Helen Rowe from CoDesign Studio to present on ‘Reinventing Neighbourhoods through Tactical Urbanism’

Helen Rowe, Principal of CoDesign Studio to present at the Australian Regional Development Conference being held at the Commercial Club Albury on the 26– 27 August 2015.

The Conference is an initiative of the Association for Sustainability in Business Inc., a non-Government ‘not-for-profit’ organisation.

Helen Rowe

Helen Rowe

Speaker Introduction: Helen Rowe has over twelve years’ experience in transport, urban planning and engagement, gained through positions with the Victorian State Government in transport policy, planning, community consultation and program delivery, as well as consulting and research roles.

Before joining CoDesign Studio, recent roles included Director of Sustainable Transport Programs and Senior Policy Manager for Transport Strategies.

Presentation Title: Reinventing Neighbourhoods through Tactical Urbanism
Co-Author: Alex Mengel

Overview: Over the last half-century, Australian regional towns have been in transition, faced with the challenges of economic and technological restructuring, changing demographics, and shifts in public policy (Baum and Stimson 2005).

Typically, these challenges are addressed with policy tweaks or major capital investment programs. While such strategies do play a role, the top-down shaping of our communities strips locals of their capacity to meaningfully contribute. The end result is either weak (up to 80% of long-term visions are never implemented, HBR, 2011) or out of sync with the needs of the community. This stops regional towns from achieving their full potential, as the resulting plans do not reflect the diversity, flexibility, local variation and long-term sustainability that comes from connected and engaged regional communities.

We can break through these regional development barriers with entrepreneurial models like Tactical Urbanism. This approach offers a set of tactics for engaged neighbourhood development, characterised by low-cost temporary projects that drive incremental long-term change. This bottom-up approach helps bridge the gap between traditional top-down planning and the need for immediate action.

The presentation will draw on CoDesign Studio’s recent body of work to demonstrate how Tactical Urbanism can transform regional towns, by building local capacity and achieving measurable results for both people and places. A recent project in Tasmania, Launceston City Heart, mobilised people from all sections of the community in the planning and design of seven key redevelopment sites across the city. Potential solutions were prototyped in situ; this enabled immediate place activation while testing designs and measuring the success of infrastructure before committing to capital investment.

This simple process of collectively implementing a shared vision illustrates the powerful impact of Tactical Urbanism and its ability to reinvent regional towns.

To view and/or download the Australian Regional Development Conference program please click here.

GM of Industry Strategy & Public Policy at Vodafone Hutchison Australia to present at Australian Regional Development Conference

Matthew Lobb, General Manager, Industry Strategy & Public Policy at Vodafone Hutchison Australia will present at the Australian Regional Development Conference will be held at the Commercial Club Albury on the 26– 27 August 2015 .

The conference is an initiative of the Association for Sustainability in Business Inc., a non-Government ‘not-for-profit’ organisation.

Speaker Introduction: Matthew Lobb has overall responsibility for Vodafone’s government and stakeholder relations, regulatory affairs and public policy reform agenda. A key focus of this work is to advocate the need for a level competitive playing field in Australian telecommunications that fosters innovation and drives improvements to customer service.

Matthew joined Vodafone in 2011 after working as General Manager for Industry Engagement at NBN Co from 2009. Prior to this Matthew had an eight year stint in Telstra and held a range of roles including Director, Telstra Consumer Pricing, Group Manager, Commercial Development and Group Regulatory Manager, Telstra Wholesale.

Matthew also has extensive experience within Government having worked as an advisor to the Minister for Transport and Roads in NSW and to the Minister for Competition and Consumer Affairs in the Federal Government.

Matthew is a Rhodes Scholar and has Honours degrees in Economics and in Law from the Australian National University, a MA from Oxford University and a MSc (International Relations) from the London School of Economics.

Presentation Title: Utilising the NBN to deliver improved regional mobile telecommunications coverage and choice


Regional consumers are demanding mobile coverage and 83 percent of regional consumers agree that being able to choose their mobile provider is important.

Overcoming the roadblocks to mobile competition in regional areas will ensure consumers and businesses receive more coverage, better value, better service, choice and innovation.

Australia’s telecommunications market has undergone a profound change in the last 15 years and Australian consumers have become some of the most technologically savvy in the world. These changes and the rapid uptake of new technology have fundamentally changed our lives and benefited our economy.

In many places in regional Australia the economy and consumers are being denied access to reliable mobile phone coverage and the benefits that flow from mobility. The Australian telecommunications market is not driving sufficient investment in regional mobile infrastructure to deliver the benefits of the mobility to all Australians. Incentivising investment and removing the roadblocks to coverage expansion is a policy challenge that must be overcome.

In many areas of Australia it is only economically viable to build one set of mobile infrastructure. The best approach to deliver improved mobile coverage and increase consumer choice is for Government to facilitate telecommunications industry collaboration that reduces costs by better sharing infrastructure.

This includes leveraging the substantial investments that the NBN is undertaking in regional Australia. There are also a range of other policy levers that can be used to encourage infrastructure sharing. This includes better utilisation of the $300m per annum Universal Service Obligation payments that are currently not directed to mobile infrastructure.

The needs of mobile networks are technically similar to other uses of the NBN. In regional areas the NBN can reduce the costs of building mobile networks to expand coverage by utilising the NBN’s fixed-line network for ‘access backhaul’ services. NBN’s fixed-wireless network which is currently being built can also provide a foundation for the expansion of mobile coverage across Australia.

To view and/or download the Australian Regional Development Conference program, please click here.