Peter Newman is the Professor of Sustainability at Curtin University and Director of CUSP which has 60 PhD students working on all aspects of the green economy. Peter is on the Board of Infrastructure Australia that is funding infrastructure for the long term sustainability of Australian cities, and is a Lead Author for Transport on the IPCC. His recent books include ‘Green Urbanism in Asia’, ‘Resilient Cities: Responding to Peak Oil and Climate Change’ and ‘Green Urbanism Down Under’. In 2001-3 Peter directed the production of WA’s Sustainability Strategy in the Department of the Premier and Cabinet, 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. Peter invented the term ‘automobile dependence’ to describe how we have created cities where we have to drive everywhere. 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 in the White House in 1999. He was a Councillor in the City of Fremantle from 1976-80 where he still lives. In 2014 Peter was awarded an AO for contributions to urban design and sustainable transport, particularly related to the saving and rebuilding of Perth’s rail system.
Curtin University professor of sustainability Peter Newman warns that the new high-speed rail proposal must favour urban regeneration over the “failed idea” of building new towns in greenfield areas.