2012 Abercrombie Lecture


Presented by Stephen Alchin, Infrastructure Australia

Start Date

8th Nov 2012 6:00pm

End Date

8th Nov 2012 7:30pm


Hobart Town Hall, Macquarie Street, Hobart

RSVP / Contact Information

E:; P: 03 6226 2521

4th Biennial Abercrombie Lecture

presented by

Stephen Alchin

Executive Director Planning, Infrastructure Australia


Stephen has 30 years' experience in urban and infrastructure planning, across all spheres of government and in the private sector. Stephen is the Executive Director, Planning at Infrastructure Australia (IA) where, amongst other things, he has responsibility for reporting to the Council of Australian Governments on urban infrastructure policy.  Prior to joining IA, Stephen worked as a consultant, both in his own practice and in an international firm.

Stephen's worked headed up transport planning in Transport for NSW and the Department of Infrastructure, Planning and Natural Resources. Stephen was Project Director for the Ultimo-Pyrmont Light Rail Project (the first PPP in the public transport domain in Australia).

Stephen started in local government, working on policy development for the Local Government Association of NSW, and as Executive Director of the Western Sydney Regional Organization of Councils.

An exhibition of Professor Sir Patrick Abercrombie's awards, original plans and books will accompany this lecture.


The Abercrombie Lecture is presented by the Planning Institute of Australia Tasmanian Division
in conjunction with UTAS and the Hobart City Council.


Sponsored by

Photo of Sir Patrick AbercrombieThe Abercrombie Lecture is held in honour of one of the most distinguished town planners of the 20th Century - Professor Sir Patrick Abercrombie.

Abercrombie is perhaps best known for the two great London plans after World War 2, but there were many others including proposals for Warwick, Bournemouth, Bath, Caernarvonshire, Doncaster, Plymouth, Kingston-on-Hull, West Midlands, Winchester, Edinburgh and the famous Clyde Valley Plan. He also produced proposals for Cumbria, Sheffield, Bristol and for East Suffolk.

Further afield Abercrombie worked on plans for Dublin, Hong Kong, Addis Ababa, and in what was then known as Ceylon. He consulted to the British Government on the distribution of the Industrial Population, and he founded the Council for the Preservation of Rural England. He was also President of the International Union of Architects.

In 1945 Abercrombie was knighted, and the following year he received the Royal Gold Medal for Architecture, then the Gold Medal of the American Architects in 1950 and that of the Royal Town Planning Institute in 1953. 

He was also awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Letters at London University. When this was conferred, it was said that he had "endeavoured to transform crowded conurbations not by sterile standardizations of mediocrity but by concepts reflecting the rich diversity of his own culture". 

There were many other honours conferred upon him during his lifetime. He became a Chevalier of the Legion d'Honneur in France in 1956 for his services to society. And in the Spanish speaking planning world he is known as the "Urbanista".

In July 2005 the Royal Town Planning Institute celebrated the contribution made by Sir Patrick Abercrombie to planning, 60 years after his seminal 1945 London Plan.

Abercrombie has strong connections with Tasmania. Sir Patrickâs son Neil (a highly regarded planner in his own right) was the Town and Country Planning Commissioner here in the 1960s. It was Neil who donated his fatherâs books to the University Library. Two of his daughters still live here in Tasmania and they have played a major part in making this event happen as indeed they did in London in 2005.