The future of cities in the United States and Australia will be explored in a landmark urban-planning conference in Brisbane's Parliament House on November 15 & 16, co-hosted by the United States Studies Centre at the University of Sydney, and the Global Change Institute at the University of Queensland.

Senior Obama Administration officials US Assistant Secretary of Transport, Polly Trottenberg, and US Assistant Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Raphael Bostic, will join US business leaders including Dow Chemical Executive Vice President, David Kepler, and the President of Growth Initiatives for Alcoa, Kevin Kramer, and Australian experts to discuss public policy and private sector solutions to the urban challenges facing both countries.

The two-day conference will focus on water management, the built environment, waste and recycling, energy efficiency, and transportation. US Studies Centre chief executive, Professor Geoffrey Garrett, says the gathering will provide cutting-edge thinking and action plans for urban centres in both America and Australia.

"This is a great opportunity to bring together high level government officials, business leaders and experts from both countries to explore ways to create the best cities for the future and modernise existing infrastructure", Professor Garrett said.

"South East Queensland is amongst the fastest growing population regions in Australia so is an ideal location to discuss such global "Future City" planning issues."

Other speakers at the conference include:

  • Hon. Robert Hill: Chairman, Australian Carbon Trust & Adjunct Professor in Sustainability at the US Studies Centre
  • John Norquist: Former Mayor of Milwaukee & CEO, Congress for the New Urbanism
  • Ed Blakely: Former New Orleans recovery czar & Honorary Professor of Urban Policy at the US Studies Centre
  • Robert Cervero: Director, University of California Transportation Centre
  • Mary O'Kane: Chairman of Australian Council for Renewable Energy & NSW Chief Scientist
  • Robert Doyle: Lord Mayor of Melbourne
  • Robert Yaro: President, Regional Plan Association, New York

Media enquiries:

Nina Fudala, US Studies Centre M 0409 321 918 E for national & international media

Rob Mackay-Wood, Global Change Institute M 0410 491 159 E for Queensland media