Planning experts take home major award

(Left to Right) Griffith's Dr Tony Matthews and Associate Professor Jason Byrne accept their PIA awards

They are some of the biggest campaign issues during the State Election and Griffith University’s experts have been recognised for them at the recent Planning Institute Australia (PIA) Awards – Queensland.

Urban issues are what everyday Queenslanders are concerned about so it’s no surprise Associate Professor Jason Byrne and Dr Tony Matthews’s radio show Urban Squeeze has been a resounding success.

The pair’s ABC program was named the overall winner for Planning Excellence at the PIA awards evening whileThe Urban Squeezealso claimed the ‘Cutting Edge Excellence – Research and Teaching’ category.

“Winning the Cutting Edge Excellence award was an honour in itself, but we were completely taken by surprise when it was announced that we’d takenPlanning Excellence too,” Dr Matthews said. “We just weren’t expecting it at all.”

Focussed on cities, population, housing renewable energy, power bills, the nationally renowned planning experts tackle everything the everyday household faces.

The Urban Squeeze, which reaches an average audience of 26,000 listeners each episode, is making an outstanding contribution to public understanding of diverse land-use, strategic, environmental, energy and transport planning issues in Australia.

Evolved out of the award-winning planning courses at Griffith, it is uniquely designed to translate planning concepts, principles and research into terms that can be understood by soccer mums and dads and scholars alike.

It is broadcast weekly on ‘Drive with Matt Weber’, the flagship afternoon program on ABC Radio Gold Coast (91.7FM).

“The show has begun transforming the landscape of how planning research and scholarship is communicated with impact,” Dr Matthews said.

“It engages with important planning debates in a highly accessible way to a diverse audience. Offering a unique forum for communicating planning research, the Urban Squeeze enables a dialogue with its listeners, unlike a traditional book or journal paper.

“The Urban Squeeze is more than a mode of distributing knowledge; it is a conversation about how cutting edge research and new ideas from planning practice can drive solutions to complex, real-world problems.”

Dr Jason Byrne said: “we are really proud of what we have achieved in communicating with a diverse audience about some of the most important issues facing cities in Queensland and internationally”.

It has so far completed two seasons, with a third currently in development.