The State of Australian Cities (SOAC) national conferences have been held biennially since 2003 to support interdisciplinary policy-related urban research. SOAC 5 was held in Melbourne and hosted by the University of Melbourne, RMIT University, Monash University, Swinburne University of Technology and Latrobe University as well as the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute and the Grattan Institute, the Victorian State Government and the City of Melbourne.

Three plenary panels brought researchers from across the country to address ‘big issues’: place-based disadvantage, the design and form of Australian cities, and metropolitan governance. Over 175 papers, in 46 themed sessions, cover topics ranging from planning and governance for environmental sustainability, to housing affordability and adequacy in the context of an ageing population. Healthy communities, better public transport, high quality open space, participatory planning, and issues affecting the peri-urban fringe are also strong sub-themes within this conference. All published papers have been subject to a peer reviewing process.

Papers from all past and subsequent SOAC conferences can be found at the State of Australian Cities Conferences Collection on APO.

Conference paper

Aliens from the garden

This paper examines the role of weeds beyond the spatial, to consider their history, both social and evolutionary. The central focus is, however, the ‘culture’: the definition of place that makes the plant a problem. We are particularly interested in how changing cultural aesthetics in...
Conference paper

A health planning tool identifying areas of need and disadvantage for stormwater harvesting plans

This project developed a health planning tool that supports the identified link between community health and wellbeing and the planning, placement and improvement of green infrastructure. The tool provides a planning mechanism to identify disadvantaged communities and populations at risk of chronic illness and heatwaves.
Conference paper

Unheard stories and unmet expectations - the failure of planning

This paper will outline, particularly from the community perspective the problems with planning shifting from planners to politicians and away from the balance between planners, politicians and community that it should be.
Conference paper

Toward a greater understanding of food access in Melbourne

This is a scoping paper that addresses healthy food access in Melbourne. The investigation is premised the concept of ‘food deserts’, spaces within cities that lack ‘adequate access’ to affordable, healthy food.
Conference paper

Current problems and new departures in conserving private heritage resources within Australia's urban planning frameworks

This paper outlines present threats to privately-held heritage resources in the absence of significant financial support from the state. It canvasses alternative policies for providing heritage support within local planning frameworks.