Australian Institute of Urban Studies – AIUS

The Australian Institute of Urban Studies (AIUS) is an Australia-wide independent not-for-profit organisation concerned with all aspects of urban affairs.

It offers many opportunities for members and other interested people to participate in the ongoing debate about urban living in Australia.

The AIUS was founded in 1967 through the initiative of the Planning Institute of Australia (then known as the Royal Australian Planning Institute) and the Social Science Research Council.

The Commonwealth and State governments contributed to the financial needs of AIUS during those early years. Refer to the Publications section below for the range of projects and subjects worked on during those years. Following the 1975 Commonwealth election and the subsequent change of government, the Commonwealth government’s financial contributions ceased. The cessation of the various State governments’ contributions followed soon after. This led to the closure of the AIUS office based in Canberra and the continuation of AIUS as distinct bodies operating within each State (with similar objectives but varied activities).

With the passing (in the various States) of Associations Incorporation legislation, each AIUS Division proceeded to incorporation. While the various Divisions had similar objectives, the wording in the formal constitutions (“Statement of Purposes” and “Rules”) varied. Refer to the Divisions sections below for the various constitutions.

As an example: the Victorian Division’s Statement of Purposes states that the purposes for which the Institute is established are:

  • to support, stimulate, sponsor and undertake research into urban affairs;
  • to disseminate information on urban affairs by sponsoring conferences, seminars and working parties of persons active in urban affairs and urban research at the academic, government, business, professional and community levels;
  • to publicise the issues of urbanisation in Australia and the need and scope for educational and research programmes to meet these problems;
  • to co-operate with other organisations having kindred interests; and
  • to advise governments on urban policy issues.

The Western Australian Division, for example, has been involved in generating debate and lobbying government on key issues affecting the urban environment. The AIUS was involved in the debate and lobbied on the expansion of the Perth Rail Network, in particular in relation to the central business district.

The AIUS Divisions work with and co-operate with a range of bodies that have somewhat similar objectives. For example, the Victorian Division, with the Planning Institute of Australia Victorian Division Inc (PIA Vic) and the Victorian Planning and Environmental Law Association (VPELA), make up Planning Victoria. Planning Victoria conducts a bi-annual State Planning Conference. Planning Victoria also conducted a series of events (late 2002) in relation to the Melbourne Metropolitan Strategy which led to the Victorian Government’s “Melbourne 2030” proposals.

The income of the AIUS Divisions is primarily from members’ subscriptions. However, its greatest resource is the rich diversity of its members and the rewarding personal and corporate inter-actions which this generates. It is not linked to a sole profession or persuasion – that is it allows and encourages robust debate from all who have an interest in and concern for what happens in and to our cities and towns. Membership is open to all who have such interest and concern.

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