• CLIMATE AND CLIMATE CHANGE (Environmental theory and policy,)
  • HUMAN GEOGRAPHY (Child friendly cities; social policy and disability studies)
  • LAND AND WATER MANAGEMENT (Climate change and urban resilience)
  • URBAN AND REGIONAL PLANNING (Urbanisation and urban policy; urban political economy; sustainability, urban governance)



  • Brendan Gleeson joined Melbourne University in January 2012 as Professor of Urban Policy Studies and then took on the directorship of the Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute in early 2013.

    Professor Gleeson came from the position of Deputy Director of the National University of Ireland’s National Institute for Regional and Spatial Analysis. Prior to that he set up the Urban Research Program at Griffith University and was its inaugural Director.

    Professor Gleeson has made significant scholarly contributions in urban and social policy, environmental theory and policy, and is a regular commentator in newspapers, television and radio. He has qualifications in geography and urban planning, including a masters degree from the University of Southern California and a PhD from the University of Melbourne. Professor Gleeson is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Social Sciences.

    He is the author or editor of fourteen books, three of which have won national and international prizes, and numerous journal articles. His research interests include urban planning and governance, urban social policy, disability studies, and environmental theory and policy. His work has focused on socio-spatial analysis of suburbs, their vulnerability to oil shocks and the need for better public transport options, and most recently looking at the urban levers that could be deployed by the State to address the under-provision of crisis housing for Melbourne's homeless.

    Gleeson was the inaugural recipient of the John Iremonger Award for Writing on Public Issues (Allen & Unwin Publishers) leading to the publication of his seminal book Australian Heartlands: Making Space for Hope in the Suburbs. Brendan's latest book is The Urban Condition (Routledge, 2014), and he was a co-editor and key contributor to the Griffith Review 52 Imagining the Future (Griffith Review, Text Publishing, 2016).



Selected publications


Investigator on


Education and training

  • PhD, University of Melbourne 1994
  • MURP, University of Southern California 1989
  • BTRP(Hons), University of Melbourne 1986

Awards and honors

  • Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia, 2008
  • John Iremonger Award for Writing on Public Issues, Inaugural recipient, Allen & Unwin, 2004
  • National Award for Planning Excellence, Planning Scholarship for "Australian Urban Planning: new challenges, new agendas" - shared with N.P.Low, Royal Australian Planning Institute, 2001
  • Award for Planning Excellence, Planning Scholarship for "Australian Urban Planning: new challenges, new agendas" - shared with N.P.Low, Royal Australian Planning Institute, Victorian Divison, 2000
  • Harold and Margaret Sprout Award for "Justice, Society & Nature: an exploration pf political ecology" - shared with N.P Low, International Studies Association, 1999
  • Awarded for best "National Urban Planning and Development Essay", Australia, Peter Harrison Memorial Prize, 1999
  • Young Research Workers Award, Royal Geographical Society-Institute of British Geographers, 1996
  • (High Priority), Australian Postgraduate Research Award, 1990
  • Gordon Whitnall Proze for academic achievement, University of Southern California, 1989
  • Honours, School of Urban and Regional Planning, Comprehensive Examinations, University of Southern California, 1988



Available for supervision

  • N

Supervision Statement

  • Professor Gleeson supervises in his areas of research expertise namely, urban and regional planning, urban governance, environmental policy and theory, and urban social policy, especially disability.