Peter Newman is the Professor of Sustainability at Curtin University and was recently a Visiting Professor in Architecture at the National University of Singapore. He also sits on the Board of Infrastructure Australia; the body responsible for funding infrastructure for the long-term sustainability of Australian cities. His two new books, published in 2009, Resilient Cities: Responding to Peak Oil and Climate Change, and Green Urbanism Down Under, were both written with Tim Beatley.
Between 2001 and 2003, Professor Newman directed the production of Western Australia’s Sustainability Strategy in the Department of the Premier and Cabinet. It was the first state sustainability strategy in the world. In 2004/5 he was a Sustainability Commissioner in Sydney advising the government on planning issues.
In 2006/7 he was a Fulbright Senior Scholar at the University of Virginia Charlottesville where he wrote his new books.
Peter is best known in Western Australia for his work in saving, reviving and extending Perth’s rail system. Peter invented the term ‘automobile dependence’ which is now part of most planning practice and theory.
For 30 years, since he attended Stanford University during the first oil crisis, he has been warning cities about preparing for peak oil. Peter’s book with Jeff Kenworthy Sustainability and Cities: Overcoming Automobile Dependence, was launched at the White House in Washington DC, in 1999.
He was a Local Government Councillor in the City of Fremantle from 1976-80 where he still lives.