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Guy Gibson was one of UQs earliest Planning program graduates, now he is helping to shape the profession
Guy Gibson was one of UQs earliest Planning program graduates, now he is helping to shape the profession

Guy Gibson was one of UQ’s earliest graduates of the Bachelor of Regional and Town Planning program (BRTP), now he is helping to shape the profession in Queensland.

Guy is on the board of ‘Urban Futures Brisbane’, established by the Brisbane City Council (BCC) to provide strategic advice on planning and implementing Brisbane’s development future.
He is also a member of BCC’s Infrastructure Council in addition to his main role as Lend Lease’s general manager for their communities business in Queensland.
 “My role at Lend Lease includes managing the trading projects to achieve their sales targets, overseeing planning approval processes and negotiations for infrastructure agreements for prospective projects, and reviewing new business opportunities.  All of this is done with a strong focus on the safety of our employees, contractors and the communities in which we operate, as well as the long-term sustainability of the communities that we create,” he said.
Guy has also previously held the positions of President of the Property Council of Australia (Queensland), and National Director of the Property Council of Australia. 
In recent years he has been dismayed at what he sees as a growing gap between planning and the development delivery process. Guy believes this has resulted in a failure to create urban environments that meet functional and human needs.
“The challenge for town planners today is to maintain the delicate balance between public policy and systematic planning on the one hand and what are essentially organic and spontaneous processes of a market economy on the other,” he said. 
He sees a new path opening up for future graduates of the discipline.
“There is a huge opportunity for planning students to look at the potential of new media to communicate and consult better with local communities to provide clear guidance to development proponents and enable more efficient assessment of their proposals. This is something that the current practitioners of the profession are unfortunately neglecting”.
It was a love of Geography in high school that set Guy on the route to become an urban planner and his studies at UQ laid the foundations for his career.
“One of the features of the UQ program was the exposure that students received to other fields of study and lecturers from other departments: everything from surveying and soil science to sociology and law.  This was excellent preparation for a career featuring interaction with a wide variety of professionals from different backgrounds” he said.
“I would say that the late Phil Day was an inspirational head of department for much of the time I was at UQ.  He had had a distinguished career with the NSW Government and when he joined the staff of the UQ planning school had lately been Director of Town Planning with Brisbane City Council, a position I eventually held myself.  He was a wonderful teacher and mentor, with a grasp of what really mattered and how town planning and in particular, how town planning legislation and regulation, could assist in achieving better outcomes for people”. 

Last updated: Sep 17, 2012