The population dilemma facing Australia’s cities

Originally Published by Brisbane Times 24 August 2015, Tony Moore.

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Aspial Corporation’s planned 30 Albert Street residential tower is expected to be the tallest in Brisbane Photo: supplied

Community by community, Australia’s capitals are facing the decision of whether to grow up or grow out.

As populations increase, city planners are working to increase population density in selected areas, but often face accusations of making blind “taller is best” decisions.

The Gold Coast has announced its plan to concentrate urban development in the new Southport CBD.

On Monday Brisbane City Council announced it would debate a development of a 91-storey “vertical village” in the CBD – the third building that will bump its head on Brisbane’s nominal ceiling height of 27 metres.

A forum titled “How are cities responding to urbanism?” will be held at Brisbane’s Customs House on September 1, attracting two of the world’s most influential thinkers on tall buildings to Brisbane.

One of the international guest speakers is Ahmad Abderlrazaq, project director of the world’s tallest building – Burj Kalifa – in downtown Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.

The second international speaker is Carol Willis, director of New York City’s Skyscraper Museum; who will talk about the world trend towards “super-slim” towers.

Brisbane’s Renaye Peters, the former chair of the Queens Wharf Precinct, property development manager at Brisbane Airport Corporation, a member of the Urban Land Development Authority and most recently a director at architect’s Conrad Gargett will moderate the morning sessions on Australian case studies.

“The symposium is about densification of our cities,” Ms Peters said.

“We believe it is time to have a mature discussion on the challenges of the growth of our urban areas,” she said.

“And how our buildings respond and how our built environment responds.”

“The discussion that we have formed with a range of other speakers is around ‘How do our cities respond’ in a way that makes them liveable and affordable,” she said.

“Some of the great cities around the world have great density, but they are still affordable and they are still liveable.”

Brisbane’s Lord Mayor Graham Quirk in March 2013 said Brisbane needed to review its “ceiling height” of 279 metres, calling for authorities to change the angle flights could arrive in and out of Brisbane’s airport.

Cr Quirk – trying to encourage greater density – argued raising the height limit from 279 metres to 300 metres allowed “six extra storeys and an extra $624 million in high rise investment in inner-city Brisbane.”

Brisbane has over the past five years begun this debate, with new urban areas at South Brisbane’s Kurilpa Point, the new Queens Wharf precinct being planned and the increasing density of the Brisbane CBD now more obvious.

Increasing city density will make a future underground rail system more viable and the range of debate on how to help fund this infrastructure.

View the full article here.

 

 

 

Placemaking – both a process and a philosophy for regional towns

Placemaking is a multi-faceted approach to the planning, design and management of public spaces.

Placemaking uses a towns existing and build assets to make public spaces that people want to connect with and use.

What are the challenges for Regional Towns placemaking?

How are you transforming public spaces?  Whether your project is a regional town renewal or small town heritage refurbishment what principles of placemaking were taken into consideration. As placemaking is a multi-faceted approach it involves a whole range of professionals and stakeholders from a range of disciplines. Whether the organisation is a private or public sector organisation these projects could involve   architects, planners, designers, landscapers, sport and recreation consultants, community enagement, engineers, consultancies, service organisations and academic or research institutions interested in placemaking. You may be creating plazas, parks, streets, riverfronts, waterfronts that you aim to attract people because they are fun and interesting.

We are interested in hearing how you transforming public spaces in regional and rural areas a the Australian Regional Development Conference.

Regional Development Australia: The Conference will feature discussions a stream on planning and building. It will be held in Albury NSW on the 15 – 16 October 2014 with a focus on the broad issues of economic, planning, environment and community development.

Call for papers – rural and regional placemaking: would you like to speak at this conference?

Authors or organisations interested in submitting a paper or presenting a workshop are invited to submit an abstract of no more than 300 words outlining the aims, contents and conclusions of their paper or presentation; or about their intended role in a workshop.

Australian Regional Development Conference

RDA Conference15-16 October 2014, The Commercial Club Albury Secretariat: (T) 61 7 5502 2068 (F) 07 5527 3298 Email: secretariat@regionaldevelopment.org.au URL: www.regionaldevelopment.org.au

 

Peri-Urban: rural towns and planning strategy

Rural towns next in the sights of planning strategy   Care needs to be taken when looking to peri-urban areas for sustaining growth.

Rural towns. Towns like Ballan, Broadford, Kilmore and Wonthaggi have been targeted in the new metro plan for accelerated growth.

Communities in Melbourne’s peri-urban area have awoken to find that the state government sees them as part of the answer to accommodating the city’s burgeoning population.

Peri-urban areas are that conflicting mix of agriculture, forests, quaint rural towns, low-density sprawl and, recently, bushfire-prone areas, fanning out for about 100 kilometres from Melbourne. They are already facing issues such as biosecurity, loss of agricultural land and tourism proposals.

Towns like Ballan, Broadford, Kilmore and Wonthaggi have been targeted in the new metro plan for accelerated growth. It has led to substantial new residential development. However, it’s nothing like the increase in the numbers of new residents in the Melbourne growth corridors. But times are changing.

Listing towns for consideration for accelerated development and designating regional cities such as Ballarat, Bendigo and Geelong to accommodate more growth is now firmly on the agenda. This is a far better approach than the predecessor Melbourne 2030, which raised expectations with vague references to the role of regional cities and their transport corridors.

Local councils will be concerned at their and the state government’s capacity to keep up with the demands for new facilities and services in the peri-urban. Communities will be looking for local jobs to accompany the growth.

Melbourne relies on its peri-urban area for much of its fresh food.

The peri-urban areas also play critical roles for water supply. And of course these areas have proven to be some of the most vulnerable in terms of bushfires. There will be many questioning development in these places if there is a prospect of greater loss of life from wildfire.

The peri-urban has been largely overshadowed by the growth of metropolitan areas for years. But it appears its time has come. Its future, and that of the next generation of residents, is in the balance.

Trevor Budge

Trevor Budge AO

Trevor Budge AM

Trevor Budge is an associate professor and heads the community planning and development program at La Trobe’s Bendigo campus. He is a former president of the Victorian division of the Planning Institute of Australia.

 

 

Read more: The Age, October 11, 2013, Trevor Budge

Trevor Budge will be a keynote speaker at the Regional Development  Conference. It will be held in Albury NSW on the 15 – 16 October 2014 with a focus on the broad issues of economic, planning, environment and community development.

Call for papers

Authors or organisations interested in submitting a paper or presenting a workshop are invited to submit an abstract of no more than 300 words outlining the aims, contents and conclusions of their paper or presentation; or about their intended role in a workshop.

Australian Regional Development Conference

RDA Conference15-16 October 2014, The Commercial Club Albury
Secretariat (T) 61 7 5502 2068 (F) 07 5527 3298
Email: secretariat@regionaldevelopment.org.au URL: www.regionaldevelopment.org.au