Director of the City Futures Research Centre and Chair of the Board of Directors for CUPUM (Computational Urban Planning and Urban Management)
Prof Pettit is the Inaugural Professor of Urban Science at UNSW and Director of the UNSW City Futures Research Centre. He is an international leader in the field of urban planning and property, specifically in the research, development and application of urban data and technology. He has published over 200 papers and edited 7 books. He is most published and third most cited researcher in the field of planning support systems. Prof Pettit is an inaugural member of the Planning Institute of Australia’s Plantech National Working Group. He is also currently a member of the Federal Government of Australia’s Urban Policy Network.
In 2019 Prof Pettit was elected by his peers as the Chair of the Board for Computational Urban Planning and Management (CUPUM), the premier international academic forum (30 years old) at the intersection of digital technologies, data science, urban planning and city shaping. As Chair of the Board he has overseen the 18th International Conference on Computational Urban Planning and Urban Management in Montreal in 2023, and 2021 in Helsinki. In associated with the CUPUM conference he co-edited the Springer books, Urban Informatics and Future Cities which has been accessed 18,000 times since its launch at the conference in 2021 and Intelligence for Future Cities which has been accessed more than 4,600 time since in launch in Jul 2023.
Professor Pettit has pioneered the development of a number digital planning and property tools including the Rapid Analytics Interactive Scenario Explorer (RAISE) toolkit as part of the project Value Australia: Sharpening our land and property decisions with Artificial Intelligence. The Value Australia project has been the recipient of 6 awards for research, impact and commercialisation including the prestigious Planning Institute of Australia’s National Award for Research Excellence in 2021, and the 2023 Collaboration Research Australia award for Research Commercialisation. In 2022 PEXA acquired the Intellectual Property from the project and established a joint venture company Value Australia in partnership with UNSW and FrontierSI.
In 2018 Prof Pettit established the City Analytics Lab, a Planning Support Theatre Facility which has hosted over 350 workshops, classes, and tours with more than 4,500 participants. Notable dignitaries who have visited the lab include: the Federal Minister for Cities, Minister for Planning NSW Government, Chief Information Office Tel Aviv, Israel, Ambassador of Vietnam, Vice- Minister Transport Vietnam, and the NSW DFAT Director. This is the first planning support theatre facility of its kinds in the world used to co-design digital solutions for more sustainable, resilient, productive, and liveable futures.