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Distinguished Professor Peter Newton



Professor Peter Newton is an Emeritus Professor in the area of sustainable built environments at Swinburne’s Centre for Urban Transitions. His research focus is on sustainable urban development, socio-technical innovation and urban transition studies, sustainable consumption and low carbon living, green economy transition, urban experimentation and performance assessment, synchronous distributed research collaboration via networked urban laboratories, and greyfield precinct regeneration.

Professor Newton has an established track record as a project leader of large competitive research grants [ARC Discovery projects, ARC LIEF projects, AHURI projects, Co-operative Research Centre projects etc). He has held roles as a  Research Program Leader in the CRC for Construction Innovation, & CRC for Low Carbon Living; and as  Advisor to the Board of CRC for Water Sensitive Cities. He has served as a member of the  International Board, CIB (International Council for Innovation and Research in Building and Construction) as well as the Board of the Australian Urban Research Infrastructure Network (AURIN), including a period as Interim Director in 2022.

He has undertaken pioneering transdisciplinary research across several fields, including: changing dynamics of migration and settlement in urban, rural and remote Australia; impact of technological change on urban form and development; urban sustainability assessment and state-of-environment reporting; precinct information modelling; greyfield regeneration and urban transition modelling; and the application of new technology to planning [most recently synchronous distributed collaboration among  networked urban labs].

Prior to joining Swinburne, Professor Newton was Chief Research Scientist at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO). He is the author or editor of more than 20 books on cities, technology, planning, and sustainability. In 2014 was elected Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia.

Research interests

Urban planning; urban environmental performance; Technology change and cities; Community/ regional planning and development; Indicators of urban performance; State of environment/sustainability reporting; Liveability and sustainability of cities; sustainable consumption; carbon neutral built environments

PhD candidate and honours supervision

Higher degrees by research

Accredited to supervise Masters & Doctoral students as Principal Supervisor.

Fields of Research

  • Urban And Regional Planning - 330400


  • 2021, National, President's Award for Planning Excellence, Planning Institute of Australia
  • 2017, Swinburne, Deans Award for Outstanding Researcher, Swinburne University of technology
  • 2016, Swinburne, VC Research Excellence Award, Swinburne University of Technology
  • 2015, National, Award for Cutting Edge Research & Teaching, Planning Institute of Australia
  • 2014, National, Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia, Academy of Social Sciences in Australia

Further information



Also published as: Newton, Peter; Newton, P.; Newton, Peter W.; Newton, Peter Wesley
This publication listing is provided by Swinburne Research Bank. If you are the owner of this profile, you can update your publications using our online form.

Recent research grants awarded

  • 2021: Net Zero Precincts: an interdisciplinary approach to decarbonising cities *; ARC Linkage Projects Scheme
  • 2019: iHUB:Smart urban research-synthesis-engagement platform for decision making *; ARC Linkage Infrastructure and Equipment Scheme
  • 2019: Post CRC Node Project *; CRC Low Carbon Living
  • 2019: Smart Regenerative Cities *; CRC Low Carbon Living
  • 2018: Linked semantic platforms for social & physical infrastructure & wellbeing *; ARC Linkage Infrastructure and Equipment Scheme
  • 2018: MR2204 Decarbonising the Built Environment - Book *; CRC Low Carbon Living
  • 2017: Integrated Cities: Procuring Transport Infrastructure through Integrating Transport, Land Use and Finance *; Sustainable Built Environment National Research Centre Funding for Pre-Project Activities
  • 2016: Community co-design of low carbon precincts for urban regeneration in established suburbs *; CRC Low Carbon Living
  • 2016: Linked Data PolicyHub Stage II: Urban & Regional Planning & Communications *; ARC Linkage Infrastructure and Equipment Scheme
  • 2015: RP2018 Low Carbon Transitions of water and energy infrastructure in existing urban precincts. Phase 1 *; CRC Low Carbon Living
  • 2014: Assessing the Impact of Solar PV, Electricity Prices and Dwelling Energy Efficiency on Domestic Energy Consumption in Sydney: Exploring the possibility of Rebound effects *; CRC Low Carbon Living
  • 2014: Transformation to Low Carbon Living: Social psychology of Low Carbon Behavioural Practice *; CRC Low Carbon Living
  • 2013: Greening the Greyfields : Precinct visualisation & community engagement *; CRC For Spatial Information - 2
  • 2013: Processes for developing affordable and sustainable medium-density housing models for greyfields precincts *; AHURI National Housing Research Program - Research Projects
  • 2013: Project RP3008 Visions & Pathway 2050,  CRC Low Carbon Living *; CRC Low Carbon Living
  • 2013: Resource consumption and household affordability; the changing nature of utility costs and the distributional implications *; CRC for Low Carbon Living - Grant
  • 2013: Scoping Study for Precinct Design and Assessment Tools *; CRC Low Carbon Living
  • 2013: Spatial Data Hub Project RP 3003 *; CRC Low Carbon Living
  • 2011: Green Shoots? Exploring the Genesis and Development of a Green Economy in Australia *; ARC Discovery Projects Scheme
  • 2011: Greening the greyfields - A spatial information platform for 21st century sustainable urban regeneration *; CRC For Spatial Information - 2
  • 2010: CSIRO Flagship Collaboration Fund to top-up Scholarship *; CSIRO Flagship Collaboration Research Fund
  • 2010: Towards a New Development Model for Housing Regeneration in Greyfield Precincts *; AHURI National Housing Research Program - Research Projects

* Chief Investigator