Bob Birrell is Reader in Sociology and Director of the Centre for Population and Urban Research at Monash University. He is the joint editor of the quarterly demographic journal People and Place, published by the Centre. He was a member of the National Population Council between 1987 and 1993. He is currently a member of the Commonwealth Government’s advisory committee on international education. The Centre for Population Research has provided consultancy services on urban issues for local and state government authorities in Melbourne. This background has contributed to the Centre’s wide range of publications on urban issues. It also provides the foundation for the Centre’s current work on metropolitan planning in Melbourne.