David L. Davidson: Early town planning reformer and administrator

Robert Freestone, Neil Foley

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference paperConference paper

Abstract

From the late 1920s to at least the mid-1940s, David Lomas Davidson (1893-1952) was the most powerful and influential administrator in town planning in Australia. As Town Planning Commissioner for Western Australia from 1929 until his death, his job was to implement the spirit and letter of the Town Planning and Development Act 1928.
Davidson’s credentials for this position were consolidated in New South Wales in the 1920s. With a professional background in surveying, he joined the Town Planning Association of NSW as a vocal advocate for planning legislation and becoming President in 1928. Davidson succeeded Sir John Sulman as Vernon Memorial Lecturer in Town Planning at Sydney University in 1929. His enthusiasm for spreading the ‘good word’ about planning as well as the application of his sound practical planning skills continued in the West from 1929 but as an administrator he proved a controversial and divisive figure. There were gains but depression, war and likely his cantankerous personality hindered his effectiveness. This paper provides a brief biographical overview of his planning work and contributions, venturing also into his personal life which proved just as tempestuous and revealing.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 13th Australasian Urban History Planning History Conference
Subtitle of host publicationIcons: The Making, Meaning and Undoing of Urban Icons and Iconic Cities
EditorsCaryl Bosman, Aysin Dedekorkut-Howes
Place of PublicationGold Coast, Qld
Publisher Australasian Urban History Planning History Group and Griffith University, Gold Coast
Pages128-138
Number of pages11
ISBN (Print)9780646956893
Publication statusPublished - 29 Jun 2016
EventPROCEEDINGS OF THE 13TH AUSTRALASIAN URBAN HISTORY PLANNING HISTORY CONFERENCE - Gold Coast, Australia
Duration: 1 Jan 20163 Feb 2016

Conference

ConferencePROCEEDINGS OF THE 13TH AUSTRALASIAN URBAN HISTORY PLANNING HISTORY CONFERENCE
CountryAustralia
CityGold Coast
Period1/01/163/02/16

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