Researcher and educator Dr Carl Grodach has been selected as the foundation head of Monash University’s Art Design and Architecture (MADA) inaugural Master of Urban Planning and Design course.

Grodach is currently teaching at the Queensland University of Technology (QUT), where he lectures in Urban Design and Community Planning, a course that focusses on community economic development, cultural planning, and urban revitalisation. 

He is also working with academics from across Australia on an Australian Research Council (ARC) project, ‘Urban cultural policy and the changing dynamics of cultural production’, that aims to investigate how cities in Australia, the US, China, and Germany, foster the creative industries through spatial planning and policy.

Outside of his teaching experience, Grodach has been published in leading urban studies, planning, and cultural policy journals and is co-editor of The Politics of Urban Cultural Policy: Global Perspectives (2013) and co-author of Urban Revitalization: Remaking Cities in a Changing World (2015). 

“Carl is exactly the right person to lead our new course. The Master of Urban Planning and Design has been designed to be hands-on and studio-based – and I was delighted to learn Carl has undertaken a similar approach to his teaching at QUT,” says professor Naomi Stead, head of architecture at MADA.

According to Grodach, the new urban planning and design program will enable students to engage in immersive, collaborative, and hands-on experience to tackle real world urban issues. 

“Planning students will have access to the wealth of knowledge and experience across the MADA faculty and Monash University while engaging with planning practitioners from across Melbourne and Victoria,” he says.

“Students will learn the technical skills necessary for all practicing planners as well as gain unique access to a wealth of design and visual communication knowledge and expertise."

"They will bring this experience to bear on addressing crucial - and integrated- urban issues around public space, housing, transport, and environmental justice,” he says.

“We will not only study and test ideas that improve the CBD but look at our everyday suburbs and regional communities,” Grodach says.

Asked what part of the course will have the greatest impact on the Australian context, Grodach notes that community economic development is inseparable from urban revitalisation. 

“Urban decline and revitalisation are impacted by a confluence of factors related to public policy, real estate dynamics, private sector investment, and community efforts.,” he says.

“We therefore need integrated planning strategies to affect the policy change necessary toward creating broad-based opportunity for all communities. Improving the design of our cities and public spaces is important, but this alone will not bring about true urban revitalisation.”

"We need to understand how all of this is interconnected to make truly great places,” says Grodach.

Grodach will formally join Monash University as of mid-November 2018.