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Conference paper
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From the late 1920s to at least the mid-1940s, David Lomas Davidson (1893-1952) was the most powerful and influential administrator in town planning in Australia. As Town Planning Commissioner for Western Australia from 1929 until his death, his job was to implement the spirit and letter of the Town Planning and Development Act 1928. Davidson’s credentials for this position were consolidated in New South Wales in the 1920s. With a professional background in surveying, he joined the Town Planning Association of NSW as a vocal advocate for planning legislation and becoming President in 1928. Davidson succeeded Sir John Sulman as Vernon Memorial Lecturer in Town Planning at Sydney University in 1929. His enthusiasm for spreading the ‘good word’ about planning as well as the application of his sound practical planning skills continued in the West from 1929 but as an administrator he proved a controversial and divisive figure. There were gains but depression, war and likely his cantankerous personality hindered his effectiveness. This paper provides a brief biographical overview of his planning work and contributions, venturing also into his personal life which proved just as tempestuous and revealing.

Publication Details
Source title:
Proceedings of the 13th Australasian Urban History Planning History Conference 2016
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