Paul Mees teaches and researches in the areas of transport planning and statutory planning. Before starting at RMIT in 2008, he taught urban planning at the University of Melbourne for 10 years, and before that was a Research Fellow at the Australian National University’s Urban Research Program. Prior to becoming an academic, he worked as a lawyer. Paul is one of Australia’s leading experts on urban public transport, and his work is internationally influential: for example, it provided the basis for the European Union’s 2005 HiTrans project on improving public transport in medium-sized cities and towns.
Paul Mees has published a report explaining why the proposed $8.5 billion Melbourne rail tunnel is unnecessary. The report, 'Does Melbourne need another central city rail tunnel?', explains how we can run more trains to reduce overcrowding, and allow new suburban rail lines to be built.
BA, LLB (Hons), PhD; Barrister and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Victoria.
2006-2008: Partner, Australasian Centre for Governance & Management of Urban Transport, Melbourne, Australia
2005-2008: Coordinator, undergraduate planning, Faculty of Architecture, Building & Planning, University of Melbourne
1999-2006: Anti-Discrimination Adviser, University of Melbourne
2000-2001: Member of the Community Reference Group overseeing the Melbourne Metropolitan Strategy
1994-6; 1998-: Member, editorial board, Urban Policy and Research journal
1992-2001: President, Public Transport Users Association (Vic)
1985-: Barrister and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Victoria
Competitive research grants and awards (since 2000)
2012-2013 Australian Housing & Urban Research Institute, National Housing Research Program grant 12/PRO/50713. Changing spatial distribution of low-income housing: understanding and responding to transport disadvantage [with Prof. T. Burke, Swinburne University]. $95,684.
2011-2013 Australian Research Council Discovery Grant DP110104884. Spatial analysis for multimodal urban transport systems: a planning decision support tool [with Prof. C. Curtis, Curtin University]. $458,000.
2011-2013 Australian Research Council Discovery Grant DP11014738. New paradigms for urban public transport planning in Australia: assessing the capacity of institutions and infrastructure [with Prof. T. Burke, Swinburne University & Dr. J. Stone, University of Melbourne]. $153,949.
2008-9 Land Transport New Zealand Research Programme Grant 08/06. Public transport network planning: an Australasian guide to best practice [with Dr. I. Muhammad, Massey University & Dr. J. Stone, University of Melbourne]. $73,000 [approx: grant is for $NZ95,000].
2006-2010 Volvo Research & Educational Foundations: Centre of Excellence grant to establish Australasian Centre for Governance & Management of Urban Transport [with 13 other partners, led by Prof. N. Low]. $4.3 million [approx: grant is in Swedish Kroner].
2003-2006 Australian Research Council Linkage Grant LP0232200. Political and social factors in the decline of mass transit: an investigation of failed policies to rebuild Melbourne’s mass transit [with Prof. T. Burke, Swinburne University]. $69,000.
2001 Royal Australian Planning Institute (Victorian Division) Award for Excellence in Planning Scholarship, for A Very Public Solution.
Other funded research (selected – since 2000)
2009-2010: Queensland Transport: Public Transport Network Planning in South East Queensland [with Drs. J. Dodson & M. Burke, Griffith University and Dr. J. Stone, University of Melbourne]. $15,000.
2005: Melbourne City Council: Advice on transport policy options (part of preparation of the City’s 2006 transport strategy). $10,000.
2002: Toronto Transit Commission: Report on proposal to privatise the Commission’s bus services. $2000.
2002: City of Port Phillip: Preparation of public transport strategy. $13,000.
2000: Melbourne City Council: Review of draft Metropolitan Strategic Statement. $1000.
2000: Environment Protection Authority: Review of Draft Air Quality Management Plan. $1500.
Books (since 2000)
MEES, P. 2010 Transport for Suburbia: Beyond the Automobile Age. Earthscan, London and Sterling, VA (USA).
MEES, P. 2000 A Very Public Solution: Transport in the Dispersed City. Melbourne University Press, Melbourne.
Other monographs and chapters in books (since 2000)
MEES, P. 2012 ‘Transport Planning’, in S. Thompson & P. Maginn (eds) Planning Australia, 2nd edition, Cambridge University Press, Melbourne, 357-380.
MEES, P. 2007 ‘Transport Policy’, major entry in The Oxford Companion to Australian Politics, ed. B. Galligan & W. Roberts, Oxford, Melbourne, 602-604.
MEES, P. 2005 ‘A comparison of Melbourne, Australia and Toronto, Canada:
Responding to the complex transport needs of dispersed wealthy cities’, in Coping with urban transport development: A complex issue, ed. G. Jonsson & E. Tengstrom, Springer-Verlag, Berlin, 32-44.
MEES, P. 2005 ‘Public Transport’, in The Encyclopedia of Melbourne, ed. A. Brown-May & S. Swain, Cambridge University Press, Melbourne, 578.
MEES, P. 2003 ‘Urban Transport Policy Paradoxes in Australia’, in The Earthscan Reader on World Transport Policy and Practice, ed. J. Whitelegg & G. Haq, Earthscan, London, 114-122.
MEES, P. 2000 ‘Rethinking Public Transport in Sydney’, Urban Frontiers Program Briefing Paper 5, University of Western Sydney.
MEES, P. 2000 ‘Public Transport’, (‘box’) in Resetting the Compass: Australia’s Journey Towards Sustainability, ed. D. Yencken & D. Wilkinson, CSIRO Press, Melbourne, 139.
Refereed journal articles (since 2000)
Stone, J., MEES, P. and Muhammad, I. 2012 ‘Network Planning for More Effective Public Transport in New Zealand Cities’, Urban Policy and Research 30(2), 207-224.
MEES, P. 2011 ‘The compact city and sustainable transport: Another look at the data’, Australian Planner 48(3), 211-222.
Al-Dubikhi, S. & MEES, P. 2010 ‘Bus Rapid Transit in Ottawa, 1978 to 2008’, Town Planning Review 81(4), 407-424 [reprinted, in Chinese, in Urban Rural Planning, 2010, 105-119].
Stone, J. & MEES, P. 2010 ‘Planning public transport networks in the post-petroleum era’, Australian Planner 47(4), 263-271.
Morton, A. & MEES, P. 2010 ‘Too Good to Be True? An Assessment of the Melbourne Travel Behaviour Modification Pilot’, World Transport Policy and Practice 16(2), 8-23.
MEES, P. 2009 ‘How dense are we? Another look at urban density and transport patterns in Australia, Canada and the USA’, Road and Transport Research 18(4), 58-67.
MEES, P. 2009 ‘Density Delusion? Urban form and sustainable transport in Australian, Canadian and US cities’, World Transport Policy and Practice 15(2), 29-42.
MEES, P., O’Connell, G. & Stone, J. 2008 ‘Travel to Work in Australian Capital Cities, 1976 – 2006’, Urban Policy & Research 26(3), 363-378.
MEES, P. & Dodson, J. 2007 ‘Backtracking Auckland? Technical and Communicative Reason in Metropolitan Transport Planning’, International Planning Studies 12(1), 35-53.
MEES, P. 2005: ‘Privatisation of rail and tram services in Melbourne: What went wrong?’ Transport Reviews 25(4), 433-449.
MEES, P. 2003 ‘Paterson’s Curse: The attempt to revive metropolitan planning in Victoria’, Urban Policy &Research 21(3), 287-299.
Dodson, J. & MEES, P. 2003 ‘Realistic sustainability? Transport planning in Wellington’, New Zealand Geographer 59(2), 27-34.
MEES, P. 2000 ‘Transport and Healthy Cities’, Health Promotion Journal of Australia 10(3), 197-202.
MEES, P. 2000 ‘From philosopher king to municipal dog-catcher – and beyond’, Urban Policy & Research 18(3), 387-400.
Refereed conference papers (since 2000)
MEES, P. 2012 ‘Fifty years of transport planning in Canberra’, Papers of 35th Australasian Transport Research Forum, Perth, September.
MEES, P. 2011 ‘Who killed Melbourne 2030?’, Proceedings of the State of Australian Cities National Conference 2011, Melbourne, November.
Stone, J. & MEES, P. 2011 ‘Spatial distribution of the journey to work by sustainable modes in Australian cities’, Papers of 34th Australasian Transport Research Forum, Adelaide, September.
MEES, P. 2011 ‘Is the Compact City the Solution to the Sustainable Transport Dilemma?’, World Planning Schools Congress, Perth, 4-7 July.
MEES, P. 2011 ‘The compact city and sustainable transport: Another look at the data’, Planning Institute of Australia National Congress, Hobart, 6-9 March.
MEES, P. 2010 ‘Density and Sustainable Transport in US, Canadian and Australian Cities: Another look at the data’, 12th World Conference on Transport Research, Lisbon, 11-15 July.
Stone, J., MEES, P. and Muhammad, I. 2010 ‘Network Planning for More Effective Public Transport in New Zealand Cities’, 12th World Conference on Transport Research, Lisbon, 11-15 July.
Petersen, T. and MEES, P. 2010 ‘A Case of Good Practice: The Swiss ‘network’ approach to semi-rural public transport’, 12th World Conference on Transport Research, Lisbon, 11-15 July.
MEES, P. 2010 ‘Planning for major rail projects: The Melbourne Metro and Regional Rail Link’, Papers of 33rd Australasian Transport Research Forum, Canberra, 29 September-1 October.
Stone, J., MEES, P. and Muhammad, I. 2010 ‘Network planning for more effective public transport in New Zealand (and Australian) cities’, Sustainable Transport in the Asia-Indo-Pacific Conference, Melbourne, 2-4 June.
MEES, P. 2009 ‘How dense are we? Another look at urban density and transport patterns in Australia, Canada and the USA’, Proceedings of the State of Australian Cities National Conference 2009, Perth.
MEES, P. 2009 ‘Density and Transport Mode Choice in Australian, Canadian and US cities’, Papers of 32nd Australasian Transport Research Forum, Auckland.
Sorupia, E. & MEES, P. 2007 ‘Sustainable transportation in tourism destinations: The case of Iguaçu National Park, Brazil’, 11th World Conference on Transport Research, Berkeley (CD-ROM).
MEES, P. 2007 ‘Infrastructure constraints or poor service planning? Increasing service to Melbourne’s City Loop and Dandenong rail corridor’, Papers of the 30th Australasian Transport Research Forum, Melbourne (CD-ROM).
MEES, P 2007 ‘Can Australian cities learn from a ‘Great Planning Success’?, Proceedings of the State of Australian Cities National Conference 2007, Adelaide ISBN 978-0-646-48194-4 (CD-ROM).
Moriarty, P & MEES, P 2006 ‘The Journey to Work in Melbourne’, Papers of the 29th Australasian Transport Research Forum, Gold Coast, Qld (CD-ROM).
Morton, A. & MEES, P. 2005 ‘Too good to be true? An assessment of the Melbourne travel behaviour modification pilot’, Papers of the 28th Australasian Transport Research Forum, Sydney (CD-ROM).
MEES, P 2003 ‘What happened to the systems approach? Evaluation of alternatives in planning for major transport projects’ Papers of the 26thATRF, Wellington NZ (CD-ROM).
MEES, P & Dodson, J 2002 ‘The American Heresy: Transport Planning in Auckland 1950-2000’, in 2001 Geography: A Spatial Odyssey, Proceedings of Institute of Australian Geographers/ NZ Geographical Association Conference, Dunedin, NZ, 279-86.
MEES, P 2002 ‘Privatisation of Public Transport in Melbourne’, Papers of the 25th ATRF, Canberra (CD-ROM).
MEES, P 2001 ‘The Short Term Effects of Melbourne’s Western Ring Road’, Papers of 24th ATRF, Hobart (CD-ROM).
MEES, P. & Dodson, J. 2011 Public Transport Network Planning in Australia: Assessing current practice in Australia’s five largest cities, Research Paper 34, Brisbane: Griffith Urban Research Program.
Dodson, J., MEES, P., Stone, J. & Burke, M. 2011 The Principles of Public Transport Network Planning: A review of the emerging literature with select examples, Issues Paper 15, Brisbane: Griffith Urban Research Program.
MEES, P., Stone, J., Muhammad, I. & Nielsen, G. 2010 Public Transport Network Planning: A Guide to Best Practice in New Zealand Cities, New Zealand Transport Agency, Wellington NZ [refereed report].
MEES, P. 2010 ‘Density is not destiny’, Mobility (South Africa), July/September 2010, 38-41.
MEES, P. 2010 ‘Linking spaces: Public transport as a design problem’, Green Places (UK), 61 (April), 32-35.
MEES, P. 2010 ‘Public transport policy in Australia: A density delusion?’ Dissent 32, 45-49.
MEES, P. 2009 ‘Public transport policy in Australia: Time for a re-think’, Australian Options Magazine, 58 (Spring), 5-7.
Stone, J. & MEES, P. 2008 ‘Moving around Melbourne: Facing the greenhouse challenge’, Interaction: Journal of the Geography Teachers’ Assoc of Vic, 36(1), 21-28.
MEES, P. 2008 ‘How should planners respond to the Eddington Report?’, Planning News 34(4), 8-9.
MEES, P., Sorupia, E. & Stone, J. 2007 Travel to Work in Australian capital cities, 1976–2006: An analysis of census data, Australasian Centre for the Governance & Management of Urban Transport (GAMUT), Melbourne.
MEES, P., Buxton, M., Moriarty, P. & Stone, J. 2006 Putting the Public Interest back into Public Transport, GAMUT, Melbourne.
MEES, P. 2005 ‘More efficient car engines not the driver for sustainability’, in Sustainability for the ACT: The Future’s in Our Hands, ed. Chief Minister’s Sustainability Expert Reference Group, ACT Government, Canberra, 43-44 [and in Canberra Times, May 7 2005].
MEES, P. 2005 ‘Urban Policy, Anyone?’, Dissent 18, 54-56.
MEES, P. 2005 ‘Are our rail systems really at capacity?’, Dissent 16, 39-40.
MEES, P. 2004 ‘Taming Transport’, Issues 68, 33-36.
MEES, P. 2004 ‘The rise and fall of centres policy in Melbourne’, Planning News 30(9), 13-14.
MEES, P. 2003 ‘The Emperor’s New Plan’, Dissent 11, 50-55.
MEES, P. 2002 ‘How Transurban kept its tax breaks’, Dissent 8, 23-25.
Other conference papers
Imran, M., Stone, J. & MEES, P. 2010 ‘Network planning for more effective public transport in New Zealand cities’, Planning Institute of Australia/New Zealand Planning Institute joint national congress, Christchurch, NZ.
MEES, P 2008 ‘Vancouver: A ‘great planning success’?’, Association for Canadian Studies in Australia & New Zealand Biennial Conference, Brisbane, July.
MEES, P. 2007 ‘Franchising and performance based contracts: lessons from public transport in Melbourne’, 10th International Conference on Competition and Ownership in Land Passenger Transport (Thredbo 10), Hamilton Island, Qld.
MEES, P. 2006 ‘Making decisions or writing reports? Lessons from North American ‘best practice’ for Australian metro planning’, Planning Institute of Australia National Congress, Gold Coast, Qld.
MEES, P. 2005 ‘Is Melbourne on track for 2030?’ Planning Institute of Australia National Congress, Melbourne.
MEES, P. 2003 ‘The attempt to revive metropolitan planning in Melbourne’, Planning Institute of Australia National Congress, Adelaide.
MEES, P. 2002 ‘The Road Lobby Goes Post- Modern: Deconstructing the ‘Feminist Car’’, Institute of Australian Geographers Conference, Canberra.
MEES, P. 2001 ‘35 Up: Canberra’s Y-Plan Approaches Middle Age’, Royal Australian Planning Institute National Congress, Canberra.
Invited keynote addresses (selected):
Wheeler Centre forum, Melbourne, 13 February: ‘Ideas for Melbourne - Transport and Movement.’
The Victorian Transport Infrastructure Summit, Melbourne, 16 November: ‘Transport planning for Victoria’s population boom.’
The Urban Transport Planning Summit, Melbourne, 23 August: ‘Proven models of public transport success.’
Geography Teachers Association of Victoria annual conference, Melbourne, 21 August: Founders’ Keynote Address.
Smart Transport Conference, Parliament House, Wellington, NZ, 19 August: ‘Smart Transport for New Zealand’s Cities’ (keynote address).
World Planning Schools Congress, Perth, Round table on the planning of Canberra, 6 July: ‘Canberra and the Car’.
Griffith Urban Research Program seminar, Brisbane, 22 June: ‘Advocacy and scholarship: The urban academic as activist.’
University of Queensland, School of Geography, Planning and Environmental Management school seminar, 21 June: ‘Sustainable transport, sustainable cities.’
Eastern Transport Coalition (Cities of Knox, Manningham, Whitehorse, Maroondah, Monash, Yarra Ranges, Dandenong) seminar, 16 June: ‘Sustainable transport for Melbourne’s outer east.’
National Museum of Australia/Manning Clark House Weekend of Ideas, Canberra, 2 April: ‘Life in the ‘burbs’, panel session on transport planning.
Greening Australia ‘Toolbox for Environmental Change’ forum, Melbourne, 17 March: keynote address.
Department of Infrastructure, Energy & Resources (Tasmania), Hobart, 8 March: ‘The future of Hobart’s bus services.’
Planning Institute of Australia (NSW) seminar, Sydney, 15 February: ‘Transportation and the wheels of growth.’
Australian Local Government Association Annual Congress, Perth, 14 October: ‘Urban transport for a post-automobile age.’
The Urban Transport Planning Summit, Brisbane, 18 August: ‘Rail strategies for increased utilisation in the urban environment.’
The Western Australia Transport Infrastructure Summit 2010, Perth, 6 August: ‘Serving suburbia: How public transport can work in low-density environments.’
Hobart City Council public lecture, 29 July: ‘Public transport success in Switzerland: A model for Tasmania?’.
Conservation Council of the ACT/ACT Legislative Assembly seminar, Canberra, 16 June: ‘Public transport in the ACT.’
LaTrobe University Seminar on regional public transport, Bendigo, 1 June: ‘European-style public transport for Bendigo?’
Urban Development Institute of Australia, Victorian Division, seminar on The Future Shape of Melbourne, 23 March: ‘The Victorian Transport Plan.’
Property Council of Australia, Queensland Division, The Great Growth Debate symposium, 5 March: ‘Metropolitan planning for population growth.’
Casey City Council seminar, 26 February: ‘Transport for suburbia’.
Institute for Sustainable Systems and Technologies, University of South Australia public lecture, Adelaide, 23 October: ‘Transit villages and reviving public transport: lessons from Melbourne and other places.’
Environment Canterbury seminar, Christchurch, 28 September: ‘Public transport network planning for Christchurch.’
Institution of Professional Engineers New Zealand seminar, Wellington, 2 October: ‘Public transport for suburbia.’
Auckland Regional Transport Authority seminar, Auckland, 11 February: ‘Network planning for successful public transport’ [joint presenter with Mr. G. Nielsen, Institute of Transport Economics, Oslo].
Senate Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Committee, Inquiry Into Urban Public Transport, Committee hearings, Melbourne, 30 March. Invited presentation on capacity issues and network planning.
Property Council of Australia, Victoria Branch panel session: ‘No boundaries: Planning Melbourne’s future.’