The RMIT University was the venue of the launch of Planning for Coexistence?, a new book written by Associate Professor Libby Porter from the RMIT Centre for Urban Research, and Assistant Professor Janice Barry from University of Manitoba, Canada.

Launched by Wurundjeri Tribe Council Elder, Uncle Bill Nicholson, the book reveals the critical role played by planning in delivering land justice for Indigenous peoples. One of the first studies in the world on the experiences of Indigenous communities in Australia and Canada, the book according to Porter, explains the need for a disruption to standard planning practices and conventional methods, and also for a new generation of planners to recognise the continuing connection and authority of Indigenous peoples on their lands.

The book features rich case studies of Indigenous peoples’ everyday experience of urban and environmental planning, via collaboration with Melbourne’s Wurundjeri Council and the northern Victorian Wadi Wadi community, as well as the Gitanyow Huwilp and Tsleil-Waututh Nation in British Columbia.

Barry says the book encourages practitioners, researchers, analysts and policymakers to engage in a much more conscious way in developing meaningful, long-term collaborative partnerships with Indigenous communities. She explained how Indigenous community leaders, planning practitioners and academics could really learn from these communities, and hoped the book would become an important resource for planning education.

The authors also hope the book starts new conversations across the planning and environment professions about what it will take to work differently, and support the principle of self-determination for Indigenous peoples.

The book is available through publisher Routledge.