Community Planning and Development

As a scholarly discipline, planning offers critical thinking about space and place, examining how human societies make decisions that shape how we live in cities and towns around the world. If you care about the neighbourhood you live in, the time it takes to get to work, or just the fact that water from your tap is drinkable, then you care about planning. Planning gives you the opportunity to change the way we live for the better by studying our local environments, cities, geography and community priorities.

The Community Planning and Development program at La Trobe University focuses on how community engagement and participation is central to the processes of shaping the places in which we live. We give strong recognition to the growing importance of understanding and working with communities, of community development agendas and of the need to achieve social, economic and environmental improvements with a focus on supporting and facilitating sustainable development for liveable communities in rural and regional areas in Australia and overseas with a particular emphasis on the countries of South and South East Asia.

Community Planning and Development staff at La Trobe specialise in:

  • Land use planning and regional development
  • Planning in peri-urban and rural areas
  • Planning education in cross-cultural settings
  • Planning and socio-economic change in small cities and towns
  • Risk theory and ecological psychology in planning
  • Policy development; the politics of planning and community development practice community economies
  • Gender in development

Our research is based on strong community engagement and theoretical and empirical work at the cutting edge of the discipline. We offer a broad range of subjects, have a thriving postgraduate program, and a strong research culture with extensive national and international links.

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Recent events

Will the Future of Planning Change Due to the Pandemic?

This discussion was facilitated by Dr Julie Rudner is Convenor, Community Planning and Development at La Trobe University, Australia. With Associate Professor Shauna Brail (University of Toronto, Canada), Dr Michael Martin (Aalborg University, Denmark), Dr Rangajeewa Ratnayake (University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka) and Dr Jagath Munasinghe (University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka).