I developed and pitched the idea for the Collaborative Urban Teaching Platform (CUTP) to Landcom  in 2018. We developed the idea into a multi-university partnership with Landcom with a the CUTP project partners listed in the table below. The CUTP has run every year since 2018.

Highlights from the 2018 CUTP

Universities and governments are increasingly encouraged to work collaboratively on largescale urban development projects. Landcom fosters this engagement through research and student engagement activities under the Universities Framework Agreement. One such initiative is the Collaborative Urban Teaching Platform (CUTP) which is a multiuniversity, cross-disciplinary urban teaching partnership developed by Landcom and several NSW-based universities.

The inaugural CUTP was run in the second semester of 2018, bringing together over 150 undergraduate and postgraduate students from seven courses across the University of Sydney, the University of Technology Sydney, the University of NSW and Western Sydney University.

Each course adopted either the Landcom Bella Vista or Tallawong Station precincts (part of our SMNW Places program) as their semester-long case study. Landcom provided information about their objectives for the project to all participating students at a joint briefing on 10 August 2018.

The best student groups pitched their ideas and development proposals to judges from Landcom at the end of the semester, at a final event on 19 October 2018, with prizes awarded for the most innovative proposals that met Landcom’s objectives.

In addition to the CUTP, Landcom provided opportunities for over 100 other postgraduate students from The University of Technology Sydney, Western Sydney University, Macquarie University and the University of NSW to engage with Landcom projects through guest lectures provided by Landcom senior managers, visits to project sites, and student research and case study projects.

UTS students presenting their Collaborative Urban Teaching Platform work to Landcom.

2018 CUTP

2018 Student Briefing

The Collaborative Urban Teaching Platform (CUTP) is a multi-university, cross-disciplinary urban teaching partnership involving several Sydney-based universities and Landcom. It is administered through the Communities of Practice partnership.

The CUTP provides an institutional infrastructure or platform that is flexible enough to allow university partners to plug in an existing urban unit of study into the CUTP with minimal disruption to their teaching programme. The CUTP has three key aims:

ENGAGEMENT – Get students out of the classroom and into the field to work on live urban projects with government and possibly industry partners.

NETWORKING – Get students and staff from different Sydney-based universities working together on common urban problems from different disciplinary perspectives.

OUTCOMES – Get the students (and staff) to productively contribute the development of Sydney, with the aim of building a better city.


CUTP is collaboratively managed by representatives from Landcom and each university partner. The table below lists the 2018 CUTP partners.

2018 Student Briefing


Universities and governments (and industry) are increasingly encouraged to work collaboratively on large-scale urban development projects. CUTP provides one way for universities and government to work on cross-disciplinary urban projects while retaining the independence of each actor in the network. CUTP operates according to three key principles:

INDEPENDENCE – Each partner retains control of their teaching programmes or urban projects. This allows each university partner to apply their own disciplinary perspective to the Landcom case study.

FLEXIBILITY – Different teaching programmes or urban projects can be plugged into or unplugged from the CUTP each year.

SIMPLICITY – Minimal effort is required to get involved, leave and return to the CUTP in any given year.


Landcom staff, university teaching staff and students are involved in the CUTP in different ways.

LANDCOM – Landcom staff work with the university members to identify possible case study sites, secure access to these sites for students, and arrange briefing session(s) for students. At the end of the semester, the top 1-3 student projects from each university present their projects to Landcom. All the students and staff involved in CUTP attend the best student presentations at the end of the semester.

UNIVERSITIES – University teaching staff integrate the Landcom case study site into one of their teaching programmes and organise for students to attend the Landcom briefing sessions and/or site visits.

This will usually involve the university teaching staff taking an existing unit of study at their university (such as, urban planning, urban governance, or an introduction to cities unit) and then setting the Landcom case study as a major individual or group work assessment.

The university staff teach their unit of study as per their normal teaching content and schedule, but they get their students to address an urban issue that has been identified by Landcom. Students assess the Landcom site from the disciplinary perspective of their unit (this could range from urban planning, urban design, geography, sociology, business, etc.)

STUDENTS – Students work on a Landcom case study site in their unit of study and attend the Landcom briefing sessions, student presentations and/or site visits (see above).

2018 Student Briefing

2018 Sydney University Collaborative Urban Teaching Platform Presentations to Landcom


Great, we’re keen to build the network!

Key Information

We have designed the CUTP so that it can be integrated into existing under graduate or masters teaching units without requiring too many unit or teaching changes. But two changes may be necessary:

1. Changing one assessment item in the unit to be the Landcom case study site (individual or group work assessment);

2. Include two field-trips for students for:

(a) The Landcom case study briefing in Week 2; and

(b) The Best Student Presentations in Week 11 or 12.

CUTP 2018

The table below lists the 2018 CUTP project partners.