The School of Geography, Planning and Environmental Management was disestablished on 1 January, 2017.

Following a review, the school was merged with the School of Earth Sciences to create the new School of Earth and Environmental Sciences.

The School of Earth and Environmental Sciences website can be found at

The School of Geography, Planning and Environmental Management is pleased to announce the opening of its fourth annual photography competition to celebrate the United Nations' World Habitat Day 2016.

What is World Habitat Day?

The United Nations has designated the first Monday of October every year as World Habitat Day. The first WHD was celebrated in 1986. Find out more at  World Habitat Day provides us with an opportunity to reflect on the state of urban settlements in Australia and around the world. The day aims to increase collective awareness of the human habitat and encourage greater responsibility for its sustainable future.
This year’s theme is ‘Housing at the Centre’. Access to adequate housing is a global challenge growing fast with urbanization. Around one quarter of the world’s urban population continues to live in slums and informal settlements. An increasing number of urban dwellers, especially the poor and vulnerable groups (women, migrants, persons with disabilities and HIV, elder, youth and LGBT) are living in precarious conditions, addressing their housing needs informally, lacking access to basic services and living space, isolated from livelihood opportunities and vulnerable to forced evictions or homelessness. 



To encourage public participation in World Habitat Day, The School of GPEM is holding the fourth annual photography competition around this year’s theme ‘Housing at the Centre’. Participants are invited to submit a photo with a relevant caption or title highlighting their interpretation of this year's theme and indicating where and when the picture was taken. (Winning entries from 2015 on the theme ‘Public Spaces for All’,  or view the winning entries from the 2014 competition on the theme 'Voices from slums'. )
In January 2013 The University of Queensland became a member of the UNI-Habitat partnership (University Network Initiative). This is an initiative to bring together universities and academic institutions around the world that demonstrate a commitment to sustainability in their research and teaching, and a willingness to collaborate with UN-HABITAT and each other to promote the socially, economically and environmentally sustainable development of towns and cities in accordance with the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals. Find out more at .

How to enter

  1. Fill out the Photo Competition Entry Form. All contestants will recieve notification upon receipt of files. 
  2. Images should be in JPEG format and have between 300 and 400 DPI resolution and be less than 9 megabytes.
  3. Contestants may enter a maximum of three images. 
  4. Entries should be submitted no later than 12 noon on Monday, 24 October 2016 (AEST). Selected entries will be printed and displayed for public viewing outside the Planning Studio (Room 314/315), Steele Building (3), St. Lucia Campus, The University of Queensland.
  5. Winners will be announced on Monday, 31 October 2016, at the Planning Studio - Room 314, Steele Building (3).
  6. As part of the UNI-Habitat partnership, the winners may be also exhibited on the Urban Gateway website. 

Photo competition conditions and guidelines

  1. All students and staff at The University of Queensland are welcome to take part in the competition. Members of the public are also invited to submit entries. Members of the Judging Panel are not eligible to enter the photo competition.  
  2. Participants are free to use all photographic techniques available to them but must be the creator of the photo or work submitted. 
  3. Contestants are held accountable for the authenticity and ownership of the work they present to the competition.
  4. The organisers of the event reserve the right to use and print photographic entries for promotional purposes in line with the University’s involvement in the UNI-Habitat partnership. In addition, The University maintains the right to reproduce photographic entries in its brochures and publications and in other formats, both electronic and print such as postcards, posters and CDs in conjunction with the University’s commitment to sustainability or its partnership with UN-HABITAT.
  5. All entries must be submitted with a relevant caption or title (maximum 30 words), including details on when and where the picture was taken.
  6. The decision of the panel is final and no correspondence will be entered into.
  7. Winners qualify for one prize only.

Judging criteria

  1. Thematic relevance to World Habitat Day and to the subject of the competition will be given primary consideration.
  2. The level of creativity used to illustrate the subject of the competition, including technique and aesthetic quality, will also be taken into consideration.
  3. Each entry will be reviewed by a judging panel. Winning entries will be selected by a judging panel comprised of Industry Partners, academic and professional staff and students of The University of Queensland.

Judging Panel

Roisin Cosgrave (Buckley Vann Planning + Development, GPEM alumna)
Genevieve Houldsworth (BRTP student, President of OOPS)
Doug Allen (BEnvMan student, President of GEMS)
Sonia Roitman (Lecturer in Development Planning, School of GPEM) 
Umberto Baresi (PhD student, School of GPEM)
Matt Rice (Professional staff, School of GPEM)
Jon Snowdon (MURP student)


First Prize: $275 Westfield Gift Card 

Second Prize: $150 Westfield Gift Card

Third Prize: $75 Westfield Gift Card

Highly commended prizes will also be awarded
Sincere thanks from the GPEM World Habitiat Day Working Group to our competition sponsors for their generous donation of prizes: Buckley Vann Planning + Development (major sponsor), the UQ Organisation of Planning Students; the UQ Geography and Environmental Management Society; and the University of Queensland Union. Thanks also to the School of Geography, Planning & Environmental Management for their support of this project.

Buckley Vann Planning and Development        OOPSGEMSUQ Union

 For any enquiries regarding the GPEM World Habitat Day photo competition, please contact:

Last updated: Oct 24, 2016

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