Does place-making lead to socially sustainable communities? Study of the Fortitude Valley Renewal Plan

Opportunistic Urban Design MelbourneSocial sustainability is the aim for a balance of social diversity, inclusion, stability, interaction, pride, and safety related to the goals, impacts, and outcomes of urban community level development, or redevelopment.

We will consider whether place-making as an urban renewal process achieves socially sustainable outcomes.

Brisbane is one of the fastest growing cities in Australia, and pressure on inner city suburbs such as Fortitude Valley to accommodate growth is mounting. The regeneration of the Valley illustrates the challenge of accommodating growth and retaining identity to an area.

Our research is based on interviews with different stakeholders involved in the Valley regeneration process (City planners, Brisbane Housing Company, community organisations, Urban design consultants). With this information, the objective is to evaluate the renewal process in relation to the outcomes of the Valley’s renewal plan in regard to social sustainability.

Our preliminary results show that this plans strong focus on place-making is not likely to have a positive impact on social inclusion if it is not twinned with strong public involvement throughout its process, or with innovative mechanisms to provide affordable housing in this inner-city suburb.

Based on our interviews and on the review of socio-economic data for this neighborhood, we analyse: – The main social impacts of the renewal plan on the community; – The public involvement process and its evaluation; – The performance of the plan in delivering affordable housing.

Dr Sebastien Darchen, Lecturer in Planning, School of Geography Planning and Environmental Management, UQ, Brisbane will present at the: 

5th International Urban Design Conference – The Hilton on the Park, Melbourne, Australia from the 10th to the 12th of September – 2012

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