Urban Research Unit, Research School of Social Sciences

Identity area

Type of entity

University unit

Authorized form of name

Urban Research Unit, Research School of Social Sciences

Parallel form(s) of name

Standardized form(s) of name according to other rules

Other form(s) of name

  • Urban Research Program
  • Urban and Environmental Program

Identifiers for corporate bodies

Description area

Dates of existence

1965 - 1999


The Urban Research Unit was originally conceived as a collaborative project between RSSS’s Departments of Economic History and Economics, with URU staff being formally appointed to one of the two departments. Initially, the URU’s research agenda was determined by a Research Advisory Committee made up of members of the Economic History, Economics, Political Science, Law and Demography Departments. In 1967–1968 the URU became a separate entity within RSSS.

The URU was intended as an inter-disciplinary research unit, which would source potential staff from a variety of disciplines and from both the public and private sectors. The primary focus of research was to be processes of urbanisation in Australia with a greater emphasis on practical rather than theoretical methodology. One of the URU’s first major research projects was a study of urbanisation processes in Sydney, soon expanded to include Melbourne. During its first decade the Unit’s other major concerns were housing, the environmental quality of urban areas, social indicators, land policy, transport, infrastructure investment and planning, and employment.

The URU was particularly involved in researching urban planning issues for the Whitlam Government (1972–1975), mainly through Tom Uren, the Minister for Urban and Regional Development. Patrick Troy, a founding member of the URU, was Deputy Secretary of the Department of Urban and Regional Development during this time, after which he returned to the URU.

The URU ran several important series of seminars. They took over responsibility for the Joint Urbanisation Seminar in 1966, and also ran an extensive series of their own Work-in-Progress seminars.


Legal status

Functions, occupations and activities


Mandates/sources of authority

Internal structures/genealogy

General context

Relationships area

Related entity

Troy, Patrick (Pat) Nicol (1936 -)

Identifier of the related entity

Category of the relationship


Dates of the relationship

1984 - 1991

Description of relationship

Professor and Head of the Urban Research Unit.

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Control area

Authority record identifier

Institution identifier

Rules and/or conventions used


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Dates of creation, revision and deletion

Prepared by Maggie Shapley on 14 November 2007 based on finding aid by Louise Palmer




Patrick Troy, The Urban Research Program 1966–1996, annual reports 1966–1968, Urban Research Program newsletters 1998–1999

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