Dr Lee Beattie

BPlan BSc Dip EnvMgt GradCertUrbDes (Syd) MSc (Lond) PhD MNZPI MRSNZ


Lee is a practicing urban designer and urban planner with over 25 years' professional experience.  He has qualifications in urban planning, urban design, and environmental science.  Lee is currently the Deputy Head of the School of Architecture and Planning and the Director of their Master of Urban Design Programme.  He specialises in urban design and urban planning policy implementation and evaluation, growth management and housing issues.

Lee's research interests include urban design and urban planning policy development, implementation and evaluation.  He is currently involved in a number of research projects considering a range of urban design implementation issues including considering the role that masterplanning and urban design panels play in ensuring urban design quality.  ​

Lee is actively involved in the urban design and urban planning professions in New Zealand.  He is a rotating Chair of the Auckland Council's Urban Design Panel, an Auckland Council and Queenstown Lakes Independent Planning Hearing Commissioner, secretary of the Urban Design Forum and a member of the Salmon Resource Management Act 1991 Editorial Board.

Research | Current

  • Urban design implementation and practice issues
  • Developing, implementing and evaluating urban design and urban planning policy
  • Urban growth management issues
  • The implementation of the Resource Management Act 1991

Teaching | Current

Urban Design 720: Urban Design Studio 2

An advanced urban design project involving highly specialised research related to the analysis and design of the built environment.

Urban Design 705: Urban Design Site Anaylsis

Urban morphology, Site Analysis and an exploration of a contemporary urban design issue

Postgraduate supervision

Wen Liu (PhD in Planning): Effective delivery of urban intensification: understanding the relationship of plans, residents and property developers.

Salma Amirshekari Razno (PhD in Urban Design): The role of open spaces in contributing to social cohesion on urban communities.

Amir Kayal (PhD in Planning): The role and actions of pratitioners in second generation cpted in New Zealand

Lena Henry (PhD in Planning): Urban Planning and the Pursuit of Rangatiratanga in the 21st Century



New Zealand Planning Institute's John Mawson Award of Merit (2018)

New Zealand Planning Institute's Distinguished Service Award (2016)

New Zealand Planning Institute's Wallace Ross Graduate Research Award (2014) 

New Zealand Planning Institute's Award of Merit for developing practitioner-based training programmes (2007)

Ministry for the Environment Accredited RMA (Planning) Hearing Commissioner


Deputy Head of the School of Architecture and Planning

Director of the Master of Urban Design programme

Areas of expertise

  • Urban design
  • Master planning 
  • Urban planning
  • Urban growth management
  • Housing and town centre generation issues
  • Economic development and urban planning

Committees/Professional groups/Services

Professional Groups 

  • Full Member of the New Zealand Planning Institute (1998)
  • Member of the Royal Society of New Zealand (2014)
  • Member of the Urban Design Forum (2009)

Professional Appointments

  • Auckland Council Independent Hearing Commissioner
  • Queenstown Lakes District Council Independent Hearing Commissioner
  • Chair of the Auckland Council's Auckland Urban Design Panel
  • Member of the Salmon Resource Management Act 1991 Editorial Panel
  • Secretary of the Urban Design Forum


  • Memeber of the Totara Farms Trust Board

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

  • Haarhoff, E., Allen, N., Austin, P., Beattie, L., & Boarin, P. (2019). Living at Density in Hobsonville Point, Auckland: Residents Perceptions. , 19 Building Better Homes, Towns and Cities National Science Challenge. Related URL.
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/47681
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Patricia Austin, Paola Boarin
  • Allen, N., Haarhoff, E., & Beattie, L. (2018). Enhancing liveability through urban intensi cation: The idea and role of neighbourhood. Cogent Social Sciences, 410.1080/23311886.2018.1442117
  • Beattie, L., & Haarhoff, E. J. (2018). Urban growth, liveability and quality urban design: Questions about the efficacy of urban planning systems in Auckland, New Zealand. Journal of Contemporary Urban Affairs, 2 (2), 12-23. 10.25034/ijcua.2018.3667
  • Beattie, L., & Reid, P. (2017). Planning Under the Local Government Act 2002. In L. Beattie, C. Miller (Eds.) Planning Practice in New Zealand (pp. 147-160). Auckland: Lexis Nexus.
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/38815
  • Beattie, L. (2017). Resource consent appeals, referrals and the role of a planner in the hearing process. In C. Miller, L. Beattie (Eds.) Planning practice in New Zealand (pp. 135-142). Auckland, New Zealand: Lexis Nexis.
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/39477
  • Beattie, L. (2017). The structure and purpose of the Resource Management Act 1991. In C. Miller, L. Beattie (Eds.) Planing practice in New Zealand (pp. 17-32). Auckland, New Zealand: LexisNexis.
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/39476
  • Haarhoff, E. J., & Beattie, L. (2017). Can higher density enhance liveability?. Build (160), 70-71.
  • Beattie, L., & Munro, I. (2017). The life of a Resource Consent under the Resource Management Act 1991. In L. Beattie, C. Miller (Eds.) Planning practice in New Zealand (pp. 49-65). Auckland, New Zealand: Lexis Nexis.
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/39181

Contact details

Alternative contact

+64 (0) 21 2720775

Primary office location

Level 6, Room 617
New Zealand

Web links