This research looks to understand the constraints imposed by cadastral structure on redevelopment efforts in cities. Some cities, in the wake of rapid deindustrialisation, completely transformed into technology and innovation hubs (for example, Boston), whereas others experienced extreme decline (for example, Detroit). Some cities that doubled in population in the last few decades barely had an increase in urban footprint (for example, Seoul), whereas others have had most urban growth in peripheral suburbs (for example, Brisbane).

This PhD project will expand our understanding of how the existing layout of cities influence attempts at redevelopment, by comparing jurisdictions that have evolved to meet modern development needs, and those that have failed to adapt. There are important lessons to be learned in a comparative study that demonstrates how cities successfully adapt (or not) to meet emerging urban issues through changes to their urban structure and form. While the adaptability of the built environment is influenced by planning norms, housing and transport preferences and land tenure systems, practical change is often determined by the underlying structure and form of a city – its morphological frame of lots (also called a ‘plots’ or ‘parcels’) and streets. There is much research on the processes of intensification and urban redevelopment more broadly, there is a gap of knowledge regarding the underlying stability of cadastral structure, and how urban redevelopment can be achieved in the face of the fixity of lots. This is particularly relevant for cities with urban polices aimed at consolidation and infill development.

Advisory Team: Dr Thomas Sigler, Associate Professor Yan Liu

Funding: Research Training Program

Project members


PhD Candidate