Assoc. Prof Susan Thompson - UCR Key Researcher.

Domain expert in urban planning with expertise in healthy built environments.


Susan Thompson is an urban planner with specific expertise in creating healthy built environments. She is the Director of the Healthy Built Environments Program within the City Futures Research Centre, Faculty of Built Environment at UNSW. She also holds the position of Associate Professor in planning and between 2005 and 2008 was the Head of the Planning and Urban Development Program. Susan Thompson brings to the project an internationally recognised research capability through work on different projects variously funded by the ARC, NSW Department of Health and the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute. Her academic career grant total is over $3.23 million. Her research capacity is augmented by a thorough knowledge of qualitative methods in people-place research, an ability to work effectively across the theory / practice divide in policy relevant contexts, together with a strong background in local government planning practice in diverse communities. The applied nature of Susan’s research is recognised by frequent invitations to present to meetings of professional practitioners. She is also invited to contribute to key reference groups and advisory panels focusing on health and the built environment.


University of New South Wales

Faculty of the Built Environment

Selected publications:

Kent, J &Thompson, SM 2012, ‘Health and the Built Environment: Exploring Foundations for a New Interdisciplinary Profession’, Journal of Environmental and Public Health, doi:10.1155/2012/958175.

Kent, J, Thompson, SM &Capon, A 2012, ‘Healthy Planning’, in Planning Australia: An Overview of Urban and Regional Planning, ed SM Thompson & PJ Maginn, Cambridge University Press, Melbourne.

Thompson, SM, Kent, J &Wheeler, A 2011, ‘Healthy Built Environments: Connecting and Strengthening Communities’, paper presented to the Third World Planning Schools Congress, Perth, 4–8 July.

Thompson, SM& Kent, J 2011, ‘Supporting Human Health: Focusing Effective Built Environment Interventions’, paper presented to the State of Australian Cities Conference, Melbourne, 29 November – 2 December.

Phibbs, P &Thompson, SM 2011, The Health Impacts of Housing: Toward a Policy-Relevant Research Agenda, AHURI Final Report No.173, Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute, Melbourne.

Kent, J, Thompson, SM &Jalaludin, B 2011, Healthy Built Environments: A Review of the Literature, Healthy Built Environments Program, UNSW, Sydney.

Capon, AG &Thompson, SM 2011, ‘Built Environments of the Future’, in Making Healthy Places: Designing and Building for Health, Well-being and Sustainability, ed AL Dannenberg, H Frumkin & RJ Jackson,Island Press, USA, pp. 366–378.

Wheeler, AR &Thompson, SM 2010, ‘The Future Health & Environmental Sustainability of South East Queensland: Evaluation of the Regional Plan’, Australian Planner, 47(3): 152–161.

Crawford, J, Barton, H, Chapman, T, Higgins, M, Capon, AG &Thompson, SM 2010, ‘Health at the Heart of Spatial Planning’, Planning Theory & Practice11(1): 91–113.

Harris, P, Harris, E, Thompson, SM, Harris-Roxas, B &Kemp, L 2009, ‘Human Health and Wellbeing in Environmental Impact Assessment in New South Wales, Australia’, Environmental Impact Assessment Review, 29: 310–318.

Track record:

PhD, University of Sydney, Australia, 1996

Master of Town & Country Planning, University of Sydney, Australia, 1986

Bachelor of Arts (Hons), Macquarie University, Australia, 1978

Diploma of Education, Macquarie University, Australia, 1978