$5 million gift secures the future of Australia’s urban communities

Affordable housing, reducing urban congestion and public transport solutions will be given a $5 million boost thanks to a second gift from Warren Halloran to the University of Sydney’s Henry Halloran Trust.

Mr Halloran’s first gift of $5 million in 2012 established the Henry Halloran Trust, which brings together researchers and practitioners in multi-disciplinary collaborations to forge real-world creative solutions to create and support liveable cities, thriving urban communities and sustainable developments.

“The generous additional gift of Warren Halloran will enable the Henry Halloran Research Trust to considerably expand its funding of Urban Research and to help stimulate public discussion on a range of important urban topics,” said Professor Peter Phibbs, Director of the Henry Halloran Trust.

“In an era where the challenges of global cities like Sydney have never been greater, the production of research evidence by the Trust, not aligned to any vested interests, is a key resource for politicians, decision makers and the broader community.”

The Trust sees leading minds in urban planning and design join forces with top practitioners and researchers from fields as diverse as architecture, the built environment, history, sociology, philosophy, transport studies, law, engineering and the arts.

“This generous additional gift will be enable the Trust to increase its level of funding for its two key research projects – three-year team-based research incubators and funding which direct resources to innovative research ideas that would be unlikely to be funded by traditional sources of Australian urban research,” said Professor Phibbs.

In the three years since its inception, the Trust has already sparked pioneering research: for example in creating a new low-cost home ownership model for Australia; reducing the cost and increasing the safety of heritage infrastructure inspections using aerial robotics; improving economic and social inclusion for excluded, hard-to-reach social groups through better understanding their networks; and investigating how, why, and to what extent human health is considered in environmental assessments of major transport infrastructure projects.

“Thanks to Mr Halloran’s generous gifts, our practitioners and researchers are in a position to make a real difference to the millions of people around the world who are affected by the enormous, ongoing changes to urban populations,” said Professor Stephen Garton, Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor at the University of Sydney.

“The world is facing a period of unprecedented growth that demands we develop new technologies, knowledge and ideas to ensure that cities are designed and built sustainably to provide the world’s citizens with high quality housing, well-functioning infrastructure, good jobs, a thriving economy, and improved health, education and financial security.”

The Henry Halloran Trust is named in honour of Mr Halloran’s father, a pioneering surveyor, developer, engineer and town planner who established new settlements throughout coastal NSW, for example at Seaforth in Sydney, Avoca on the NSW Central Coast, Port Stephens on the North Coast and Jervis Bay on the South Coast. Mr Halloran was instrumental in extending and sustaining his father’s legacy.

“The name Halloran has been synonymous in Australia with urban planning for more than a hundred years,” said Professor Garton.

“On behalf of the University of Sydney, I sincerely thank Mr Halloran for providing our students and staff with the opportunity to continue his family’s legacy of leadership in town planning.”

With every gift to the University of Sydney, donors become part of INSPIRED – the campaign to support the University of Sydney, which aims to raise $600 million by 2017.

Photo courtesy of Rod Simpson.