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Marcus Spiller

Principal and Partner
+61 3 8616 0331

Marcus is a founding partner at SGS. He has extensive experience in public policy analysis as an urban economist and planner. Marcus specialises in providing high level advice on metropolitan planning issues and processes, housing policy (including social housing), analysis of urban infrastructure and planning delivery systems, and analysing the links between urban structure and national economic performance.

Throughout his career, Marcus has undertaken numerous secondments and part time appointments, which have allowed him to expand his understanding of policy making and implementation at all levels of government. Some of these assignments include lecturer in urban economics at Melbourne University, adviser to the Minister for Planning and Housing in Victoria and Senior Executive in the Queensland Department of Housing, Local Government and Planning.

Marcus is a recognised leader within the urban policy community. He is a past National President of the Planning Institute of Australia and a former Board member at VicUrban (now called Places Victoria). He has served on the Commonwealth Government’s National Housing Supply Council and the equivalent body set up by the NSW Government. Marcus has been appointed an Adjunct Professor in the School of Global, Urban and Social Studies at RMIT University. He is also an Adjunct Professor in the Faculty of Built Environment at UNSW. These appointments reflect Marcus’s ongoing contribution to these Universities, including the regular delivery of post graduate courses in property and infrastructure.

Marcus is extensively published on urban and regional policy issues in refereed journals and books. With Kath Wellman he edited and substantially wrote Urban Infrastructure: Finance and Management, published by Wiley in 2012. The book has since been translated for circulation in China.

Marcus has led several key projects at SGS. He directed the team that wrote the report ‘Productivity and Agglomeration Benefits in Australian Capital Cities’, commissioned by the Commonwealth Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet. This report set out the current theory about the links between urban density, accessibility and productivity, as well as detailing some practical methods for measuring these effects.

Marcus also directed a ground breaking Housing and Infrastructure Study for the Commonwealth Government. This project, commissioned by the Treasury on behalf of the National Housing Supply Council, examined the links between infrastructure investment - particularly city shaping transport - and the pattern of housing development across metropolitan Melbourne and Sydney. The research method involved sophisticated statistical analysis of the factors driving investment in different forms of housing across metropolitan areas. Historically observed elasticities regarding transport investment and housing densification were applied to proposed major investments to impute potential housing and land value impacts.

Marcus is a leading commentator and writer on urban governance issues. He is a sought after commentator on the need for reform of the institutional arrangements for managing metropolitan growth pressures, arguing that Australia’s largest cities need their own democratically mandated governments to work in partnership with the Commonwealth, State and local jurisdictions. Within this broad topic area, Marcus is also a recognised authority on value capture systems and the role and potential of Government owned land development agencies

Marcus is a regular speaker on a wide range of topics and frequently presents at conference across Australia and internationally. One of Marcus's key skills is the capacity to communicate complex ideas in a compelling and accessible way.

Read more insights by Marcus.