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Australasian Urban History / Planning History Conference 2020

University of Tasmania, Architecture & Design building, Inveresk Campus, Launceston

5th – 7th February 2020

University of Tasmania is proud to host Australasian Urban History / Planning History Conference 2020.

This conference forms part of a year-long program of school initiatives to mark two key anniversaries for architectural education in Tasmania: the 70th anniversary of the establishment of an academic program in Architecture (in 1949), and the 50th anniversary of the elevation of Barry McNeill (in 1969) to lead its radical transformation under the banner of Environmental Design.

Entitled ‘Inhabit’, the program includes exhibitions, conferences, alumni gatherings, and research projects, both looking back to celebrate our journey and achievements, and casting forward to develop new potentials and aspirations.

The submission date for Abstract proposals for the 2020 Urban History / Planning History Conference is now extended to Friday 15th November 2019.

Thanks to the prospective attendees for their proposals. The committee will start sending out responses from Nov 22.

The committee is willing to continue to consider abstracts submitted up until Nov 25

Prospective attendees are encouraged to register attendance through the site as soon as receiving notification of acceptance (to take advantage of the Early-bird rates); and make their travel arrangements soon

Please note that Early-Bird Registration has now been extended to 9th December 2019.

Please also note that Paper Presentation materials will no longer be required to be submitted in advance by 24 January 2020.

Call for papers

Edge Conditions: Invented Peripheries, Hidden Centres

Proposals are being invited for the 15th Australasian Urban History / Planning History conference to be held in Launceston, Tasmania from 5-7 February 2020.

Australia is a nation of ‘coast-huggers’, with the vast bulk of its population residing within 50km of the sea. The geographical centre of the continent constitutes its demographic periphery. This apparent inversion, in which an edge condition fosters fecundity and the centre is displaced to a margin, neatly encapsulates the thematic focus for the 2020 iteration the Urban History / Planning History conference. To be held in Launceston, Tasmania, a regional town within an entire state classified as ‘regional’ – a periphery of a periphery – the conference aims to explore the formation, conditions and potentials of edges, margins, peripheries and islands in illuminating the understanding of cities and urban phenomena.

This thematic is open to both literal and metaphorical readings. The ‘edge conditions’ of the title may be understood in geographic, demographic, historical, spatial, disciplinary, or methodological terms. Geographically inspired papers may focus on peri-urban zones or suburbia, settlement and mobility patterns mediating edges and centres, forgotten projects or abandoned sites. Demographic approaches may highlight the experience and environments of marginalised groups, ethnic or religious minorities, indigenous or migrant communities. Edge conditions in historical terms may suggest thresholds or ‘tipping points’ associated with technological, institutional, or environmental change. Spatial and architecturally-oriented studies may consider how edge conditions at various scales may operate variously as transitional or liminal spaces, ‘terrains vague’, contact zones, public spaces, or delineations of culture and identity. Consideration of edge conditions in disciplinary and methodological terms invites productive engagements with alternate ways of researching the shaping of cities, whether through landscape studies or land economics; actor-network theory or action research.

Our general interest is to explore the valency of edge and periphery in our urban histories, and with it the potential recasting of our imaginative geographies of distance and propinquity. Notwithstanding the thematic prompt detailed above, submissions on all other aspects of urban and planning history in Australia and New Zealand will also be welcomed.

Conference Format

In the interests of an agile process and a generative gathering, and taking a view of the value of conferences as spaces for developing work-in-progress, we are adopting a simple single-stage review process, reviewing and selecting proposals based on submitted elaborated abstracts of up to 600 words. Full papers and/or presentations will not be further reviewed prior to the conference. Presentation materials will be disseminated in a conference pack, and it is our intention that productive in-situ encounters across papers and between scholars, particularly those engaging the theme, shall form the basis for future publication. We encourage work from doctoral candidates, early-career researchers, local historians, independent scholars, in addition to established and emerging academics from across the Australasian region.

We invite proposals for both individual presentations and group panels. Proposals for roundtables are also welcomed, and will be assessed on their merits.

Instructions for submissions will be posted to the conference website. Prospective attendees are advised to check the site regularly.

Key Information

Key dates

  • 6 September 2019 – CfP disseminated
  • 15 November 2019 – Abstract submissions received
  • 22 November 2019 – Abstract acceptances notified
  • 24 January 2020 – Paper/presentation materials submitted (for inclusion in conference pack)
  • 5 February 2020 – Conference opens

Conference Program

Wednesday 5 February

4:00pm - 6:00pm
Registration opens

6:00pm - 8:00pm
Welcome drinks


Download program (PDF 52KB)

Day 1 – 6th February

9:00am - 10:30am
Morning Sessions 1

11:00am - 12:30pm
Morning Sessions 2

2:00pm - 3:30pm
Afternoon Sessions 1

4:00pm - 5:30pm
Afternoon Sessions 2

5:30pm - 7:00pm
Keynote Speaker 1 // Collateral Program 1

7:30pm - 10:00pm
Conference Dinner - details

Day 2 – 7th February

9:00am - 10:20am
Morning Sessions 1

10:40am - 12:00noon
Morning Sessions 2

12:15pm - 1:45pm
UHPH 2022 Working Lunch

2:00pm - 3:20pm
Afternoon Sessions 1

3:40pm - 5:00pm
Afternoon Sessions 2

5:00pm - 6:30pm
Keynote Speaker 2 // Collateral Program 2

6:15pm - 6:30pm
Conference close and farewell

6:30pm -
Free evening program – informal gatherings

Cataract Gorge Walking Tour

Saturday 8 February 9am-11am

You are invited to join Tasmanian Aboriginal historian and tour guide, Geoff McLean, who will take you behind the scenes in the Cataract Gorge to highlight places of Aboriginal significance, including the Hidden Valley that is an example of a 'secret business' site. Geoff will also take you to atop of Giant's Grave where you will hear about Tasmanian Aboriginal cultures and histories, and then take part in an ochre ceremony and be gifted 'memory wreaths' made from native Snotty Vine.

Limited to 14 people. Please email to reserve your spot.


Submission Details

Please submit a 600 word Abstract and a 50 word Biography to

Give the abstract a title of
LastName_FirstName_ Abstract_UHPH2020

The 50 word bio should be a separate file entitled
LastName_ FirstName_Bio_UHPH2020.

Abstracts will be reviewed and authors notified by 22nd November 2019.

Please note that only abstracts will be refereed, so there are no specific paper formatting/referencing requirements.

Allow for a 15-20 minute presentation (within a half-hour slot for each presenter). Up to two abstracts per author (or co-author) may be submitted to the conference.

Registration Fees

Registration fees will be as follows:

  • Early bird registration (by 9th December) $200
  • Regular registration $250
  • Concession registration (students, retired, unwaged) $150
  • One-day registration $100
  • Conference Dinner TBA.

Register Now


The Florance - 19 Brisbane Street

+61 3 6331 5717 |

Conference booking reference - contact the Florence directly

  • King City Park View $250 double, $220 single
  • Queen City Park View $230 double, $200 single
  • Standard Queen Room $180 double, $165 single
  • Twin King Single Room $180 double, $165 single
  • * Continental breakfast included

Silos Hotel - 89-91 Lindsay Street

+61 3 6700 0600 |

Conference booking reference - UTAS A&D 2020 – contact Peppers Silo directly

  • $255 per room, per night, room only
  • * $22 for breakfast

Seaport - 28 Seaport Blvd

+61 3 6345 3333 |

Conference booking reference - UTAS A&D 2020 – contact Peppers Seaport directly

  • $245 per room, per night, room only

Hotel Launceston - 3 Brisbane Street

+61 3 6331 2055 |

Conference booking reference - UHPH conference – UTAS

  • HL Standard King room, $125
  • * $12 continental or $20 buffet/cooked breakfast
  • HL Classic King room, $139
  • * $12 continental or $20 buffet/cooked breakfast

Mercure Hotel - 3 Brisbane Streetl

+61 3 6331 2055 |

Conference booking reference - UHPH conference – UTAS

  • Superior Queen room, $149
  • * $12 continental or $20 buffet/cooked breakfast

City Park Grand - 22 Tamar Street

+61 3 6331 7633 |

Conference booking reference - No UTAS5489

  • Deluxe Rooms $152.00 room only/night
  • * $172.00 with a cooked buffet breakfast included
  • Spa Rooms $172.00 room only/night
  • * $192.00 with a cooked buffet breakfast included