With a passion to solve the big problems both locally and abroad, Lachlan Burke quickly found urban planning and design as the area where he could build the skills to tackle the big planning issues facing both local and global communities.
While studying his undergraduate degree in development studies Burke started working as a student planner and found he enjoyed the scope and project focused nature of urban planning.
I wanted to build on this experience, to further develop my skills in planning.
I was looking for a course that was based on solving real world problems, that would give me the skills to work on a range of projects and in diverse teams.
Burke found the Master of Urban Planning and Design at Monash University had what he needed to progress his career.
“The course appealed to me as it aims to help students solve real-world problems through a combination of both planning and design.”
“Monash has an outstanding reputation as a forward thinking, problem-solving university which is actively involved with programs such as the Public Transport Research Group and RISE (Revitalising Informal Settlements and their Environments).”
“These programs are of particular interest to me as they research and apply urban planning and design solutions to international development.”
Burke credits the Master of Urban Planning and Design for helping him build skills in critical analysis of policy, economic analysis, social analysis, spatial analysis, GIS, Adobe suite, and in creating plans.
“These skills are critical to any work in the built environment in any location. Perhaps the most critical cases which require these skills are in communities with issues such as poor access to services and poor environmental and public health.”
Burke and his fellow master students had the opportunity to put their learnings to work on the Footscray strategic plan project. The students were tasked to look at the city’s transport infrastructure, how it’s currently used and propose ways on how public transport could be optimised.
“I proposed improvements to public and active transport that could be achieved by creating a series of active infrastructure opportunities, for example protected bike lanes to the station would encourage more public transport use, providing better travel times for everyone.”
Burke notes that you could use this framework to develop solutions for more demanding situations, such as an area within a mega-city with rapid development and consolidation.
“Other situations require the addition of more specific skills, such as an understanding of disaster relief strategy – a field I am keen to participate in – which is why I am especially keen to participate in the upcoming Sri Lanka planning travelling studio which deals with the challenges of post-tsunami disaster planning.”
Burke has already begun to hone his skills professionally working with Movement and Place Consulting. “We work with various local governments, the Victorian State Government and private consultancies in a range of transport projects from improving pedestrian safety to advising larger-scale changes to the network. The skills I have learnt in this master's degree so far have equipped me to assist in tackling these head-on.”
Burke speaks highly of the Master of Urban Planning and Design saying, “it’s tailored to assist you in rapidly developing your knowledge and skills in both areas of planning and design.”
“You don’t have start with a bachelor of planning, design or architecture. If you come with a passion for making cities better for people, you will have a fantastic time making the most of your opportunities here.”
Study the Master of Urban Planning and Design at Monash
The Master of Urban Planning and Design is accredited by the Planning Institute of Australia and gives students the technical capabilities and creative capacity to address the big challenges facing our cities.
The course offers both full time and part time study options with classes held at the Monash University Caulfield campus.