Urban morphology and spatial analysis
Building and urban metabolism
Green infrastructure and ecosystem services
Architectural/urban ambience (experienced physical and psychological qualities of the built environment)
Fields of Research (FoR)Urban analysis and development, Landscape architecture, Sustainable architecture, Urban design, Urban planning and health
Paul Osmond has been engaged with sustainable development since the 1980s, both in practice and more recently, through teaching and research. He joined Built Environment in 2010, from his previous position as manager of the UNSW Environment Unit where he was accountable for development and implementation of the University’s Environmental Management Plan. Prior to this role, Paul worked in local government, where he was responsible for the...view more
Paul Osmond has been engaged with sustainable development since the 1980s, both in practice and more recently, through teaching and research. He joined Built Environment in 2010, from his previous position as manager of the UNSW Environment Unit where he was accountable for development and implementation of the University’s Environmental Management Plan. Prior to this role, Paul worked in local government, where he was responsible for the delivery of a variety of pioneering environmental management, landscape and urban design programs and projects. His professional background includes experience in consultancy, forestry, freelance journalism and the metal industry. Paul has qualifications in applied science, environmental management and landscape design. His PhD research focused on methods for evaluation and design of sustainable urban form.
Paul is the University's representative to the Green Building Council of Australia, and sits on the editorial boards of the journals Urban Morphology, Urban Planning and Architecture. He is a Certified Environmental Practitioner, Registered Environmental Auditor, Green Star Accredited Professional, Fitwel ‘Ambassador’ and a member of the International Association for Urban Climate and the International Ecological Engineering Society.
Grad. Dip. Environmental Management (Charles Sturt)
Master of Design (RMIT)
My Research Activities
My research interests cover a range of topics within the broad ambit of built environment sustainability, including urban morphology, urban metabolism and ecosystem services, urban climatology and architectural/urban ambience (experienced physical and psychological qualities of the built environment). I see the future direction of my research as consolidating and developing the above, with a key objective being to support the emergence and growth of recognised “nodes of excellence” around these (and related) topics. Relevant recent projects:.
2021 (ongoing): SkyParks – Greening our City Innovation project to research and develop cost-effective methods for greening under-utilised urban spaces. Waverley Council, with UNSW Built Environment, Scentre Group, Entertainment Quarter, Goodstart, Biofilta Urban Farms, Costa Georgiadis, McGregor Coxall, Common Grounds. Role – Technical Adviser.
2020: Masterplanning – Western Sydney Agribusiness Precinct (Dep't of Planning, Industry & Environment, Western Sydney Planning Partnership, Studio Hollenstein, WSU, Ethos Urban, Agrology). Role –Technical Adviser.
2020-2021: Western Sydney Turn Down the Heat: Urban Heat Planning Review (Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils, Civille, Atelier 10, University of Adelaide). Role – Technical Adviser.
2019-2020: Urban Heat Amelioration Design Guide: Reducing Urban Heat at the Lot Scale in New Developments (Victorian Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning). Role – Chief Investigator.
2018: Low Carbon Guide Residential Buildings Retrofit (CRC for Low Carbon Living). Role: Chief Investigator.
2018: Cooling Sydney Strategy – Planning for Sydney 2050 Project (City of Sydney Council and the CRC for Low Carbon Living). Role – Associate Investigator.
2017-2018: Microclimate and UHI Mitigation Decision-Support Tool (CRC LCL and range of industry partners). Role – Associate Investigator.
2016-2017: Guide to Urban Cooling Strategies (CRC for Low Carbon Living, AECOM, Hassell, ARUP, NSW Office of Environment and Heritage). Role – Chief Investigator.
My Research Supervision
Areas of supervision
Paul currently supervises nine PhD students and one MPhil student whose topics include urban resilience, water sensitive urban design, regenerative architecture, green infrastructure and the relationship between built form and human wellbeing.
Coming to academia from three decades of practice in the public, private and NGO sectors, my teaching rationale embraces the perspective that knowledge is created through the transformation of experience. Within this experiential framework learning is best served by an approach which is both context-based, responsive to social context and setting; and problem-based, characterised by the use of "real world" problems as the framework for students to learn critical thinking and problem-solving skills. I focus on achieving continual improvement in teaching effectiveness through attention to student feedback and maintaining links with built environment practice. I currently teach across the postgraduate Sustainable Development Program, where I am keen to bring insights from research and practice to courses embracing sustainability and habitability, managing the sustainable built environment and I also convene the program's "capstone" Graduate Research Project.