• Movie Towns and Sitcom Suburbs
  • Seeing Seaside
  • Job Opportunities in the Virtual City: Planners and SimCity
  • Walt Disney, Urban Designer
  • The Victorian Planning History Collection
  • 50 years of Ugliness
  • The Victorian Planning System: Practice, Problems and Prospects


This page collects together writing for various sources by me, Stephen Rowley.

I’m an urban planner and currently split my time between a position at RMIT University, consulting as an urban planner under the banner of RCI Planning, land a few other projects. I have written widely on both urban planning and film. I have written two books: Movie Towns and Sitcom Suburbs: Building Hollywood’s Ideal Communities (2015); and The Victorian Planning System: Practice, Problems and Prospects (2017).

A list of my published writing is here.

I am not the Dr Steven Rowley (with a V) who is at Curtin (and who writes on planning-related topics like housing affordability). I am also not Stephen Rowley the male model.

Urban Planning

I am currently working at RMIT University as a lecturer, where my teaching focuses on planning practice and regulatory planning systems. My second book, The Victorian Planning System: Practice, Problems and Prospects (Federation Press, 2017) is an introduction to, and analysis of, the Victorian regulatory planning system.

I co-edited the magazine Planning News (with Tim Westcott and Gilda di Vincenzo) from July 2007 to December 2010. There is a lot more information about my work on Planning News at this link. My writing on urban planning has appeared in Planning News, The Age, Crikey, and on this site.

In the balance of my time I consult under the banner of RCI Planning. I am also Planning Editor of the VPRs, contributing mainly to the writing of editorial comment upon VCAT decisions.

I am a former Vice President of the Victorian Division of the Planning Institute of Australia. I have served on the committee for several years, also previously serving as Policy Convenor.

A more detailed planning-oriented bio can be found on my RCI webpage.


My first book, Movie Towns and Sitcom Suburbs: Building Hollywood’s Ideal Communities, was published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2015. It examines the way film and television communicate images of community.

My writing on film and television has appeared in Animation Journal, The Age, 007 Magazine, the online journals Senses of Cinema and The Refractory, and on various websites including Crikey, InFilm Australia (to which I was a regular contributor before it changed format) and CommanderBond.Net. Much of the content for this site is original content either originally posted here, or carried over from my old film-related website, Cinephobia, which I maintained from 1997 until 2010.

I contributed a chapter to the book The Blade Runner Experience (edited by Will Brooker), discussing the depiction of the city in Blade Runner.

In January 2010 I won one of the inaugural AFCA awards for film writing for my review of 2012.


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Published Writing

RCI Planning: Expert Melbourne town planning and VCAT advocacy services by Stephen Rowley
RCI Planning is my consultancy providing expert advice, VCAT advocacy and statutory planning services in the Victorian planning system.

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