DJB for AILA 2

Daniel Bennett

Registered Landscape Architect/Urban Designer

Daniel is a landscape architect with 20 years experience shaping better projects for our cities.

He is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects.

His career emerged in his hometown of Sydney and he has worked across Australia, Scotland, England, Wales and China.

He moved to Adelaide in 2004 as a Principal of Hassell, leading the local studio’s landscape architecture and urban design teams for a wide range of multi award winning projects.

In 2011 Daniel formed DJB_LA Pty Ltd, and led the urban design for the $2.2b Sydney Light Rail for Transport for NSW, followed by the Capital Metro Light Rail Feasibility Study in Canberra for the ACT Government.  He also completed a leading study for the City of Sydney on people and light rail safety as part of George Street’s revolution from traffic sewer to a people and light rail boulevard.

In 2014 Daniel joined the City of Adelaide and is currently Associate Director for Design and Strategy, leading 4 teams across City Strategy, City Design, Transport and Park Lands Strategy.

He is responsible for the City’s two key policies including Smart Move 2012-2022 (the integrated transport and movement strategy) and the Adelaide Design Manual (the city’s urban design framework).   His role is to also engage at the highest level with leading State Government agencies across a range of projects.

Daniel was a Director between 2013-2016 and is Immediate Past President of the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects (AILA), representing the national interests of the profession of landscape architecture.

Professional Affiliations and Invitations

  • 2016, Fellow, Australian Institute of Landscape Architects
  • 2015-2016, National President, Director, Australian Institute of Landscape Architects
  • 2013-2015, National Vice President, Director, Australian Institute of Landscape Architects
  • 2016, Chair, Juror, AILA National Awards
  • 2015, Juror, AILA South Australian Chapter Awards
  • 2013, Juror, New Royal Adelaide Hospital Student Design Competition, SA Govt
  • 2013, Juror, National Public Domain Awards, CCAA
  • 2011, Juror, South Australian Architecture Awards
  • 2011-2015, Independent Member, Adelaide Hills Council Development Assessment Panel
  • 2010-2012, Independent Member, Capital City Design Review Panel, SA Govt
  • 2009-2013, Vice President of the AILA South Australian Chapter
  • 2005-2015, Visiting Lecturer and Critic, University of Adelaide, School of Architecture, Landscape Architecture and Urban Design
  • 2003, Registered Landscape Architect, #1183

He is a regular contributor to many publications including the InDaily, Adelaide’s independent online daily newspaper, 891ABC Adelaide, the Adelaide Advertiser, and Sourceable.net, an industry publication.

He is a passionate advocate for the profession, particularly in city shaping initiatives, and of the value of integrated design thinking and strategy.

About Daniel

Over the years Daniel has learnt to adopt a strong and leading advisory role on integration of ideas, thought and pragmatism across many areas of work from high level urban policy to detailed landscape architecture and construction.

His analytical skills often enable a broad and comprehensive appreciation of a space/city/context – often the greatest challenge is setting a problem, not solving it.

He has demonstrated this approach on many projects.  His strong creative and innovative approach to design, often working in large teams, has the ability to rise above the normal to explore the opportunities and examine divergent and passionate thinking.

Daniel has recently taken delivery of an e-bike to commute from his home in the lower Adelaide Hills into the city.

He is married with three young children, tinkers with classic old European cars and is mad for the Sydney Swans.

All opinions expressed on this blog are his own.

DJB_LA Projects


  • Capital Metro (Canberra’s Light Rail)//ACT Government.  Arup/Hassell/PB/DJB_LA
  • Sydney CBD and South East Light Rail//NSW Government.  Arup/Hassell/Aurecon/DJB_LA
  • People and Light Rail Study//City of Sydney.  Hassell/Arup/DJB_LA
  • Sydney Light Rail Environmental Impact Statement, Visual Assessment//NSW Government. PB/Hassell/Arup/DJB_LA
  • Linden Park Primary School Landscape Master Plan//Linden Park Primary School.  DJB_LA
  • Tanunda School Landscape Master Plan//Frenchenviro. DJB_LA
  • Springlake at Mount Barker Landscape Master Plan//Tanti Osborne Projects.  Branford Planning and Design/DJB_LA


  • 2015 Perth Max Light Rail Forum//Senator Scot Ludlum, Perth
  • 2014 Big Projects and Big Procurement//Australian Institute of Landscape Architects, Festival of Landscape Architecture, Brisbane
  • 2014 Urban Design Conference, Adelaide
  • 2014 Designing Transport Systems for People//Australian Institute of Transport Planning and Management, Adelaide
  • 2014 UDIA SA//Transport Planning in Adelaide Forum, Adelaide
  • 2014 light rail 2.0: beyond the tracks//International Light Rail conference, Melbourne (Feb 28)
  • 2013 Hassell transport forum, Melbourne
  • 2013 Hassell transport forum, Perth
  • 2010 Gallopoli Underpass//Major Projects conference, Adelaide
  • 2009 Gallopoli Underpass//Alliance Conference, Sydney
  • 2009 thirsty, the perspective of a landscape architect//Stormwater Institute/AILA conference, Adelaide


  • Why not a department for pedestrians?//Indaily, April 28, 2015
  • A greener Adelaide needs more than just park lands//Indaily, April 9, 2015
  • Lessons in vibrancy from the 1940’s//Indaily, November 25, 2014
  • Let’s make public transport appealing//Indaily, August 11, 2014, http://indaily.com.au/design/2014/08/11/lets-make-public-transport-appealing/
  • Light Rail will allow Canberrans to rethink their city//Canberra Times, March 24, 2014  http://www.canberratimes.com.au/comment/light-rail-will-allow-canberrans-to-rethink-their-city-20140323-35bf9.html
  • Fix the train stations and people will come//Indaily, April 16, 2014  http://indaily.com.au/opinion/2014/04/16/fix-train-stations-people-will-come/
  • If a tree falls in Adelaide, does anybody hear?//Indaily, February 12, 2014  http://indaily.com.au/design/2014/02/12/tree-falls-adelaide-anybody-hear/
  • Design Contests Foster Creativity//Indaily, December 12, 2013
  • How would you design Adelaide?//Indaily, October 30, 2013
  • Are Trams the Answer?//Indaily, October 24, 2013
  • Indaily Design Panel.  Adelaide
  • ‘Adelaide: Bordeaux of the South?’//Indaily, May 20, 2013
  • ‘Port Adelaide: Taken for Granted’//Indaily, February 4, 2013
  • ‘Port Adelaide: No Such Thing as Hopeless’//Indaily, February 11, 2013
  • Editor, Frequency, Australian Institute of Landscape Architects (SA Chapter) journal, 2009-2014


  • Drive, 891ABC Adelaide, Michael Smythe//numerous
  • Afternoons, 891ABC Adelaide, Sonya Feldhoff//numerous
  • Seven News Adelaide//numerous
  • The Evening Show, 891ABC Adelaide, Peter Goers//September 9, 2014
  • The Plan, Radio Adelaide//numerous

Selected Project Experience

  • People and Light Rail Precedent Study//City of Sydney.  Arup/Hassell/DJB_LA
  • Sydney Light Rail Strategic Plan//NSW Government.  Arup/Hassell/Aurecon/DJB_LA
  • Sydney Light Rail Urban Renewal Anaylsis//NSW Government.  Hassell/DJB_LA
  • Western Sydney Light Rail Planning and Urban Design Study//Parramatta City Council.  Hassell/Arup/DJB_LA
  • 3 small parks, City of Unley, Swanbury Penglase/DJB_LA
  • Gallipoli Underpass//South Australian Government/Department for Planning, Transport and Infrastructure/Thiess/LEED Engineering and Construction/PB/Kath Moore and Associates/Hassell
  • Coast to Coast Light Rail//SouthSouth Australian Government/Department for Planning, Transport and Infrastructure.  Thiess/LEED Engineering and Construction/PB/Kath Moore and Associates/Hassell
  • Seaford Rail Extension//South Australian Government.  Thiess/McConnell Dowell/PB/Aurecon/SKM/Hassell
  • City of Salisbury Landscape Plan//City of Salisbury. Hassell
  • St Clair Development, Cheltenham//AVJennings/Urban Pacific.  Hassell
  • Rundle Street Upgrade//Adelaide City Council.  Hassell/Greenhill Engineers
  • Port Adelaide Centre Vision and Urban Design Framework//South Australian Government, City of Port Adelaide Enfield.  Hassell/Jan Gehl/Mike Cullen
  • 45 Pirie Street Forecourt// ING Real Estate. Hassell
  • Flagstaff Pines Estate//Adelaide Development Company. Hassell
  • Adelaide Zoo Framework Plan//ZoosSA. Hassell
  • Adelaide Airport T1//Adelaide Airport Ltd. Hassell
  • Dongsha Lake Eco Park//Suzhou Industrial Park Co.  Johnson Pilton Walker
  • P2 Precinct, Sydney Olympic Park Plan//Sydney Olympic Park Authority. Johnson Pilton Walker
  • Modern Boulevard, Suzhou//Suzhou Industrial Park Co. Johnson Pilton Walker
  • Good Samaritan College//Catholic Church. Johnson Pilton Walker
  • Noise Wall Design Guidelines//NSW Government. Johnson Pilton Walker
  • Canberra Ave Noise Wall Concept//NSW Government. Johnson Pilton Walker
  • Science Road Streetscape//UNSW. Johnson Pilton Walker
  • Engineering Road Streetscape//UNSW. Johnson Pilton Walker


  • Adelaide City Council, 2014-current
  • DJB_LA, 2011-current
  • HASSELL, 2004-2011, Adelaide
  • HASSELL, 2004, Sydney
  • Urban Design Office, 2003-2004, Sydney
  • Johnson Pilton Walker, 2000-2003, Sydney
  • Turnbull Jeffrey Partnership, 1999-2000, Edinburgh
  • NSW Government Architects Office, 1997-1998, Sydney
  • Ku-ring-gai Municipal Council, 1992, Sydney

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