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Patrick Fensham

Principal and Partner
BTRP (Hons), MSc
+61 2 8307 0121

Pat is a highly experienced urban planner who has been with SGS since its formation in 1990. Pat has lived and worked in Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney and has worked internationally and in all states of Australia. Pat is the National Leader for Urban Policy and Governance at SGS.

Pat holds specialist expertise in many areas including metropolitan and strategic planning, infrastructure planning and funding analysis, cultural development, regional economic development, development feasibility analysis and facilities audits and planning.

Throughout his career, Pat has undertaken several secondments at different state government departments including with Transport for NSW, the Cities Taskforce at Department of Planning, and a placement as Director of Strategic Development on the 2005 Sydney Metropolitan Strategy.

Pat has made significant contributions to metropolitan and strategic planning in NSW for more than 10 years. He has led a number of economic and employment land studies that have directly informed new planning instruments for Strathfield, Canada Bay, Marrickville, Wyong and Randwick Councils, amongst others. He led the City of Sydney’s Employment Land Study which has withstood landowner and developer challenges, and is now reflected in the City’s LEP. These studies all included tailored primary research and forecasts of economic activity, underpinned by high quality strategic analysis and interpretation. Pat has also undertaken housing and residential market analysis to inform LEP reviews for numerous councils including Randwick, Botany Bay and Parramatta.

During 2013-14 Pat led SGS’s work to inform a new Lower Hunter Regional Strategy. The project involved preparing a comprehensive suite of inputs to address potential alternative growth scenarios, housing demand and supply, feasibility analysis of housing, development in centres and elsewhere, assessment of employment capacity, forecasts and development settings, and a cost benefit analysis of alternative growth options.

Pat was the lead consultant on Sustainable Sydney 2030 for the City of Sydney. He led a team of planning, transport, social, cultural, economic, environmental, design experts and architects to work collaboratively with the Council. The first stage of the study included a detailed analysis of the existing situation and emerging challenges across seven focus areas that were documented in a series of discussion papers. The analysis also encompassed a thorough benchmarking of national and international precedents of both strategic plans and visions and performance indicators. To focus the organisation on delivery of Sustainable Sydney 2030 plan, the Council structured its Corporate Plan around the strategic directions contained in the plan. Sustainable Sydney 2030 continues to guide the actions of council more than 8 years after its completion. More information on Sustainable Sydney 2030.

Pat is a regular speaker at various forums and has extensive experience in teaching. He has successfully delivered a two day PIA accredited course on ‘The Economics of Development’ and is a regular lecturer at the University of Technology Sydney and University of New South Wales. He was international guest speaker at the Smart Growth and Liveable City conference in Ipoh, Malaysia in October 2011, and also led a master class on Ideas for a Sustainable Ipoh.

In 2013 Pat was selected to participate in a two week urban planning study tour to Argentina and Uruguay. He was chosen as the sole ‘outstanding candidate ’from an extensive field of high quality nominees by PIA and CPAU, the host organisation in Argentina. As well as being involved in professional exchanges he presented to a variety of audiences, including to the XIV Biennale of Architecture conference in Buenos Aires, on topics related to metropolitan planning in Sydney, the economics of planning and urban renewal. The report of his tour can be found here. A video of his presentation to a university in Uruguay on metropolitan planning and urban renewal in Sydney can be found here.

In 2015 Pat received the NSW Planning Institute of Australia President’s Award for Planning Excellence.

Read more insights by Pat.