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.
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.