urbandesign blocks 2 - 4 September 2013


Accepted Abstacts 2010

Mr Phillip Anderson
Economic Indicator Services, Melbourne Victoria

Co-Author: Mr Terence Duffy, Economic Indicator Services
The History of Canberra: Lessons for Today’s Cities in How to Remain Affordable, Liveable and Self Sustaining.

The Federation of Australia in 1901 and the creation of a new capital city for Australia was a unique opportunity in time and the politicians of that era had firm intentions that the new capital city was to remain affordable, liveable, no longer be subject to the massive real estate speculation that had plagued all other Australian cities during the early 1890's, and finally relieve the nation's capital of the dreadful booms and busts that had been so typical of 19th century living.
This presentation will explore why the politicians of Federation took this dramatic turn, what were the implications for its initial development, and then to bring this to the relevance of the present day, using EIS studies and data resources. The focus will be on the implications of the early Canberra model, for housing affordability and the eighteen year property cycle, successfully observed and monitored by EIS over the past twenty years.

Mr Guy Barnett
CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems
Canberra ACT

Adapting Cities for Climate Change: The Role of Green Infrastructure


This presentation provides an overview of research being undertaken in CSIRO’s Climate Adaptation Flagship to investigate the role of the urban environment in mediating the likely impacts of climate change on human health and well being. We conceptualise green infrastructure as one several important elements comprising our urban environment.

Using the climate change impact of extreme heatwave events as a focus, we use remote sensing to measure the thermal performance (land surface temperature) of different types of urban form to establish the specific contribution of green infrastructure. What we find is significant spatial variability in the vulnerability of urban environments to extreme heatwave events. Ecosystem services provided by green infrastructure reduce the frequency and severity of these extreme events, and will be integral to climate adaptation strategies.

The degree of buffering generally increases with the overall amount of vegetated space present in a city. Climate adaptation is therefore best conceptualised as comprising a ‘palette of options’ from planning, design and physical interventions (i.e., retrofitting, cool roofs, urban greening) through to the promotion of behavioural change and coping strategies to help people to adapt to extreme heat (e.g., warning systems, social networks). Yet there remain many complex trade-offs in terms of where and what kinds of interventions to utilise to transition to healthier urban environments.

Mr Omar Barragan

Auckland City Council
Auckand

The exclusion of children and families from modern high density environments- From Bogota to Auckland.


High density is heralded as a foremost smart-growth instrument to reduce land consumption and automobile dependence. In practice, densities play a key role in the way planners and designers understand how cities function. However traditional and contemporary discourses about high density living are contradictory. On the one hand, high density public housing and its occupants have been constructed as deviant, an aspect of contemporary life that cities must endure, while luxury apartments are celebrated in variety of ways. Furthermore, in most developed nations, the notion that children and heterosexual nuclear families are excluded in high density discourses reinforces this condtradiction.

Auckland in New Zealand has experienced this trend for many years where development in the city centre and city fringe suburbs have alienated children and families in most recent housing and mixed use projects. By contrast, in the Latin American context, Bogota has developed sustainable higher density developments such as ‘Ciudad Salitre’ that are firmly understood as welcoming of children where in fact children in these environments are desirable for social interaction and community cohesion.

This paper presents the research of ‘Ciudad Salitre’ as an example of a sustainable higher density development that has become a legitimised response to concerns about urban sprawl. It compares and contrasts with Auckland’s desire and failures to achieve similar urban environments. This research demonstrates how two cities face similar challenges in relation to urban sprawl, how Bogota has understood the importance of housing diversity designed for social cohesion and the importance of children in urban planning, and the way that Auckland continues to deliver childless neighbourhoods. This research shows from a practical and theoretical perspective how high density housing fits neatly into urban consolidation models and how is now considered to be integral to the production of economically and environmentally sustainable cities.

Mr Adam Beck

Geeen Building Council of Australia
Brisbane Qld

Influencing Sustainable Cities of the Future though Green Star Communities


As Australia’s cities continue to enlarge, the efforts extended by government and industry to shape them sustainably are being challenged. With national policy seeking strategic sustainable investment opportunities in our cities, guidance on the relevant issues, priorities and standards is now critical. One issue in particular that is being sought out by government and industry is a nationally consistent language around sustainable communities.

In response to this, the Green Building Council of Australia, with the support of government and industry around Australia, has created a national framework for sustainable communities. The framework establishes five national principles to shape the evolution of communities, both new and existing ones. It addresses the issues of liveability, prosperity, environmental quality, placemaking and urban governance.

The framework will be available to help government and industry in evolving our sustainable cities of the future. It has been developed in collaboration with government stakeholders, industry professionals, practitioners, research and academia, professional associations and other representative groups. Importantly, the framework establishes the foundations for Green Star Communities, the GBCA’s newest tool helping transition Australia to a sustainable built environment future.

Mr Chris Begert

Sustainable Built Environments (SBE)
Melbourne VIC

Co-Author: Ms Imm Chew, Sustainable Built Environments & Mr Ben Cuter, Sustainable Built Environments

How to implement ESD in the planning process


Local Governments have long been trying to enhance the environmental performance of the built environment through implementing ESD in the planning process. Process as well as resource related problems often hinder the effective implementation, thus creating frustrations among town planners, architects, developers and other stakeholders.

Local Governments face a variety of issues when pushing for enhanced sustainability assessments and requirements in the planning process. Since neither a state nor a national framework exists, the stipulated requirements often trigger potentially expensive and time consuming VCAT hearings.

On the resource side a number of issues arise: currently Local Governments feel that there are no tools existing that can cater for their specific needs and tend to develop their own tools. Councils are often not equipped with the funding required for keeping these tools up to date.

How can we overcome these issues? During recent work with Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV) and a number Victorian Local Councils the idea of creating a joint council and industry initiative evolved. Could establishing a ‘Green Planning Council’ provide a platform for implementing ESD in the planning process?

This paper will examine the opportunities and challenges of this idea and suggest a framework for the further development of a ‘Green Planning Council’.


A/Prof Darren Bilsborough

Parsons Brinckerhoff
Adelaide SA

Strategic Planning Responses to City Vulnerability


With now over 50% of the world's population and 90% of Australia's population living in urban areas, our cities are becoming increasingly more vulnerable. The risks to our cities and to our cities residents has never been greater with multiple threats from climate change, the multiple PEAKS of peak food, peak water, peak oil, the pollution of our air, waterways and soils, our ever diminishing natural resources and biodiversity and to our general health and well being.

These risks can be averted but only through strategically planning for the mitigation of these risks into the future.

The Federal government has recognised this urgent need through mandating that State and Territories will have capital city strategic plans that meet national criteria for transport, housing, urban development and sustainability by 2012. The government’s intention is for the plans to contribute to lifting economic productivity, responding to climate change and ensuring the nation is geared up for 35 million people by 2049.

These plans are intended to deliver better integrated and longer term infrastructure and land use plans to improve housing affordability, better transport to tackle urban congestion, and new urban developments that provide superior linkages to transport, jobs and services.

This paper will discuss the opportunites for a different approach to developing our cities with particular emphasis on transport, energy and climate change adaptation, but with the view of achieving better outcomes in favour of our nation’s productivity, security, health and general well being in line with the federal government’s ambitions.


Mr Peter Boyle

Victorian Government
Melbourne VIC

Co-Author: Ms Amanda Millis, Senior Project Manager Victorian Government

Strengthening Victoria’s Liveability by Building Design Knowledge and Capability


Victoria’s towns and cities are growing and changing at a higher rate than those in other states, including New South Wales and Western Australia, and Melbourne’s population, is likely to reach five million by 2030.

Urban designers will play a significant role in influencing the shape of Melbourne in the context of the city’s rapid growth, and managing challenges, such as climate change, an ageing population and housing growth requirements.

The key challenge for the Victorian Government is having the right policy settings to continue to deliver a strong economy whilst preserving and enhancing our quality of life. Increasingly we are aware of the need to design our built environment in more sustainable ways for the benefit of current and future generations.

In response, the Victorian Government’s Urban Design Unit has developed an innovative urban design training resource to support and contribute to the implementation of government’s urban policies including Melbourne 2030: a planning update and ‘Melbourne @ 5 million’.

This evidence informed paper demonstrates that to achieve higher standards of urban design, we need to build expertise and urban design knowledge of built environment professionals, particularly those who make or influence decisions about development.

An independent evaluation of the Urban Design Training Program for Victoria 2006-2009 found the program is meeting its aims and objectives in terms of delivering better design outcomes for places. This has been achieved by shaping future communities, providing higher density residential developments, designing activity centres and improving public safety resulting from better designed and developed public environments.

Mr Richard Brecknock

Brecknock Consulting P/L
Norwood SA

Planninf for Culture & Creativity in Australian Cities


Public art has long been recognised as an essential contributor to the physical expression of culture and creativity in the public realm. In countless cities around the world there are wonderful examples of public art that tell the story of the people, their histories and their aspirations.

This paper will raise the critical question, when considering the future of public spaces should public art be an outcome of city planning or left entirely to the individual inspiration of the artist? Richard Brecknock will draw upon his thirty years as a public artist, cultural planner and public art consultant to explore the context in which public art is planned, conceptualised and executed. He will review the many policy and planning platforms that support the contemporary commissioning of public art in Australian cities, including government policies, percent for art obligations on the private sector and the role of art in plot ratio bonuses considerations.

The presenter will provide a visual insight into contemporary practice and the incredible diversity of public art. He will show examples of permanent, temporary and ephemeral artworks from cities around the country and overseas.


Dr Catherine Bridge

University of NSW
Sydney NSW

Co-Author: Ms Anne-Marie Elias, Council on the Ageing NSW

Future proofing our environments for an ageing population


There is growing recognition across all spheres of government that the ageing of Australia’s population will necessitate many policy and planning shifts. Creating age friendly environments is about future proofing our infrastructure and it has to be done now to support the anticipated demographic changes as we approach 2030 when twenty-five percent of the population will be aged 65 and over.

Age friendly design supports active living, good health and social connectedness for all ages. For example, well lit and maintained public spaces are welcoming, promote safety and encourage more active lifestyles; transport that is accessible allows all people, young and old, to remain linked to social networks, services and employment; and something as basic as a well maintained footpath can promote prolonged mobility for older people (Checklist of Essential Features of Age- friendly Cities: World Health Organisation).

A holistic approach to planning for an ageing population through good urban planning and design, housing design and transport will contribute to the mobility, participation, social inclusion and well being of people of all ages and abilities.

Dr Catherine Bridge and Anne-Marie Elias will highlight key aspects of population ageing that will impact on and reframe the way planners and designers create the built environment. They will share their insights in working with councils, designers and planners in promoting age friendly environments.


Ms Brigitte Buchholz

Arup
Sydney NSW

The City of the Future – Visions of Tomorrowland


Over hundreds of years, humans have dreamed of a 'City of the Future'. Artists painted, architects and planners sketched, theorists and writers wrote, and film makers produced utopian vision after vision. What is it that continuously makes us dream of Tomorrowland?

This presentation will explore a range of past and current visions, highlight their importance and describe their impact on society then and now. Looking back at past dreams of a better or worse future will discover the motives behind these visions. What were the drivers for Fritz Lang's utopian vision of Metropolis? What was the background of the ‘Broadacre City’ by Frank Lloyd Wright? How does Star Trek and Sim City fit into all this?

Visions encourage the politician to take a bold decision, the private developer to invest, the community member to support rather than complain. There is a strong recognition in the built environment industry that visioning is an integral part of good design, of en-visioning a better, different future. What we can learn from past visions can inform what we do today.


Mrs Sidonie Carpenter

Green Roofs Australia
Fig Tree Pocket Qld

Green Roofs and Walls - an essential element for the future of sustainable urbanism


Due to the large demands for food, energy and water, the growth in urban populations has and will continue to create a unique set of environmental problems, both within cities and in the surrounding areas. Many of these problems are either directly caused or exacerbated by the removal of vegetation to accommodate urban expansion. It is expected that many of these problems will be further exacerbated by climate change.

By 2005, 50% of the world’s population will live in cities (Bindé, 1998), and in the industrialized world, the figure has already surpassed 80%.

One design solution that provides and a solution to the many issues faced by urbanisation, is the implementation of green walls and roofs, a very real and achievable solution for supporting a sustainable environment.
In Australia, till now, green walls and roofs have been overlooked as a design priority or concern, thus at this stage we have limited knowledge and skill base for their design and implementation. It is an area that offers many diverse applications with outcomes that directly benefit society, the economy and the environment.

The diverse issues shaping the discussion of viable agronomic systems in the urban fabric must continue to be pursued if we are to be successful in our leadership of the sustainable movement. This pursuit will guide the industry toward meeting our environmental responsibilities and project a broader meaning for green walls and roofs into the urban fabric.


Ms Cathryn Chatburn

AECOM
Brisbane QLD

Creating flexible frameworks for sustainable living


Concern about the impact of urbanisation upon the health of the planet and its inhabitants is refocusing attitudes towards the way we build. And where planners, architects, and theorists imagined urban frameworks through which communities would live out more fulfilled lives, today’s designers are re-imagining the future to reduce the environmental footprint of our activities to deliver more sustainable development.

Physical issues of size, mix, layout and density, building forms, movement patterns, materials, and resource efficiency are all being considered in the quest to define new models for sustainable urban settlements. As these changes have been understood, they have been translated into an increasingly prolific catalogue of government policies, objectives, and targets used to inform and drive professional practice.

Creating sustainable cities requires a re-thinking of built form as an ‘architecture of engagement’. Buildings are thought of in terms of their layers and as a collection of expandable and flexible spaces. Garden space can be established on roofs and transformed for weekly markets. Real time public transport schedules can be made available, as well as live feed information on the building’s energy, water, and waste performance. This new model will bring greater levels of ‘urban stewardship’ as the community evolves.

Encouraging more sustainable lifestyles requires more than the delivery of high-density development and land efficiencies. Good urban design is the process of shaping physical settings for life. Effective sustainable urban design should have the capacity, when considered comprehensively, to deliver the frameworks within which lives can be lived more sustainably.

Ms Kirsty Chessher

UDIA (Qld)
Brisbane QLD

Co-Author: Mr Brian Stewart, Chief Executive and General Counsel UDIA (Qld)

EnviroDevelopment – The Successes and Challenges of Getting Sustainable Runs on the Board


Launched in Queensland in 2006, EnviroDevelopment was developed by UDIA (Qld) to encourage more sustainable development. Over the four years since its inception, EnviroDevelopment has grown significantly and the adoption of the system in an additional three states has broadened the profile of the branding system.

Already EnviroDevelopment has achieved significant outcomes in terms of sustainability. The nine developments certified under EnviroDevelopment, representing nearly 15,000 lots/units and 9,200m2 of industrial space, have been calculated to save nearly 1,500ML/yr of potable water and over 42,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas and contribute over 960 hectares of conservation/green space.

EnviroDevelopment certification requires a much higher level of sustainability in development than regulation, and creates a positive environment for innovation. It is particularly strong in encouraging integration between all project team members to work to a common sustainability goal by providing further incentive to deliver enhanced sustainability outcomes in new developments.

With broad coverage, both across sustainability issues and all stages of land subdivision and development, it clarifies the components of sustainability into a comprehensible whole, easily communicated to the market. EnviroDevelopment has separate elements with relating to water, energy, waste, materials, ecosystems and community. The certification process requires strong commitments, supporting evidence, site visits and assessment by dedicated staff and a highly qualified Board of Management.

This presentation will examine the progress of EnviroDevelopment since its inception, its achievements to date and challenges for the future. It outlines some of the outstanding initiatives incorporated by certified EnviroDevelopments around Australia, including examples of climate-responsive designs which enhance our urban places and foster and encourage active and healthy communities.


Mr Giovanni Cirillo

NSW Government
SYDNEY NSW

Transforming Sydney - The Imperative of Transit Oriented Urban Renewal



It has been estimated that Sydney’s population will grow by 1.7 million people over the next 25 years, reaching 6 million by 2036.

In 2005, the Sydney Metropolitan Strategy established that in order to manage this population growth in the most sustainable way possible, Sydney needs to accommodate 70% of its projected growth within its existing urban areas.

This means that around 445,000 new dwellings will be necessary by 2031, or over 17,000 dwellings per year.

To deliver this critical supply of housing, a fundamental rethink of the traditional suburban expansion model is necessary. The time has come to reimagine Sydney by replanning its strategic centres and corridors.

To make this happen, the NSW policy framework will need to change to promote ‘transit oriented urban renewal’ and achieve the objectives of the Sydney Metropolitan Strategy 2010.

Sydney needs vibrant local centres, and to increase the supply of medium density housing and local business opportunities in accessible locations.

We need to ensure the best use of existing and planned public transport, services and infrastructure, relieving pressure on ‘greenfield’ sites on the City’s edge to deliver housing for Sydney’s growing population.

The future of planning in Sydney must integrate new public transport infrastructure with the surrounding local area’s future land use controls, to get the best benefit for communities from the substantial investment by government. We owe it to our Cities and to our descendants.


Mr Gareth Collins

NSW Roads and Traffic Authority
North Sydney NSW

The value to the built environment of an urban design approach to road infrastructure.


Roads are significant pieces of our built environment. In their best manifestations they are the armatures of built form; the 'stage' for businesses and public buildings; a place for cafe life and local shopping; part of the curtillages of our homes; the major walking and cycling linkages within the public domain; a resource for recreation and tourism; and a public space within which we spend considerable amounts of time.

Many roads authorities in recent years have come to understand these imperatives and how they are critical to achieving success. The RTA is no exception. In an atmosphere of intense public scrutiny over its projects, it has, in the last 10 years, significantly improved its built outcomes and developed a comprehensive urban design approach to road design.

This decade long 'journey' has lead to many insights. Such as the best processes and principles of managing urban design; how standard forms of contract can be modified to capture urban design principles; and what is good transportation design and what is simply a costly and unsustainable liability.

These lessons have been included in the recently published and award winning RTA policy, titled 'Beyond the Pavement: urban design policy procedures and principles'.

Referring to Beyond the Pavement, this paper will explain the value of urban design in road transportation. It will describe the main principles of achieving urban design and illustrate these with numerous project examples.

Dr Sean Connelly

University of Hawaii
Kaneohe HI

Density x Dispersal: Typological Transformations for a Future Ahupua'a


The idealized image of Hawai‘i as an ‘exotic paradise’ conceals a major problem—environmental degradation. If society cannot achieve a sustainable equilibrium on an island, is it possible to do so worldwide? As a testament to the balance between anthropogenic activity and ocean-island ecosystems, this dissertation in architecture and environmental design offers conceptual, optimistic strategies envisioning a healthier, self-reliant Hawai'i.

This dissertation begins with an analysis of the “traditional” political-economic land classification system of pre-1778 Hawai'i—the ahupua‘a—which enabled aboriginal Hawaiians to assist rather than destroy their ecosystems through a lifestyle of interconnected relationships among ecology, kinship, leadership, cooperation, knowledge, and sustenance. The current state of degradation is then critiqued as a product of problematic “western” planning strategies, which unlike the ahupua‘a, reinforce disaggregated relationships among society, ecology, and economy. Referenced in particular are O‘ahu’s urbanized ecosystems, divided into mono-functional land-use and zoning districts that fragment the continuity between mountain and ocean habitats.

This dissertation concludes with a theoretical framework for neighborhood redevelopment that blends successful “traditional” Hawaiian knowledge with modern “western” knowledge, so that urbanized ecosystems can thrive. The framework is presented as a design synthesis and multi-scalar, systematic approach to architecture and environmental design, with focuses on: geopolitical leadership; integrated place-based land-use; riparian/shoreline setbacks; localized food systems; sustainable education; cooperative community networks; affordable housing; regenerative infrastructures; and overall ecosystem restoration. This dissertation introduces a holistic way of thinking aimed to shift the trajectory of the modern-day built environment away from degradation and toward an inspirational, prosperous future.

Mr David Cooke

Hames Sharley
Adelaide SA

Co-Author: Mr Paul Drechsler, Hames Sharley

Transit Oriented Development. Reconciling Sprawl with Economic Benefits


Transit oriented development (TOD) requires much more than a train stations surrounded by medium density residential development. It is argued that TOD should address regional employment as a key driver, in order that dispersed metropolitan regions are sustainable in economic terms.

Perth is an excellent example of a mature capital city rail network that has undergone significant expansion in the past decade in response to sustained metropolitan growth, perhaps unrivalled in Australia. This paper examines train ridership in Perth and efforts to create successful TODs throughout the network, including the benefits of retrofitting existing transit nodes as TODs. It then explores the path that Adelaide is currently undertaking under the 30 Year plan to create economic nodes, based around infrastructure. The paper also discuss lessons learnt from North American, which is compared to both Perth and Adelaide.

It is proposed that some transit oriented development can actually exacerbate urban sprawl, which needs to be reconciled with the advantages of mass transit versus car dependence for work trips. This paper argues that properly planned and designed TOD can contribute to regional self-sufficiency if the activity mix is right and there is a long term commitment from government and the community.


Mr Robert Cooper

CPG Australia Pty Ltd
South Melbourne Vic

Putting a Value on Landscape


‘Landscape’, is the totality of conditions, natural and constructed, physical and abstract, in which our settlement takes place.

For many reasons urban design for growth and change is leading increasingly to our expressing the worth of ‘Landscape’ in tradable terms. ‘Landscape’ has indeed become a suite of commodities and one that adapts surprisingly easily to the language of international trading floors and government budgeting. But is this to the detriment of ‘good design’?

This paper looks at our historical refusal to value or place a value on the ecological, cultural and designed aspects of our ‘landscapes’ and contrasts this with the relatively recent focus on ‘Landscape’ costs and benefits in economies founded on competition. Against a background of relevant images from Melbourne, Australia, the paper looks at key frameworks for analysing, quantifying and prioritising the allocation of resources to ‘Landscape’: amongst these are Green Infrastructure thinking, Ecosystems Services valuations and climate change adaptation responses. New currencies spawned by this approach are discussed and include the ‘Habitat Hectare’, ‘PPM Suspended Solids’ and others dealing with health and visual evaluation.

The paper calls for designers to remain unintimidated by greater discussion of the economic value of their outputs. It argues that good ‘Landscape’ design, in the sense not only of how it looks but also how it works, is possible and indeed is facilitated by this direct participation on the economic playing field that will be the setting of our new and adapted cities of the future.


Ms Tanya Court

University of Adelaide
Adealide S.A.

Catalyst: Public Art and Urban Design Intersections


Public art can be broadly defined as any artistic production in the public domain. Public art traditionally performs civic duties yet public art is a constantly evolving discipline. Changes to society and the shifting and contested definitions of the public are reflected in public art approaches. “If public art as Arlene Raven has suggested, ‘isn’t a hero on a hero on a horse any more’ that is not only because of changes in artistic practice, but because the conditions and possibilities of public life... have undergone such profound and varied transformations in the late modern era”. (Mitchell pp.2-3)

There are clearly overlaps with the concerns of public art and urban design, especially animation of public space, creation of character and meaning and support of contemporary culture and the civilizing role of public open space. This paper will explore the intersections of public art and urban design and make proposals for new possibilities for adventurous public art commissioning that embraces uncertainty and temporality, conditions of the city itself. In particular, the role of public art as a catalyst at the inception of urban design work will be considered.

The paper will use my project “The Rundle Project: Integrated Public Art Masterplan as a case study. The Rundle Project was commissioned by Adelaide City Council to provide direction for the facilitation and commissioning of public artworks within Rundle Street, Adelaide. The project was undertaken by Tanya Court (landscape architect, artist and academic), Warwick Keates (landscape architect and urban designer), Craige Andrea (artist and public artist) and Naomi Horridge (curator and creative writer).


Ms Michelle Cramer

Woods Bagot
Sydney NSW

Technology and Public Space: Designing the public domain for mobile media technology


The success of Facebook, MySpace, online dating agencies and similar social technologies have proven that people continue to be interested in connecting and sharing their interests and knowledge... via technology. While contemporary technologists and philosophers argue the social technologies have succeeded in creating a “new” and “virtual” public space, the truth is much of this activity is occurring in the physical public realm ... while people grab their lunch in a food court, wait for the bus or train, linger on the steps of Town Hall for a friend, or anticipate better surf at the beach.

Access to technology anywhere, anytime need not just be an individual pursuit, but an enabler to bring people together. No longer physically tied to the classroom, boardroom, or office space, people can gather outside the traditional learning and working environments to learn and work! Much like the shift from the traditional office to open planned, activity based workplaces, the opportunity exists for mobile media technologies to provide the foundation for new activities and uses within the public realm and, consequently, the reconsideration of how those places are designed.

Technology magazines dedicate much editorial to virtual space, psychologists have researched how digital technologies have altered accepted behaviours within the physical public realm, public artists have explored digital media interactions ... the question that is posed here is how can current technology breath new life and activation into the urban environment and how does it change the design public domain?


Dr Phillip Daffara

Futuresense
Mountain Creek Qld

City Making Futures


The aim of the presentation is to provoke the audience into becoming self aware of their assumptions and paradigms that influence their role and decisions as city planners/designers. If we are unaware of the professional biases shaping our choices, we cannot truly plan for tomorrow’s human settlements in a transitioning world. The underlying cultural forces are exposed by describing four scenarios of the future city and for each, revealing the contrasting planning paradigms and roles of the planner operating within each system.

The scenarios (Technocity; Collapse/urban decay; SmArt City; Eco City) are based on the polar relationships of urban planning policy and the urban development industry. From the “tale of four cities”, the implications for the future roles and skills of the planner are discussed. The paper proposes 5 key practice trends that the city planner/manager needs to build capability around to be effective city makers and remain relevant in navigating complex, urban transitions.

Ms Jenny Donovan

DLA
South Melbourne VIC

Designing Human Habitat; Socially Responsible Urban Design


This paper will suggest an approach to urban design that seeks to ensure that no one is disadvantaged by their surroundings.

The way towns and cities are designed can have profound and often unintended consequences on the ability of people to thrive and fulfil their potential. Our surroundings influence the opportunities available to us to forge the bonds of community, to meet our needs and express ourselves. Our surroundings make something’s easy, some things difficult and some things impossible.

The paper will seek to shed some light on how our towns and cities embody values and can have a profound effect on the quality of people’s lives by effectively making people prisoners of their surroundings, limited in the opportunities available to them. This paper will then suggest some ideas about how our urban areas can be designed to help counter economic, social disadvantage.

 

Mr Kolawole Ewedairo
Maribyrnong City Council
Footscray Victoria

Sola Energy and efficient building design: Adjoining dwelling and legislation impact


The future is here and the now is the future. Cost of energy over the years has been moving northwards, increasing over the years. The alternative with the assistance of government incentives is to take the consider how to reduce the cost of energy while not necessarily reducing comfort and carbon footprint.

When energy efficient building design are considered, emphasis has often been placed on individual building as an island on its own, hence design principle are discussed for individual buildings.

However, it is a fact that adjoining dwellings can affect efficiency of the building, more importantly when it comes to generating energy through the sun by the building. In the same vein, legislation can as well affect energy efficiency of home.

The aim of this paper is to examine the impact of adjoining dwelling, legislation and home orientation on ability of buildings to generate own power through the use of solar panels.

Generating energy through the use of solar panel has come to stay and the extent to which this is maximised has been identified to be affected by orientation of building, however, shadow from adjoining building can significantly reduce solar energy captured. While north facing solar panel produce more energy compared to solar panels at other location, shadow effect can considerably reduce this efficiency.


Dr Dianne Firth

University of Canberra
Canberra ACT

Green Infrastructure: Asset or Liability?


Australia’s embrace of garden city, new town and national park ideologies over the twentieth century has provided cities such as Canberra with a green infrastructure legacy of urban forest and low density suburbs spaced across the landscape and separated by an extensive open space system. Although this green infrastructure is perceived as an asset in aesthetic, ecological and cultural terms, it is also a complex system to manage and for governments to fund.

Recent events have brought about the need to reappraise its values. The devastating bush fires of 2003 that seemed to access the city through the open space system, urban growth with the preference for suburban development on green-field sites, declining urban trees and parklands, prolonged drought and predicted climate change, are turning the asset into a liability. These events also bring focus on our ability to manage the extent of the existing green infrastructure in a sustainable way.

The National Capital Authority and the Australian Capital Territory Government, in recognising Canberra’s specific cultural heritage value as the national capital and a city by design as well as its natural heritage values and national water quality obligations, are aspiring to conserve its symbolic landscapes, urban forest, endangered ecosystems and better manage water. With the current question of how the city is to grow, both Governments are investigating changes that may impact on the existing green infrastructure of the city.

This paper establishes the strengths and weaknesses of Canberra’s green infrastructure, traces approaches taken by both the NCA and ACT Government to manage the system, discusses actions taken to involve the community, and reviews the current debate regarding development within Canberra’s National Capital Open Space System. The paper concludes with scenarios for a future sustainable green infrastructure for the ACT.

Mr Mark Frisby

FFLA
Docklands VIC

Place, sustainability and community


A tiny proportion of our cities are renewed on an annual basis placing a greater imperative on the contribution each site makes to a more equitable and sustainable future. Too often projects focus on aesthetic outcomes rather than addressing fundamental social and ecological needs. If we are to create relevant, responsive and sustainable places, a shift in how we approach projects is necessary.

This presentation explores the processes employed in recent public realm projects that seek to provide the community with a more sustainable future. The methodology applied to each project includes extensive community engagement and research which leads to an understanding of local values the needs of the people that inhabit the space. Design propositions respond to these values as well as having consideration for the contribution the place makes to its surrounds or how it sits within a broader ecological systems. The outcomes are diverse (reflective of the needs of each place) but they are underpinned by common social, economic and sustainability ambitions.


Ms Diana Griffiths

Arup
Sydney NSW

Co-Author: Ms Emma Synnott, Arup

Adaptive resilience – solutions for the ecological age


Faced with a predicted population growth to 36 million over the next 40 years and the imperative to address the challenges of the ecological age, communities across Australia are grappling with the impact they will have on the shape and long term resilience of our cities. What are the places and systems that can adapt to future needs and enable the healthy and vibrant communities that we desire?

Current systems and political structures encourage fragmented thinking which can only address individual parts of the solution. It has become necessary to identify local typologies and data and to 'map' and occasionally to challenge the logic that supports typologies within cities. In our recent desire to embrace a "silver bullet" solution like urban density, have we forgotten to consider the critical links between built form and adaptability, transport, health and community structures?

We can no longer assume that the mistakes we make today can be demolished and rebuilt by our children. To create successful urban futures we need a framework within which urban typologies can be teased apart and assessed and that identify the social (eg health and connectedness) and economic implications of the typologies being considered.

Through a presentation of a model, created to assess the sustainability benefits of a precinct, this paper will explore the types of solutions that become possible when an integrated model based on fine grained localised analysis is used to inform the development of our towns and cities.


Mr Adam Haddow

SJB Architects
Surry Hills NSW

Co-Author: Mr Simon McPherson, SJB Urban

Shall we dense?


Population growth, climate change, development pressure, economic growth, urban expansion and suburban protectionism – huge forces are colliding in Australian cities and towns, maintaining an ongoing debate and discourse on the future form, size and ‘grain’ of our urban areas.

Our interest emanates from our observations of contemporary cities and the impacts of population increases. Numerous strategic plans aim to limit urban expansion or ‘sprawl’, towards more ‘compact’ cities. While collectively it seems that this approach receives support, its implementation continues to attract resistance ‘on the ground’.

Urban density, or the amount of space that particular development occupies, is key to this discourse on our urban present and future.

It is our opinion that increases in densities need to be tackled both from the ‘top down’ through strategies and political leadership, and from the ‘bottom up’ through individual actions. Cities have invested heavily in strategic plans that will help change the configuration of our living environments, but we have invested scantly to deliver real information to individuals about the impacts (personal and collective) of individual choice. Our aim has been to develop a set of key criteria and measures that clearly communicate the impact of personal preferences in housing, thereby influencing choice.

This paper describes a process that influences from the top-down, as well as bottom-up, assessing and comparing cities, suburbs, centres and individual dwellings and communicating them in a way that is easy to grasp.

The intent is to understand the complexities and variables of urban development that affect urban quality and economic and environmental factors (top-down), and communicate these insights with a view to influencing individual housing choices (bottom-up), therefore affecting housing demand.


Mr Paul Harding

City of Onkaparinga
Seaford Meadows SA

From Grey to Green – A South Australian Journey


Historically, river and creeks in towns have become drainage easements and storm water channels lying over the back fence of most Australian suburbs. More recently, however, property developers have come to appreciate that the higher prices that riverine views command easily offset the lot yield reduced by a one sided street.

It is not a simple task to retrofit the existing urban fabric to reflect the current appreciation for the social & visual amenity of creeks, rivers and wetlands. However it is possible in the construction of new suburbs through thoughtfully integrated design, with constructed wetlands, in particular, adding the significant functional benefits of flood management and water quality improvement
This presentation will celebrate the success of a number of initiatives undertaken by landscape architects to remediate riverine corridors and water catchments,increasing social and environmental amenity while also adding to functional performance.

It will illustrate how ‘soft engineering’ design initiatives have been undertaken to address the damage done to the River Torrens in SA through the remediation of Breakout Creek into a naturalistic waterway and the difficulties in employing this approach to remediate the hard engineering solutions of the Sturt Creek further south.

It will also seek to demonstrate initiatives being undertaken in catchments within the Onkaparinga Council including Silver Sands adjacent to the Willunga Basin and Christie Creek via the 'Aldinga Drainage Scheme' and 'Water Proofing the South'. The presentation will be illustrated with examples of the ‘good, the bad and the ugly” to demonstrate some of the lessons learned.


Dr Kathi Holt-Damant

QUT Queensland University of Technology
Brisbane QLD

Co-Author: Prof Mojdeh Baratloo, Columbia University

Emerging Urban Futures: land, water, infrastructure– why design matters


With the impact of climate change and global warming rapidly increasing, it is clear that we need to think differently about cities and how to work with them.

For most of us, this means renegotiating the levels of energy we consume, conserving water usage, and becoming smarter about our carbon footprint.

At a basic level, the issue of better understanding the weather and working with the shift in climatic conditions, rising flood levels, and accommodating extremes can be dealt with across all design practices (architecture, urban design, interior, industrial etc).

Steven Cohen, Director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University, New York states that:
‘Policy analysts know that one cannot begin to solve a problem until it is understood.
This includes the measurement of the problem’s dimensions and proposed solutions. One cannot manage something without measurement. Without measures, one cannot tell if the management actions taken are making matters better or worse. Without a deep conceptual understanding of the problem, the process of developing measures of its elements cannot begin.’
Cohen cites the example of the modern economy – where a vast array of indicators are collected, analysed and reported….even so the economy is far from perfect. [Preface, from Understanding Enviromental Policy, 2006]

Similarly, urban design cannot solve these problems until we understand what exactly the problem is.

This paper will present a number of perspectives on why design matters to a sustainable urban environment and how this approach can contribute to an improved quality of the urban environment, while increasing cultural diversity and healthy communities.


Mr Tom Jones

Woollahra Council
Double Bay NSW

The Edge of Town


Ever since the marauders were cleared from the countryside, the towns were freed of market tariffs, and mass transport provided an alternative to walking, urban development has been spreading ever faster and thinner away from the centre.

We make vain attempts to contain the dissipation, but demand driven development is one-eyed in its desire for homes that mimic the attributes of
the country house. We all know the result.

Meanwhile we promote the centre and sub centre’s essential role in keeping the urban organism together. We all agree that a healthy centre is integral to a healthy urban identity.

There is however another physical component of urban development that is little recognised and often denied; the edge. Defining a limit has not been considered progressive. Growth economy has meant a growing urban area. So the urban edge has typically been transient, poorly designed and ugly.

Meanwhile the need for limits is becoming increasingly obvious. Urban consolidation is becoming an undeniable necessity. Food security is an increasing concern. Peak oil looms and with it the need to develop sustainable transport systems.

Particular edge conditions are already controlled by legislation including; asset protection zones, agricultural buffers, and riparian zones. The edge is becoming definable.

I will use visual images to illustrate what might happen to the built environment when urban limits are defined. I will consider the social, economic, aesthetic and amenity implications and suggest that urban entities will benefit from opportunities provided by defining the Edge of Town.


Mr Richard Katter

THG
Fortitude Valley QLD

Co-Authors: Mr Craig Baynham & Miss Claire Kelly, THG

A Date With Density


The Great Australian Dream is providing a nightmare for Australia’s growing population.

Australia’s rapid growth has not been accommodated by a sufficient increase in the supply, sophistication or efficiency of new residential dwellings. Nor has the country’s growth been matched by adequate improvements in the quality and provision of infrastructure. As a result of these deficiencies, affordability and subsequently the population’s welfare have suffered adversely.

More recently the increased viscosity of the commercial finance sector, the primary symptom of the global financial crisis of 2008 and 2009, has directly impacted construction and development activity. Consequently the supply of new dwellings on the market is being far exceeded by the existing and continued strong demand for dwellings. This is a further catalyst to an already precarious housing affordability situation. The potential boost in demand for dwellings, once the economy commences its recovery, will only further exacerbate the housing affordability situation.

While this study does not focus on the environmental impacts of increased density, there has been extensive work done on the benefits of closer living quarters on the environment. Research has shown that higher density living results in heating and cooling savings, particularly in a cooling environment such as South East Queensland’s.

This paper will investigate how and why Australian’s make their purchase decisions; delving the paradigms behind the ‘Great Australian Dream’ of the four bedroom home on a quarter acre block.

Mrs Rosemary Kennedy

Queensland University of Technology
Brisbane Qld

Climate-responsive urban design: a primer for planners, developers and decision makers
.

The Centre for Subtropical Design has produced Subtropical Design in South East Queensland, a Handbook for Planners, Developers and Decision Makers to effectively expand upon the twelve guiding principles of subtropical design for urban development which appear in the key planning instrument for SEQ, the South East Queensland Regional Plan 2009–2031.

As described in this paper, the handbook brings planning and urban design theory together with climatic concerns and concepts of liveability. Design and planning strategies that are positive, rather than indifferent to the local climate, landscape and culture are described. Particular attention is paid to accessible open space systems, pedestrian connectivity and amenity, and active public spaces and the role that these features play in the quality and health of urban living for all members of society.

Though not intended to be interpreted as prescriptive code, information in the handbook provides the common basis for the preparation and assessment of planning applications with design principles and strategies that may be applied to the entire spectrum of urban scales from the regional scale, to the city, neighbourhood, street, individual building or site, in the subtropics.

Supported by a rich array of images and diagrams, the handbook expands the high-level principles into practical on-the-ground solutions and explains the relationship between sustainable development and subtropical design; the significance of each principle and the interrelationships among the principles; and how sustainable urban development that responds to local character and identity can reduce reliance on fossil fuels for energy and transport.


Ms Kylie Legge

Place Partners
Woollahra, Sydney NSW

Public Space as a Civic Ecosystem


Why do some public spaces work; attracting a balanced mix of activities, people and supporting businesses, and some not?

Successful public places are more a reflection of the interdependent relationships evident within them, than what they look like. Utilising a quadruple top line methodology, of social, environmental, economic and cultural investigations, provides the framework for a whole of system approach. This holistic process is called place making, the process of creating public places that people inherently understand, participate in and feel ownership of.

Working with the communities who use these public spaces allows us to define the essential character of each place, its history and stories in order to guide the decision making process. We need a seat, but what kind of seat and where should it be located?

Public Space as a Civic Ecosystem will share case study research from Perth, Newcastle and Sydney projects to illustrate the place making process and identify criteria for successful public places.


Ms Sharon Mackay

HASSELL
Adelaide SA

Designing for Urban Ecology. The role of design in adapting public space to support urban ecology.


Our cities have developed with distinct, designated zones for development (city blocks) and for conservation and recreation (parks), resulting in isolated areas of green within the city that often fails to consider biodiversity.

Over the next 25 years, growth in the urban population will continue to place significant pressure on the design of our cities. Increased housing density will continue to reduce the green footprint within our urban centres and place urban ecology under stress as habitat retreats, and human-related threats rise. Our cities need to adapt to the realities of a changing climate.

A new way of thinking is needed. This future needs to protect and reconnect ‘green’ spaces and natural systems into urban centres to support local ecology and promote regeneration and biodiversity of habitat. We need to adapt our thinking away from passive ‘conservation’ of existing green space, to active ‘remediation’ of our urban centres. Design can be the means to imagine and invent a future.
Our cities' public spaces are the key to this remediation, and in driving change across the design, development & political sectors. A combination of more radical policy & incentive-based measures are required to effect substantive change.

Key to this change is demonstration projects to authenticate research and design hypotheses. Adelaide Zoo Entrance Precinct, designed by HASSELL considers local urban ecology and provides a model for adapting our built environment to the needs of native plant and animal species through new extensive green infrastructure including green roofs and “living” walls.

 

Satvir Mand
Cox Richardson Architects

Sydney, NSW

Co-Author: Neena Mand, University of Newcastle

Case studies in transport infrastructure interventions: Connection/ reinforcement/ enhancement of urban fabric in Sydney

The introduction of initiatives that upgrade existing infrastructure or the implementation of new transport systems result in opportunities of intervention with the primary recipient being the particular place, its character and the quality of urban design and the public domain. The interventions can be a minor intervention in the case of a station upgrade, or major intervention in the case of a new transport interchange, or it can be a mega intervention (multiple–major) with the introduction of a new mass transit line or system. These interventions can be the catalyst for regeneration of a neighbourhood at the local level or a step change at a city level that impacts its regional and global position. Alternatively the intervention can be perceived as being an adverse imposition on the established status quo of existing community, politics and built form.

Intervention has a variety of definitions, each with a unique interpretation in specific response to its discipline and its outcomes. The primary use of interventions is in social and health issues, with secondary application in political, legal and cultural strategies. Urban interventions have primary been underlined by social, cultural and community issues, as an example community participation has been facilitated through public art. Built form - urban intervention has been defined as when strategically targeted a positive often larger impact results in the transformation of the existing urban status quo.

The attributes of the station infrastructure are intrinsically fused with the fundamental principles of place making and urban design: land use, public domain, built form and landscape. Transport architecture is unique in its scale, internal function and its interface with the public domain. However, the delivery of the successful intervention requires the consolidation of divergent agendas of the transport agency and the community (and users) mediated by collaborative interfaces by the architect / urban designer to achieve the desired objectives.

The paper will discuss the definitions and dimensions of intervention, and the issues and the initiatives though the study of three recent significant transport projects in Sydney: North Sydney Station (2008) and Chatswood Transport Interchange (2008) and the reference design for the potential Stage 1 of the Sydney Metro. In conclusion the paper will examine the critical principles that redefine urban fabric as minor, major or mega- intervention.

Mr Jose Mantilla

AECOM
Melbourne VIC

Transit-oriented development: key climate change mitigation strategy


This paper examines the role of transport as part of a comprehensive climate change mitigation strategy. It highlights the need to concurrently reduce travel demand and promote sustainable travel modes to reduce transport emissions. This is particularly relevant since technology alone will not allow the transport sector to meet greenhouse gas emission reduction targets.

While acknowledging the importance of transport in facilitating economic development and enhancing quality of life, this paper analyses its significant and growing contribution to global emissions and energy consumption. Current and future automobile dependency is examined in detail, highlighting the continued growth in automobile travel and expansion of the world’s automobile fleet. A fundamental shift in travel behaviour is discussed as both a critical goal and a major challenge for cities worldwide.

Transit-oriented development (TOD) is a critical strategy to shape and build urban environments that advance a reduction in the need for travel; enhance accessibility to goods, employment and services; provide a variety of equitable and affordable travel alternatives; and promote the use of energy- and emissions-efficient modes of transport and technologies.

TOD is broadly defined here as development that promotes urban sustainability by facilitating a redefinition of the transport user hierarchy (pedestrians first, then bicyclists, then public transit users and, lastly, automobile drivers). Since single strategies tend to have a modest effect on reducing travel and emissions, it is suggested that future urban environments will only yield considerable benefits as part of an integrated set of economic, regulatory, planning, technological, infrastructure, and behaviour initiatives.


Mr Nick McGowan

LVO' Architecture
Spring Hill QLD

Retrofitting resilience - achieving urban modularity.

Since the Industrial Revolution cities have evolved as increasingly complex systems, and networks of systems, with high levels of connectivity as well as dependency on centralised infrastructure networks and resource pools that span the globe.

This unprecedented degree of systems complexity and connectivity has led to inherent vulnerabilities in our urban environments which, as we face the challenges of extreme urbanisation and the impacts of climate change, will test their resilience, and the resilience of the global ecosystems upon which they rely.

As Walker and Salt (2006) explain, “In resilient systems everything is not necessarily connected to everything else. Overconnected systems are susceptible to shocks and they are rapidly transmitted through the system. A resilient system opposes such a trend; it would maintain or create a degree of modularity.”

The paper will explain how significant investment in complex infrastructure systems has reduced the resilience of our cities by increasing external dependencies, diminishing relationships with ecosystem services, and limiting transformability. The paper will go on to make an argument for retrofitting modularity into our urban environments as an important principal of improving urban resilience.
The paper will also illustrate (using case studies) how increased urban modularity would be achieved at a range of scales and how it would enable achievement of other objectives of urban resilience, such as tight feedbacks, increased ecological variability, and increased response diversity.

Mr Nick McGowan

LVO' Architecture
Spring Hill QLD

Food in the City - Past, Present, Future


Food production and the process of urbanization have always been inextricably related. It was early advances in agricultural practice and food storage that enabled human settlement some 15,000 years ago and provided the opportunity for increased reproduction and urban population growth. Later advances in agricultural technology enabled the formation of the first cities and it was the control of the food systems that gave early rulers their power.

Then it was the process of urbanization that forced large scale agriculture out of the city. Further technological advances enabled further dispersal of food production systems, and today we find ourselves relying on food production systems which span the globe and are proving to be highly unsustainable (in terms of resource demand and environmental degradation).

This current situation has motivated a recent renaissance in urban agriculture as a means of providing for the world’s ever expanding urban populations in a way that, as well as being more sustainable and resilient, is proving to deliver a wide range of consequential benefits to cities.

This paper will provide an overview of urban agriculture - the pressures and challenges that are motivating its adoption, and the current urban agriculture models and policies being applied worldwide – and then discuss how (at practical, strategic, and policy levels) urban agriculture can be more earnestly and comprehensively developed in Australian cities.

The paper will also look at the role of the urban designer and urban planner in enabling urban agriculture, and investigate how an urban agricultural future will affect the form and function of our cities.


Mr Adrian McGregor

McGregor Coxall
Manly NSW

The biocity model | a global city performance wiki to empower sustainable design


“The so called global economy was not a permanent institution, but a set of transient circumstances peculiar to a time, the Indian Summer of the fossil fuel era” James Kunstler

Never before have so many people been exposed to such a hyper scale of impending environmental and resources dilemmas. The capacity for catastrophic geo-political systems failure under peak oil and climate change are the subjects of growing international debate.

Amid mounting scientific evidence there is a growing awareness that the forms of our contemporary cities are not sustainable. On the back of cheap fossil fuels the industrial revolution has spawned mega cities with sprawling low density forms. Suburbia and its peri-urban paraphernalia are the material outcomes of fossil fuel planning dreams. Isolation and social dysfunction2 are being increasingly attributed to these failed urban forms. Postulations for the imminent end of surburbia3 are gaining momentum, spear headed by authors, film makers and planners.

biocitystudio.com is a data driven model that proposes a new collaborative paradigm for sustainable city making using an open source visualiser to allow comparisons of city performance. It is defined by a purpose to plan cities in a far more holistic and collaborative way than traditional silo based practices allow. Arguing that cities should be understood as emergent ecological biotopes this paper will explore the theoretical territory of the biocity concept and examine the twelve urban processes it uses to determine the relative health of modern cities.

Mr David Mepham

Gold Coast Rapid Transit
Surfers Paradise QLD

Light Rail Transit for the Gold Coast - Achieving Place, Pedestrian Accessibility and Transit Oriented Development


The Gold Coast stretches along miles of beaches and waterways. It is home to half a million people and caters for ten million visitors each year. The City will soon commence construction on a $1 billion light rail project running for thirteen kilometres through a high density urban environment.

The light rail will run through the numerous sea side centres on the Coast. Its integration into the urban environment has required a high quality planning and urban design response that maximises both placemaking and pedestrian movement.

Urban transit corridors provide high quality mobility but they often act as obstacles to local accessibility. In Australian cities there are a number of Bus Rapid Transit and Light Rail Transit systems in operation and under construction. The BRT systems tend to be highly segregated and impermeable and tend to run on highway or river edges or are built in tunnels. Light rail transit corridors may have some segregated running but often run into highly urbanised environments, on street, at grade and supporting high quality place and pedestrian environments.

The Gold Coast Rapid Transit project provides an excellent example of a transit project that has been laid out in a car oriented environment but with the capacity to achieve a high quality place and pedestrian experience. The presentation will look at Australian light rail case studies and contrast with the Gold Coast project and discuss the way in which urban design, placemaking and pedestrian accessibility is dealt with.


Mr Bob Meyer

Cox Richardson Architects + Planners
Sydney NSW

Parramatta, the Capital of Greater Western Sydney


Parramatta has emerged as the capital of Greater Western Sydney, an urban region with a population of 2 million people and targeted to reach 3 million by 2036. The challenge is to transform Sydney’s second CBD into a capital the size and importance of Brisbane and Perth.

The urban design task is to knit together the strategic precincts which have evolved adjacent to the centre including the Westmead Hospital complex, the largest in Australia and the Parramatta campus of the University of Western Sydney. The Parramatta River and the historic parklands can provide the key links to give this proposed city centre an enduring character.

The 100,000 jobs to be accommodated by 2036 will need to be distributed within the centre’s administrative, commercial, retailing, cultural, educational, recreation and residential precincts all connected by a network of new and existing walkways, cycleways, roads and public transport systems. The location of new mass transit stations will need to be identified so as to connect the centre with its catchment of 3 million people.

Parallel with the expansion of the established centre, the place of Parramatta in Australia’s early history needs to be celebrated in recognition that Governor Phillip chose the site where settlement commenced, now Parramatta Park, in November 1788.

The presentation will be illustrated by a series of diagrams which will indicate how Parramatta can be transformed into one of Australia’s most successful and memorable capitals.


Mr Damon Moloney

Umow Lai Pty Ltd
South Yarra Vic

The Future of Wind Energy in The City


Many of the visions of the cities of the future depict modernistic buildings adorned with foliage and topped with roof mounted wind turbines and clad in solar collectors. Wind energy is certainly one of the fastest growing renewable sources currently being deployed, but what is the reality and the likely future of incorporating wind energy systems directly into our cities with building integrated wind turbines and can these help meet the energy demands of our future cities?

This paper presents the authors recent endeavours to integrate wind turbines into both existing and new commercial buildings around the world. There are many engineering and commercial challenges that are currently being faced in the renewables sector, details are presented of the process and viability of incorporating locally generated wind energy in commercial buildings. The financial aspects of urban wind energy systems are discussed including the comparison with future grid electricity pricing.

The current state of the urban wind turbine industry is examined including recent developments and the latest technology. The viability of using small wind turbines on building roof tops is presented within the context of the current built environment and looking forward to the future. The author’s experience in assessing the viability of building integrated wind power systems is presented including wind resource mapping, financial projections, windtunnel testing and turbine testing.

Mr David Morrison

City of Stonnington
Prahran Victoria

Change and Continuity: Reconciling the past and the present in contemporary urban renewal


Our cities are growing at an unprecedented rate.

Echoing the impact of the medium-density housing boom of the 1960’s and 70’s, we are currently experiencing a continuing development surge that is transforming the inner cities of Melbourne.

Significant forces are focused upon the quantitative dimensions of the market demand for new housing within the inner urban areas. In the process, our inner urban cities risk a significant erosion of their cultural integrity and character.

The City of Stonnington was formed in 1994 through the amalgamation of the former Cities of Prahran and Malvern.

Stonnington had its substantive origins in the Victorian-era; with much of its fine commercial architecture established in the mid- to late-19th century. Situated on the main roads of Hoddle’s early grid, the City’s vibrant ‘village’ centres and the renowned larger activity centres around Chapel Street, Toorak Road, High Street and Glenferrie Road continue to be characterized by this distinctive cultural legacy.

Despite its distinguished heritage and many exemplary works of contemporary architecture, the City continues to deal with threats to the integrity of this cultural distinctiveness from poorly conceived speculative development

What does it mean to be a Victorian-era city in the 21st century?

At a time when many cities around the world are beginning to look alike, how do we reconcile the often conflicting and defended positions of ‘valued past’ and ‘contemporary present’?

Through an examination of recent case studies of contemporary architecture and urban design practice in the City of Stonnington, this paper explores some current thinking around these questions.


Mr Ian Munro

Urbanismplus Ltd
Auckland Auckland

Co-Author: Dr Amanda Hyde de Kretser, Urbanismplus Ltd

An ethical argument for Centres-Based Residential Intensification


The arguments for managing population growth through centres-based residential intensification (CBRI) are not new. Allowing higher density housing typologies around key activity centres and transport interchanges are widely understood to have both intrinsic advantages and instrumental benefits for the environment, the community and the economy.

In community consultation workshops, however, residents are not accepting these arguments. They are living with the reality of the first stages of CBRI implementation in their communities and do not believe that the quality of their current environment should be sacrificed so much for ‘apparent’ long term gain.

This paper re-examines Centres Based Residential Intensification and argues that there are three areas of complexity that need to be re-considered if we are to continue to ask local communities to support urban planners on this path. It is argued that greater attention should be paid to the physical, social and economic nature of the 800m radius catchment circle, more accurate understanding of market-driven development factors around a particular activity centre is necessary, and lastly, more work needs to be done to ensure regional policies and development processes support the CBRI Growth Plan.

Only then can an ethical argument be built for CBRI that describes how the intensification process will be seeded, how it is realistically likely to be staged in response to market driven development factors, and how amenities and spatial transformation can be guaranteed to the community at each stage of growth of their neighbourhood.


Dr Daniel O'Hare

Bond University
Gold Coast Qld

Co-Authors: Dr Bhishna Bajracharya, Bond University & Dr Jason Byrne, Griffith University

Towards urban walkability in subtropical transit oriented development? Two case studies in South East Queensland


Transit oriented development (TOD) has gained ground in Australasian urban and regional planning since the mid-1990s. TOD networks form an important – though incomplete – structuring element of early 21st century regional plans for rapidly growing city regions, most notably those surrounding Brisbane, Melbourne and Perth respectively. TOD and urban walkability are promoted by formal statements such as those by the UDAL(Q) (2004) and the New Zealand Ministry for the Environment (2005).

The rediscovery of integration between transport and urban life has coincided with a renewed awareness that urban walkability is a critical element of urban quality. Governments are now listening to concerns, raised by the public health sector, that much of the urban fabric built in the past fifty years makes walking very difficult, and thereby contributes to major health problems associated with physical inactivity and obesity (House of Representatives 2009).

This paper presents the results of fieldwork involving the comparative analysis of the walkability of an inner Brisbane urban renewal district with that of a late 20th century Gold Coast master planned town centre. The paper concludes that, although the case studies contain elements of urban walkability, these two cases demonstrate that we still have much to learn regarding the local implementation of walkability as a critical element of subtropical regional TOD networks.

References:
House of Representatives Standing Committee on Health and Ageing 2009 Weighing it up: obesity in Australia. Canberra: Commonwealth of Australia.
Ministry for the Environment 2005 Urban Design Protocol. Wellington: New Zealand Government.
UDAL(Q) 2004 Agenda for Urban Quality in Queensland. Brisbane: Urban Design Alliance (Queensland).


Dr Charles Pickett

Powerhouse Museum
Haymarket NSW

Architects, the affordable house and the suburbs: a complex relationship.


My paper will examine the relationship between architects and generic suburban housing in Australia. The interface between professional design and popular housing is one of the most contentious areas of architectural history.

The design profession has long been confident of its ability to improve the quality of ordinary housing. At certain times, notably the 1920s and 1950s, architects have enjoyed considerable influence on budget suburban housing through the War Service Homes scheme and RAIA plan services. The work of leading architects was also an important factor in the success of certain 1960s project home builders.

Architects were able to offer space-maximising solutions in a climate of austerity, but this is less relevant in today’s housing market. Project builders have adopted prefabrication and other modernist techniques to break the nexus between affordability and modest house size. Although several high-profile architects have created designs specifically for the project home market, their influence is challenged by the ability of the project home industry to produce homes that are both large and ‘affordable’. As a result the endemic failings of the generic house, in terms of liveability and sustainability, continue largely unchallenged as does the continued focus on developing fringe suburban areas.

What can architects offer in a climate of private abundance? This paper will examine the contribution, potential and actual, of the design profession to the intractable issues of suburban density and sustainability.

Ms Lyndal Plant

Brisbane City Council
Brisbane QLD

Green infrastructure: Taking it to the streets


Roads and streets in growth centres of Australian cities are being upgraded and retrofitted to deliver much more than transport functions. These streetscapes are an essential part of urban green infrastructure, delivering recognisable and measurable environmental, social and economic benefits.

However, local governments are learning that to optimise these benefits requires evidence based local targets, new design guidelines and innovation. Skills of urban planners, designers, landscape architects, water cycle engineers, and urban foresters are being used to turn transport projects in to green infrastructure investors and Brisbane roads and streets into Subtropical boulevards and Neighbourhood Shadeways.

Mr Robert Prestipino

Vital Places Pty Ltd
Crows Nest QLD

Regional growth secrets revealed by hidden assets on the edge of new "capital" city


In April 2010 at the Queensland Growth Summit, Queensland’s Premier announced that Townsville could become the state’s second capital. The state’s regions are now seen as part of the solution to the problems of south-east Queensland’s rapid growth.

Traditionally, the area most ignored by the growth management of our regional cities has been the townships and communities on their edges. While the symptoms of Australia’s growth have elevated State and Federal government infrastructure spending, many of these edge communities are suffering from the lack of growth and aging rather than the pains of rapid growth. To date these communities and their substantial social and physical assets have slipped under the radar.

Since 2005, Hinchinbrook Shire, a community of 12,000 people adjacent to Townsville City has undertaken some of the most innovative and awarded sustainable growth initiatives in Queensland. This five year urban design project has gathered analysis, strategic frameworks and development plans for an implementation of over $10 million of State and Federal Government infrastructure. This work has revealed the crisis and the opportunity of these fringe communities to contribute to the sustainable growth of our regional cities. Proximity, economic transformation, aging and lifestyle provide the ingredients to forming an innovative network of communities that offer Townsville the opportunity to become one of the most liveable urban regions in Australia.

This case study presentation outlines the insights, strategies and urban design principles that reveal the practical secrets to delivering sustainable growth in the regions.


Ms Deena Ridenour

Allen Jack+Cottier
Chippendale NSW

Co-Authors: Ms Libby Gallagher

Urban Retrofit - Low-Scale, High-Density Alternatives


Professionals widely accept consolidation of our existing cities through increased density as a viable solution to mitigate climate change. However, many communities reject higher density housing typologies, particular where building height exceeds the local context. Housing purchasers continue to value housing ownership tied to land over apartments. Planning policies increasingly respond to these community values, facilitating dwellings on smaller lots through complying development standards.

Alternative infill strategies are needed to demonstrate the potential of low-scale, high-density housing forms that:
- support housing diversity, land ownership options and affordability;
- enrich the public domain;
- enrich the landscape setting and ecology;
- deliver enhanced environmental housing performance.

This paper will present two case studies, exploring alternative strategies for incremental density increases in existing areas. Each case study is located within walking distance of a centre, transport and services, yet each has a significant catchment of single dwellings on large lots.

Case Study 1: West Lindfield, Ku-ring-gai is characterised by steep sandstone hillsides with established native forest. A highly vocal community campaigned actively against the introduction of apartments.

Case Study 2: Mt Druitt, Blacktown is characterised by an undulating landform; deep lots with small houses and remnant protected woodland. Villas are the predominant infill development, which typically favour high site coverage, eradicating the landscape and delivering poor quality housing.

A critical review of current planning approaches will be drawn from the case studies. Recommendations for alternatives will be proposed, demonstrating the necessity of place-specific design, to inform planning strategy and development controls.

 

Mr James Rosenwax
AECOM
Sydney NSW

Changing the way a city moves – lessons from cycle cities

People movement is the greatest form maker of our cities. The means and patterns of movement can destroy or activate the vibrancy, health, and prosperity of our urban environments. This paper presents the outcomes of recent research into cycling policy and infrastructure in Amsterdam, Copenhagen, and Berlin – cities that have prioritised bicycles in their urban transport planning and are now witnessing significant environmental, health, social, and economic benefits as a result.

Interviews with senior transport planners, the acclaimed urbanist Jan Gehl, and the mapping of each city’s bicycle infrastructure reveal how such a large modal split is fostered and the best way to deliver bicycle infrastructure to other cities.

In Sydney each work day, 32,000 cars travel into the CBD from less than nine kilometres away. During peak hour, this trip is usually quicker by bicycle than by car or public transport. In fact, 50 per cent of all car trips in Australia are less than five kilometres. A significant portion of these car trips could be made by bicycle, if infrastructure and policy could facilitate this modal shift.

The provision of legitimate policy and infrastructure, as observed in these European cities, can advance cycling as a popular, safe, and affordable form of urban transport, appealing to all people regardless of their age, gender and income.

If cities are serious about developing sustainable transport networks, cycling cannot be overlooked. Our infrastructure and policy requires rethinking to position cycling as a legitimate form of transport.


Mr Jon Shinkfield

AECOM
Melbourne VIC

A Sustainable Public Realm


There is a rising imperative to treat urban development projects as both strategic and technical challenges, where strategy and technics are intertwined, inseparable, inter-reliant and yet have specificity. It is no longer adequate to consider the strategic in the absence of a detailed understanding of the technical construct and delivery. Our vision for uses, densities, heights, and transport must be put forward in terms of health, energy consumption/production, water minimisation and reuse, social equity and inclusivity, adaptation and flexibility, as well as embedded thinking in natural systems, with those systems being part of a cycle for the production of energy and food.

So what will this urban future, this paradigm of sustainable urbanism, look like? We can often find clues on how to move forward by looking to the past. Historically, communities bought and sold, laboured and produced, and were centred around trade and trading relationships. Their focus lay in localised production, trading, and exchange, and as a result, a corresponding social structure evolved; where there was a need to know a neighbour as part of daily life and sustenance; where spaces were established as a framework for life, gathering, selling, socialising, and communicating; where energy and waste were conserved. Can we now look to the future and create places that recapture these qualities that are now so often lacking in our contemporary urban environments, not just because of impending environmental issues but for reasons of health, social sustainability and community survival?


Mr Ian Sinclair

Edge Land Planning
Bowral NSW

Planning for Australia's Food Security


“Food is a sustaining and enduring necessity. Yet among the basic essentials for life — air, water, shelter, and food — only food has been absent over the years as a focus of serious professional planning interest. (2007) ‘Policy Guide on Community and Regional Food Planning’ p1)

This quote is very relevant to the Australian situation. There has been a lot of focus lately on the Murray-Darling Basin as Australia’s food bowl – this is not quite correct. The metropolitan fringe areas are a significant contributor of perishable vegetables, poultry, cut flowers, nurseries and turf. Yet this fact has gone unrecognised by Governments – both here and elsewhere in the world.

The fringe of Metropolitan Sydney is one of the State’s food bowls. It produces $1 billion of agricultural produce each year. It has a good climate and is close to the main population centre. However the landscape is made up of mostly rural residential development (78% of all uses are rural residential). This leads to many problems that need to be addressed in a multifaceted way to ensure that we have a sustainable future and a secure food supply. The issues being faced in Sydney are also being faced in other areas around Australia.

This session will draw upon the knowledge of the author about planning for rural and metro fringe areas in Australia and overseas. It will also draw upon analysis of the 2006 Agricultural Census Data.


Ms Caroline Stalker

Architectus Brisbane Pty Ltd
Brisbane QLD

LODs – the future of TODs


Australian city-making in the 20th century was driven by a sense of endless resources. This has left us with cities that are so excessive in their resource consumption (land, materials, water, air) that they are now adversely affecting the fundamental well-being of the population they support (resource depletion, ecological degradation, Climate Change).

In this context at Architectus we have been undertaking design research, running collaborative workshops, and undertaking project work through which we have consistently sought to address wider concerns of how to make successful denser and more resource efficient development in our region. Our particular concern is how we can make desirable urban environments while improving compactness and access to public transport. Each time we come back to the fundamental importance of: urban landscape as both an ecological and amenity resource; and city making that pursues an integrated vision of buildings AND landscape simultaneously. As we make TOD, we need to also make LOD.

Key strategies for LOD include:
Utilising and consolidating the escarpments, watercourses and flood prone lands as key structuring elements of our settlement pattern, providing landscape amenity and ecological resources for populations living at higher densities.

Locating greater residential density where it has the potential to have a strong relationship to landscape as a combined ecological, sustainability and community resource.

Creating networks of urban spaces and places which help us deal with Climate Change, through assisting in micro-climatic management or urban precincts, flood and water management.

In very dense urban settings, interweaving communal landscape spaces through ‘vertical villages’.

‘Re-calibrating urban streets’ as useable public and urban landscape resources – particularly looking at the special characteristics of subtropical and tropical streetscapes.

Making more of the ‘urban edge’ - the zone that integrates building and urban landscape – in design.


Dr Jane Tarran
AILA / UTS
Clovelly NSW

Benefits of Green Infrastructure: integrating vegetation into planning for human settlement


Over half the world's population now live in urban ecosystems; in many countries the proportion is 80-90%. These ecosystems consist of various components including the biotic community (humans plus locally native and introduced flora, fauna and microorganisms) and the physical environment (both natural features and built infrastructure). The field of urban ecology is exploring ways of making and managing settlements such that greater attention is given to supporting functional ecosystems that ultimately underpin our survival, as well as strengthening community resilience.

Photosynthetic organisms are a critical part of natural ecosystems, since they can harness the sun’s energy and produce food for themselves and other organisms. They are also critical to urban ecosystems, providing a range of benefits. Benefits to people include many in addition to food, such as environmental, aesthetic, social, psychological, health and property-related economic benefits. As climate change receives greater recognition, plants will play an increasingly important role in both mitigation and adaptation strategies. Furthermore, urban areas offer opportunities for biodiversity conservation that have been largely overlooked to date.

Unfortunately, these diverse benefits of Green Infrastructure have not yet been fully recognised by urban planners and managers, by many urban dwellers themselves or by our national and state governments. At the same time, we are losing, incrementally, existing Green Infrastructure (GI) and potential future areas for GI as we consolidate our cities and towns. This paper considers both the benefits of GI and the impediments to achieving worthwhile GI in our urban areas.


Mr Philip Thalis
Hill Thalis Architecture + Urban Projects
Surry Hills NSW

Public Space for a Democratic Society

Relationship to Conference Topics;

- The future of public spaces
- Effective governance and leadership
- Sustainable higher density development
- Resilience and Preparedness

The leading Spanish urbanist Manuel de Sola Morales observed that the best urban projects “mitigate the requirements of infrastructure with a concern for the monumental and scenic value of public works… The Urban Project means taking the geography of a given city, with its demands and suggestions, as a starting point …to give form to the site. The Urban Project means bearing in mind the complexity of the work to be carried out rather than a rational simplification of the urban structure. Moreover it means working in an inductive manner, generalising what is particular, strategic, local and generative.”

Another Modern Tradition 1987

The Urban Project, the most potent modus operandi for intervening in the city, needs to encompass the following;

1 Conceived in the knowledge of urban intensity, delivered with maximum public benefit, engaged with the future wellbeing of the city

2 Characterised by the its content - based on thorough research, and propositions - based on sound ideas

3 Inflected to the particular, temporal and local conditions of the host city

4 Test the frontiers between public and private values and spaces, considering equity

5 While inevitably subject to the prevailing processes and politics, be a forward-looking counter-project that challenges preconceived notions of planning, infrastructure and city making

6 Suggest engaging possibilities of living in and enlivening our cities


The paper focuses on recent urban projects and research in Sydney which have wide applicability to the contemporary urban debate.


Mr Mark Thomson
Schiavello
Milton Qld

Eco-retrofitting Existing Cities with "Positive development"

Professor Janis Birkeland conceived the concept of "Posiive Development" identifying that the built environment can provide greater life quality,health, amenity and safety for all, without sacrificing resources.Adopting this new paradigm encourages "eco-retrofitting"of the vast urban fabric of our existing cities.

"Eco retrofitting" of our cities forms a significant design challenge. In order to meet our 2020 and 2050 greenhouse gas reduction targets proposed by the Australian Government and world community at the 2010 Copenhagen Summit, progress on serious "eco retrofitting" must commence now.
"Eco-retrofitting" strategies will be explored in the proposed paper/workshop presentations for the 3rd International Urban Design Conference.

The practical implementation of 'eco-retrofitting" results in resilient built solutions demonstrating energy efficiency and ecologically sustainable urban design.Examples include the introduction of urban agriculture ,the integration of living walls and green roofs in buildings,the efficient provision of denser workplaces and living solutions and the focus on improved social quality."Eco-retrofitting" promotes socially responsible design and embraces community participation. Diversity and density are key ingredients of successful "eco-retrofitting".

Research work currently underway at QUT's Centre for Sub-tropical Design will be presented to demonstrate the latest developments on Living walls, an innovative "green technology" providing a multitude of environmental benefits for urban designers.The importance of the "Environmental Brief" process to urban design projects will be demonstrated to highlight how ESD is successfully integrated into our existing cities urban fabric.

Conclusions from a detailed focus on eco-retrofitting will provide delegates with a practical understanding of 'Positive Development". This awarenes will facilitate fundamental and essential change in our existing cities,moving towards achieving the important goals of greenhouse gas reduction and quality of life improvements in denser urban environments

Mr Mark Urizar
Urizar and Partner Architects
Ascot Vale VIC

Enabling Sustainability in the Urban Environment


There is no ‘off the shelf’ vision or definitive direction that can be used to define the most socially responsible course. It is evident that urban expansion should be halted with the existing built form consolidated, integrated and enhanced so that it can become a self reliant and synergistic whole. This becomes viable when economies of scale are created, when densities are increased; making it viable to restructure and enhance the urban form to accept higher densities and amenities with more appropriate technologies.

Valuable insight is drawn from IT and Nature as to how our urban environment should be structured and work. IT provides a framework for the architecture in place; defining how it should be structured to be effective, as it can be analogous to buildings, or components of the network and infrastructure, with the software providing the necessary connections required for the system to work. Insight from nature can provide new clues how our built environment should be restructure, how its many systems should work, how these should interact, be balanced in terms of needs, consumption, outputs, generative capacity and limits. Replicating nature in our built environment would ensure the balance between the artificial and natural, and ensure that the many disparate parts of the urban environment be aligned and integrated into a synergistic whole.

Replacing planning with a ‘holistic’ approach can provide the means to protect and even enhance the remaining ecological infrastructure through the appropriateness of the solutions created; enabling integrated architecture within an enhanced infrastructure.

Dr Arvind Varshney
HASSELL
Sydney NSW

Co-Authors: Dr Mike Mouritz & Brett Pollard, HASSELL

Urban sustainability through consensus: a blue print for an integrated assessment of the urban environment

This paper argues in favour of two commonly debated issues: first, cities and the ongoing process of urbanisation hold the key to global sustainability; and second, the urban environment is the single most significant factor that adversely affects the synergy between the human and natural components of a city leading to unsustainable development.

Based on above discussion the paper suggests that the multidisciplinary nature of sustainability, and indeed the multiplicity of stakeholders in the development and management of cities, is one of the major barriers in the pursuit of sustainable development. It leads to the lack of appropriate knowledge, awareness, and consensus among the public and decision makers. Which in turn results in inadequate or inappropriate planning and management decisions leading to further deterioration of state of sustainability at urban and, consequently, global levels.

The paper proposes that the integrated measurement and assessment of attributes of urban systems and the embodied built environment is a key issue in developing consensus amongst all stakeholders in urban development and management.

The paper presents a case for, and a blueprint of, a system for assessment of the urban environment that addresses:
1. ecological, social and economic aspects of a city, and
2. allows the environmental impacts to be aggregated with global environmental impacts.

Such an assessment system that is flexible to its context, location, and application, the paper argues, will help the stakeholders understand the issues relevant to urban sustainability. This will add to the current understanding about urban development leading to greater consensus, and hence to better decision making for progressing towards sustainability.


Mr Jason Veale
AECOM
Sydney NSW

Co-Author: Mr Lester Partridge, AECOM

Urban form and low-carbon buildings


Significant advances have been made in recent years to reduce the environmental impact of new buildings. There are strong regulatory requirements for energy and water efficiency. Voluntary programs such as Green Star and NABERS are increasingly popular. Certain parts of the development market are competing for the highest star rating. However, on an industry-wide scale, emissions from the commercial building sector are rising faster than almost all other greenhouse emissions sectors. An increasing proportion of the population is living in large cities. Therefore, it is essential that urban design helps, rather than hinders, buildings to reduce their emissions in the coming decades.

This paper analyses the carbon emissions from various building types and discusses the ability of urban form and density to facilitate very low carbon buildings. Do very high densities actually increase energy use over medium densities? The paper considers an optimum urban form to reduce energy used to operate buildings, transport emissions and the emissions used in the manufacture of building materials. It is suggested that this optimum form should change from city to city depending on whether they are in a temperate, cold, humid or hot arid climate.


Mr Michael Velders
ARUP
Fortitude Valley QLD

Farming in SlimCity – The Business Case for Urban Ecology

Climate change, water shortages, rising crude oil prices and an expanding population are beginning to question the resilience of our current farming and food supply systems. In the near future localised food production – integrated into the city’s infrastructures – might well be a key factor in securing access to affordable and healthy food for new and existing communities. Michael’s presentation makes a strong case for localised integrated food production in a Slim City – the resource and carbon efficient cities of the future.

Michael Velders will be presenting from his personal experience working on “New Generation Urban Agriculture” projects in Europe, the America’s, China and Australia. He is a senior sustainability consultant with Arup having more than 15 years experience in consulting. He mastered in Agricultural and Environmental engineering and Change Management and is committed to help implement initiatives that strive to make a difference to society. Michael enables clients in setting the bar for sustainable development; clarifying achievable and practical targets and initiatives. His particular interest lies in identifying “How we can feed ourselves sustainably in a low carbon economy?” Amongst others he leads Arup’s Centre of Excellence in Food and Agriculture.

Mr John Walmsley
Hyder Consulting
North Sydney NSW

Co-Author: Mr Richard Lau, Director - Building Services Hyder Consulting

The benefits of Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) in optimizing the energy efficiency and thermal comfort of a building.


Aim: To demonstrate by using Computational Fluid Dynamics that the energy efficiency and thermal comfort of a building can be optimised which can result in substantial savings.

Contents: Currently within the Australian Market CFD is rarely used when designing a building. Computational Fluid Dynamics uses algorithms to solve and analyze fluid flows and displays these results in a 3D representation of the space. In a building some of the main components that CFD software can examine are the air temperature, air velocity, air change effectiveness and thermal comfort.

By using Computational Fluid Dynamics the grille locations, supply air rates, supply air temperatures and even the building facade can be optimised to help increase thermal comfort and energy efficiency with the space.

One example of the benefits of CFD can be seen in one of our past projects. To increase energy efficiency it was proposed that the supply air temperature should be reduced allowing for the Supply Air to the space to also be reduced, thus minimising the size of the Air Handling Units which decreases the energy consumption within the building. The issue with this was that by reducing the supply air temperature there was a potential problem that the thermal comfort would be unsatisfactory. By using CFD it was determined that the thermal comfort throughout the space would not be affected. On this project we also examined the grille locations to confirm that there was a high air change effectiveness and a well dispersed temperature over the floor. Overall this CFD modelling resulted in substantial energy savings.

Conclusion: As proven in past projects by using Computational Fluid Dynamics the energy efficiency and thermal comfort of the building can be optimised which can result in substantial savings.

Mr Simon Whibley
Antarctica
Melbourne Victoria

Co-Author: Mr Graham Crist, Antarctica

Distributing the City

Major metropolitan centres appear to be incapable of providing for the increase in urban populations currently occurring in Australia. The economic costs of extending infrastructure and the social problems caused by peripheral expansion are well documented, whilst political opposition and construction expense associated with increasing density around existing centres, or within selected suburban nodes, limits the potential of infill solutions.

Looking at one such metropolitan centre, Melbourne, and its surrounding regions, how might the necessary activities and civic amenities of the city be accommodated differently to unsustainable peripheral expansion or contested nodal densification? How we can undertake the tasks, and enjoy the benefits, of urban life in a wider array of locations?
In order to cater for new populations, a distributed city can make use of existing networks of activity to accommodate the requirements of work and civic facility. It can extend such utility across the boundaries of metropolitan and regional centres, increasing the resilience of each. It is a design approach that is opportunistic, responsive and robust.

Case studies drawn from research projects undertaken at RMIT University, alongside executed architectural projects, will be presented. These projects investigate the common but loosely defined idea of a ‘hub’, ranging in scale from systems of distributed workplace across Victoria to alternative proposals to the Central Activity District (CAD) within Melbourne.


Mr Wally Wight
Association for the Study of Peak Oil and Gas (ASPO)
Gaythorne Queensland

Re-Thinking the Dwelling

Much is said of housing affordability, sustainability and community. Our typical suburban house is 30% larger than 20 years ago, yet household size is smaller. Even first-time homeowners insist on more bedrooms than people and extensive extras. “Affordable” is relegated to far-flung fringes. This trend cannot go on forever. However, higher density is perceived as “six-pack” walk-ups or impersonal highrise. We have few models demonstrating a way forward.

We need a new paradigm. Instead of maximising floor area and features, we need more effective and amenable utilisation of the more limited floor area and features we can afford. Instead of sizing all houses for large families, we must offer genuine choice. This paper argues an alternative way forward. There is more opportunity in existing patterns of subdivision and flexibility in existing planning codes than appreciated. Existing urban fabric and character has the resilience and capacity to accommodate innovation.
This case study is based on infill and an existing one-bed “drover’s cottage astride narrow existing allotments in a pre-war low-density suburb.

Separating titles, utilising existing development codes, advantageous site attributes and sub-tropical design, issues of affordability, sustainability and community are addressed. The result achieves site densities equivalent to 32 households (or 64 dwellings) per hectare with high amenity and a very light footprint. The dwelling choice ranges from 3-bed to studio and explores innovative concepts of household and community dynamics. Not a silver bullet, this demonstrates the value of looking outside the square.


Mr David Wilson
MWH Global
St Leonards, Sydney NSW

Future population shocks and the need for urban growth management

Australia is in the middle of a population boom it needs to acommodate 35 million people by 2050. Currently, about 443,000 people are added to our population every year. The figure used to be just 220,000. This is being generated by immigration rates and a generation X driven baby boom. Even with our present population of 22 million the deterioration in the quality of life in our cities is obvious schools, hospitals, transport systems and water supply are already inadequate.

In the next 40 years, Brisbane and Perth will double in size. Sydney and Melbourne will expand into mega cities of 7 million each. As more people fill out the urban areas, and sprawl continues to consume non-renewable resources, there is a pressing need to generate ideas for expanding Autralian Cities.

Australia cities are experiencing constant change but are they heading in the right direction? Fedederal Government needs to develop a robust and co-ordinated engagement to facilitate urban growth management throughtout Austalia to respond to demographic change.Growth options need to be tested against four key drivers of change:
Demographics and migration;
Economics and employment
Transport and technology
Climate change and resource use

This paper will examine current planning tools and strategies for example Sydney 2031, Melbourne 2030, SE Queensland Regional Plan, urban containment management, urban growth zones, infrastructure delivery, integrted land use and transport planning.The advantages and disadvantages of applying these to respond to population growth will be assessed
Word Count 239 Words


Mr Brett Wood-Gush
TPG Town Planning and Urban Design
Perth WA

Co-Author: Mrs Susan Oosthuizen, LandCorp

Mining Town to Regional Australian City: Karratha, City of the North


The challenges facing remote mining based communities are many: social isolation, employment monocultures, ageing infrastructure, limited cultural and recreational opportunities, combined with the sense of impermanence and insecurity created by a fly-In fly-out (FIFO) workforce and the unpredictability of global resource markets, perpetually undermine the development of social and civic capital and economic security.

Karratha faces these challenges and the failings consequential of a 1970s design approach that was insensitive to the local climate, local landscape and local culture. Never the less, Karratha is now seen, by all levels of government and by social commentators such as Bernard Salt, to be the logical location of a vital new Australian city; laying claim to our north west coast and supporting Australia’s most significant emerging resources region.

A key aim of the City of the North project is to facilitate the realization of this vision by providing a blue print for Karratha’s evolution into a city. A partnership between the Shire of Roebourne and State Government has, in the space of less than 6 months, seen the preparation of a plan that provides a framework for sustainable growth detailing, in design and strategy, the necessary responses to city growth, neighbourhood and city centre revitalisation, housing diversity, affordable living, place responsive design, community development and infrastructure investment.

The presentation explores this landmark project and asks how we use government partnerships and collaborative design-based approaches to engage stakeholders and attract and guide the massive private and public sector investment needed to create a regional city.


Mr Graham Young
University of Pretoria
Tshwane Gauteng

Finding the void … a vision for a public park in Johannesburg’s inner city

The problems of postmodern urban environments became obvious with the proliferation of sprawling cities, gated enclaves and residential communities. The result of this scattered system has ‘decompressed’ many cities. Johannesburg, however, is unlike many other ‘new world’ cities where ‘decompression’ is a major issue. In fact the reverse is true! People are flocking to the inner city, from the townships, rural areas and other African countries to find work and a place to live. Johannesburg’s CBD is instead ‘compressed’ and available land for open space is extremely elusive and mostly derelict.

The Johannesburg Development Agency initiated a design competition for a “large inner city park” because “the growing residential densities within the inner city coupled with the lack of adequate green public open space suggests the need for a large scale inner city park.” The competition call also implied that a public park intervention is necessary as it could be a catalyst for development. But where in Johannesburg’s dense, ‘compressed’ CBD, does one find this scale and form of space?

This paper will examine the issues related to conceptualing a vision for the park through the lens of a competition entry. It will also make reference to landscape urbanism theory to illustrate that in spite of seemingly insurmountable odds, space can be found to enable the development of an inner city park and that the resultant landscape can become a basic building block in a contemporary approach to urbanism that emphasizes the primacy of a dynamic void over static architecture.