Dr Nicholas Stevens


Senior Lecturer, Land Use Planning and Urban Design Theme Leader

Contact: nstevens@usc.edu.au

Nicholas is a Landscape Architect and Urban Planner with a background in regional planning and urban design. He currently lectures in both these capacities, in addition to infrastructure planning, at the University of the Sunshine Coast. His research areas include evaluating and planning the integration of airport master planning and local and regional planning; the teaching of urban spatial principles through digital technologies; and applying human factors methods to a range of urban planning and urban design challenges.  He is the Vice-chair of Research for the Urban Design Alliance Queensland and has significant experience in collaborative research projects with Australian local, state and federal governments, private enterprise, and national and international research institutions.

Nicholas is interested in 3d visualisation as a teaching and research tool and recently conducted a student field trip with the Griffith University Architecture Program. The group undertook 3d surveying and community consultation regarding under threat urban heritage areas in Guangzhou, China. Nicholas is also a keen organic gardener, battling the sandy soil of the Sunshine Coast to grow subtropical fruits like bananas, mango and avocado. He is an enthusiastic convert to the dark side of HF and STS thinking, and our work in this urban planning and design theme is very exciting for the research group.

Nicholas’s current research interests include airports, urban design, urban planning, active transport, urban corridors, main street design, 3d design, and sociotechnical systems. His current projects include:

  • The adaption of visualisation tools to enhance learning in urban planning and design
  • A systems analysis of off-road and beach driving environments
  • Socio-technical urbanism: exploring the optimisation of neighbourhoods as places for people
  • Serious Urban Play – a digital game for teaching complexity on urban spatial design

Selected publications (see publications page for full list)

Stevens, N. J., & Salmon, P. M. (2015). Reprint of Safe places for pedestrians: Using cognitive work analysis to consider the relationships between the engineering and urban design of footpaths. Accident Analysis & Prevention, 74, 339-349.

Stevens, N. J., Salmon, P. M., & Taylor, N. Z. (2014). Systems thinking for new perspectives on urban form–a case study of urban transport corridors. Our common future in Urban Morphology, Urban Morphological Methods and Techniques, 1. 327-340.

Stevens, N. J, & Baker, D. C. (2013). Land use conflict across the airport fence: competing urban policy, planning and priority in Australia. Urban Policy and Research, 31(3), 301-324.