director of Navigant Consulting Public Services’ team, where he acted as strategic advisor to the CEO of Lend Lease on the building of the Olympic Athletes’ Village in Stratford, East London. 
Since arriving in Sydney in late 2010, Tim has written some ground breaking and influential reports on housing, urban policy and the potential impact of high speed broadband on cities and public policy. He has written a number of columns on public policy, housing and urban issues for the main Sydney media outlets; the Sydney Morning Herald, the Daily Telegraph and the Fifth Estate and regularly appears on radio and TV. He is regular lecturer on urban policy issues for University of Technology, Sydney. Tim has a blog hosted by the UK’s leading urban regeneration journal, Regeneration and Renewal.
His work for the Committee for Sydney on the ‘big city’ policy issues has helped make that organisation become a key player in policy-making for Sydney. Its work with the NSW Government on developing Sydney as a global talent hub has been innovative and has had impact both on public policy and private sector best practice. He has been asked to advise on a number of key initiatives in Sydney including planning, urban renewal and governance reform. He is working closely with the NSW Government on a joint project with the Committee for Sydney — Sydney as a Financial Services Knowledge Hub – aimed at creating a platform for collaboration between the public and private sectors in driving Sydney’s financial sector.
Tim has previously advised both the South Australian and Federal Governments on affordable and social housing innovation and was a trusted source of advice on the design of the Greater Sydney Commission based on his experience of being a ministerial advisor negotiating new powers for the London mayor in 2005 to 6. He is currently advising the Australian Federal Government on its cities policy agenda. Tim was raised in public housing in a mining community in South Wales before studying at universities in Cambridge, Oxford and Wales.
He has a degree in history from the University of Cambridge (1978), having been a student at Peterhouse where he had been a winner of the PC Vellacott History Essay Competition. He has a teaching qualification from the University of Oxford (1984), a Ph.D. from the University of Wales (1990) and has been called to the Bar from the Inner Temple (1998). Tim has published Patriot Games, essays on Wales (1997), and he has written and presented a 50 minute television documentary based on his Ph.D. broadcast by the BBC in 1995. Between 1997 and 2000 he wrote a weekly column for The Scotsman newspaper. He is currently an Adjunct Professor in the Business School at UTS.

Heather Nesbitt

Social Commissioner, Greater Sydney Commission

Heather Nesbitt has over 30 years of experience in social sustainability, social housing, community infrastructure planning and social impact assessment. Ms Nesbitt has primarily worked on major greenfield and urban renewal projects, including public/social housing for government, non-profit and the private sector. She is committed to researching and delivering social outcomes which improve quality of life and wellbeing. She has significant experience in ensuring stakeholder and community consultation outcomes are considered in all projects.
Bob Perry

Bob Perry

Chair of Place Leaders Asia Pacific, Director Scott Carver

Bob has over thirty years of directing architecture in Sydney, and is highly regarded for his innovative approach having won several inaugural industry awards for his work. Bob is a director at architectural practice Scott Carver and has built a strong reputation with the team, clients and peers as a visionary for place-making. His approach to problem-solving has seen him welcomed into leading a broad array of both private and public sector projects.

He has played an instrumental role in defining Sydney’s Darling Harbour, led a major portion of the building works for the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, been a key advisor to the government on the Sydney Metro project, and is also joint design director for the ongoing works at the world heritage listed Sydney Opera House.

Bob’s involvement on large scale private developments facilitates an abiding interest in urban design and the forces that shape cities and neighbourhoods. He lectures regularly to promote new perspectives on urban design and density such as his ‘agoradynamics’ and ‘ultra-local cycling’ series. Bob travels frequently to Japan where he ‘bushwalks’ in Tokyo as a laboratory for 21st century solutions to connected urban living.


Tony McNamara

Tony McNamara

Director Planning & Environment, City of Canada Bay

Tony McNamara is director of Planning and Environment at the City of Canada Bay Council. He has been in the position for twelve and a half years and in that time his council has gazetted the first LEP using the new standard template and subsequently updated with a second version. Prior to Canada Bay, Tony was a partner with Environmental Resources Management, a consulting firm specialising in environmental impact assessment and contaminated site management.  
As a planner Tony was involved in the assessment of a number of linear projects including the Pacific Highway upgrade, power transmission projects, and a gas line project in China. Currently Tony is a vice president of the Planning Institute of Australia NSW Division. Tony has previously been chair of Local Government Planners Network, and national councillor representing NSW. Tony has worked for a total of five councils and has a good appreciation of the issues facing councils from a city, coastal and regional perspective.
In recent times, Canada Bay Council has focused on the issue of provision of affordable rental housing. Tony has facilitated the acquisition of approximately 30 affordable housing units through use of Voluntary Planning Agreements (VPA) and is currently addressing the adoption of inclusionary zoning mechanisms to generate affordable housing within areas of urban renewal.
Qualifications: MELGLaw, BA, Dip U.S, Dip LGMgt, Cert LG planner, RLFPIA.
Adrian Harrington

Adrian Harrington

Head of Funds Management, Folkestone

Adrian joined Folkestone in April 2011 following the acquisition of Equity Real Estate Partners. Adrian was a founding partner of Equity Real Estate Partners. Adrian has more than 25 years of experience in the funds management and real estate industries. He is currently chairman of the Australian Construction Industry Forum’s Construction Forecasting Council and is a non-executive director of the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute (AHURI). He was formerly CEO Funds Management, UK and USA for Mirvac Group. He previously held senior positions at James Fielding Group, Deutsche Asset Management, Paladin Australia and the Property Council of Australia. 
Tracy Howe

Tracy Howe

CEO, NSW Council of Social Services

Tracy Howe is chief executive officer of the Council of Social Service of NSW (NCOSS).
Tracy is a legally trained advocate with a commitment to human rights, addressing community disadvantage and gender inequality. Previously, Tracy has worked in both government and non-government settings, including with Domestic Violence NSW as chief executive officer and as a senior legal advisor in federal government.
Tracy currently sits on the NSW Government’s Social Impact Investment Expert Advisory Group and is appointed to the NSW Domestic and Family Violence Council, the NSW Premier's Council on Homelessness and was the NSW non-government representative on the National Plan Implementation Panel for the National Plan to Reduce Violence Against Women and their Children.
Tracy is also a director of Community 21, a community sector consortium that co-owns a banking service for not-for-profits. Previously, Tracy was a delegate with the Australian Women Against Violence Alliance (AWAVA) at the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) at the 57th and 58th sessions held at the United Nations in New York.
In February 2015, Tracy won the Agenda Setter Award at the NAB Women’s Agenda Leadership Awards. In May 2015, Tracy was appointed to the Prime Minister’s COAG Advisory Panel on Reducing Violence against Women. Tracy is also an ambassador of the Australian Centre for Leadership for Women and in December 2015 completed a Certificate in Making Your Organisation Innovative at the Judge Business School, Cambridge University.
In August 2016, Tracy was appointed to the NSW Council for Women's Economic Opportunity (CWEO). Tracy holds degrees in gender studies and law. 
Dr Tarsha Finney

Dr Tarsha Finney

Senior Lecturer, University of Technology Sydney

Dr Tarsha Finney is an architectural urbanist and educator. She is senior lecturer in the School of Architecture at the University of Technology Sydney, and visiting professor at the Royal College of Art, London. Her research work focuses on several areas: housing, domesticity and questions of density and centralisation in the city with reference to notions of disciplinary autonomy and change in architecture. Her doctoral work looked at the multi-scalar role of large housing projects in the transformation of mid-century New York.

At the RCA Tarsha leads the Intergenerational Cities Research project. This work links the cities of London, Sydney and Hong Kong through investigations into spatial performance in housing, demographic and labour changes and social equity in cities, in partnership with industry players such as British Land, MTR and Urban Growth NSW and with community social housing providers. Tarsha speaks regularly in Australia on radio and television, and she writes for the general press about the issues of housing and contemporary urban transformation.  

In 2012 she was an invited speaker at TEDx Sydney. She has been an invited critic in graduate architecture programs around the world including Hong Kong University, the Bartlett University College London, the Architecture Association and Nottingham University. She is currently putting together a publication that looks at the conditions for experimentation in housing transformation.

Craig Allchin

Craig Allchin

Adjunct Professor of Architecture UTS and Six Degrees Urban

Craig Allchin is an architect and urban designer. He has worked on the city across a range of scales. In the 1990s, as a founding partner of Six Degrees Architects, Craig worked on recycling and renewal projects around the revitalisation of the Melbourne City Centre. He moved to Sydney and spent five years working between Sydney and China as principal urban designer for Urbis, Sydney completing over 40 district and city masterplans. He was then director of Urban Design, for the 2005 and 2010 Metropolitan Strategies for Sydney. 
He returned to Australia in 2015 after living in Brooklyn, New York for 3 years, where he was visiting professor of Urban Design at the Graduate School of Design, University of Pennsylvania. He continues to consult on various projects to governments and the private sector, focusing on strategies at both the macro and micro scales of the city.
Ben Hewett

Ben Hewett

Deputy Government Architect, Office of Government Architect

Ben Hewett is the deputy NSW Government architect, leading the Office of the Government Architect’s strategic function, and providing design advice across government on architecture, the built environment and urban transformation. Ben is also adjunct professor at University of Technology Sydney.
From 2010 to 2014, Ben was the inaugural South Australian Government architect. Concurrently, Ben was executive director of the Integrated Design Commission and the subsequent Office for Design and Architecture SA. From 2010 to 2012, Ben was director of “5000+, an Integrated Design Strategy for inner Adelaide”, a national pilot project collaborating across government, industry and academia to develop a design-based vision for Adelaide and model for urban development.
Ben also established, led and chaired South Australia’s Design Review Program. In these roles, Ben provided strategic advice to government on significant projects, precincts, programs and policy including recently implemented Planning Reform. Prior to these roles, Ben was a senior lecturer with the University of Technology Sydney, and has experience in small, medium and commercial practice in Dubai, China and across Australia.
Tina Kao

Tina Kao

Senior Strategic Planner, City of Canada Bay Council.

Tina Kao is a senior strategic planner at the City of Canada Bay Council. Tina has a background in social planning, strategic planning and community development at the City of Sydney and North Sydney Councils. She was involved in the development of the City of Sydney’s 2030 In Your Village visions and was responsible for development of the first ever ‘Markets in the City’ Policy and Management Guidelines in NSW, which provided multidisciplinary solutions to complex scenarios.

This Policy has been instrumental to the vibrant markets culture and locations currently throughout the City of Sydney. Since Tina began working at the City of Canada Bay, she has revamped Council’s Affordable Housing Policy through the development of an Affordable Housing Position Paper and Evidence Report to assist council in setting out its principles and direction in this important realm. Tina has also led community planning work at the City of Canada Bay and is currently working on priority precincts planning.

Maria Scott

Head of Corporate & Public Affairs, PAYCE

Maria Scott is the head of Corporate & Public Affairs at PAYCE, a major property development and investment company. Her appointment in July 2016 follows 16 years in her own business. She brings more than 25 years of experience to the role having worked in the private, public and not-for-profit sectors across a range of senior positions. Maria has always been attracted to challenging roles that require the fine balance of delivering good value while operating commercially.

Her expertise in marketing, internal communications, media relations, corporate social responsibility, community relations, government dealings and stakeholder management provides her with a sound foundation for increasing business performance and growth. Maria is a current board member at Adele House, a drug and alcohol rehabilitation facility with locations in Sydney and Coffs Harbour. She also held positions with Rotary International, both local and regional, and the Property Industry Foundation, caring for Kids at Risk.

Miranda James

Miranda James

Senior Adviser Sustainability, Panuku Development Auckland

Starting as a journalist, Miranda’s career has taken her across the public, private and not-for-profit sectors in the UK and New Zealand. Her path into sustainability and behaviour change started with digital tools for the transport sector in 2006, and has since embraced collaborative partnerships to effect change in energy, low-carbon business models and healthier homes. This covers projects as diverse as a ‘warrant for fitness’ for rentals, and launching New Zealand’s first energy rating for commercial buildings. As senior adviser of Sustainability at Panuku Development Auckland, her current focus is on finding innovative ways to weave sustainability — social, environmental and economic — into urban regeneration projects.

Professor David Adamson, OBE

Professor David Adamson, OBE

Knowledge Manager, Compass Housing Services

Dave Adamson is knowledge manager at Compass Housing Services, Newcastle, NSW.  He arrived in Australia in 2015 and retains the title of emeritus professor at the University of South Wales, UK, where he worked for 30 years and held the chair of Community and Social Policy. He has extensive experience of research, evaluation and policy development in housing, regeneration and anti-poverty related areas.  He was the author of the Towards a National Housing Strategy. His current interests include housing policy, housing-led community renewal and social housing innovation.

Access and Inclusion

  • Wheelchair Accessible - Access to the venue is suitable for wheelchairs (toilets, ramps/lifts etc.) and designated wheelchair spaces are available.

Event Details

Housing Affordability is a crucial ingredient in connected urban density. 
All new mixed-use neighbourhoods should feature intrinsic inclusive housing to harness funding opportunities and as part of future social value. This social complexity enriches neighbourhood life and contributes to the lasting value of each place and society as a whole.
Intensified densities can improve the viability of neighbourhood services while also funding the capital cost of subsidised rental housing stock. Integrated Place by Place thinking and design localises issues of supply and demand, catalyses delivery programs and particularises social and cultural considerations.
The Housing Affordability ‘Place by Place Forum’ looks at anchoring the opportunities in each new local place through the dimensions of governance, policy, design, partnerships and investment. It explores site specific typologies in greenfield, urban renewal and infill developments with a range of local and international speakers presenting case studies and sharing their expertise.
This forum of local and international speakers will present case studies and share their expertise. It will explore a range of models for housing which consider design, management and theory of place-by-place thinking.

This event is delivered as part of the BIG IDEAS IN PLACE: Place Leaders Asia Pacific Conference 2017https://www.vividsydney.com/event/ideas/big-ideas-place-place-leaders-asia-pacific-conference-2017

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Access and Inclusion

  • Wheelchair Accessible - Access to the venue is suitable for wheelchairs (toilets, ramps/lifts etc.) and designated wheelchair spaces are available.