Australia Award for Urban Design 2012: “Policies, programmes and concepts-large scale”

Tim Williams and François Daune


The recipient of the “Policies, programmes and concepts-large scale” award isFrench-Australian art and urban design collective; Campement Urbain, Sylvie Blocher, François Daune, Tim Williams

For ‘The Future of Penrith, Penrith of the Future’ 

The Award was created by the Urban Design Taskforce and was first awarded in 1996 to recognise recent urban design projects of high quality in Australia and to encourage cities, towns and emerging settlements of all sizes to strive similarly for improvement. 

It acknowledges the critical role of good urban design in the development of our cities and towns.

The entries are judged in relation to rigorous and comprehensive criteria.

The criteria cover all aspects of urban design including functionality, aesthetics and viability, contemporary socialand cultural issues, including heritage, sustainability and ecological health, allowing for change and adaptaption and how the project contributes to a wider appreciation of of urban design.

“The Future of Penrith, Penrith of the Future project placed the voices of the people of Penrith at the centre of an artstic design process. The resulting project identifies and builds on a shared identity for Penrith and offers an optmistic, ambitious and realisable vision for the future” (Campement Urbain)

A key infrastructure component of the design is now in the design phase. The Nepean River shared cycle and pedestrian bridge is planned to be delivered sometime in 2015.

“Penrith faces challenges common to centres and dormitory suburbs on the fringes of metropolises around the world: unemployment, lack of transport and services, disengaged and disaffected youth, ethnic enclaves, fragmented urban sprawl and a poor sense of identity. Despite being a growing regional centre, the planning processes have resulted in an urban fabric that is poorly serviced and disconnected.

Penrith, however, also has a resource of incalculable value: its people. Through a process of “shared responsibility” with the people of Penrith, “The Future of Penrith, Penrith of the Future” project has become a visionary blueprint for the city and a means by which it can engage with the State to enhance its place in the metropolis.

By negotiating with a diverse and strategic group of local stakeholders to obtain a commission, and by then entering into an art-based conversation with the community, Campement Urbain, a Franco-Australian art and urban design collective, has been able to translate the criticisms, ideas and dreams of the people of Penrith into a coherent, three-dimensional, project for their future city.

The project was launched locally and at the Sydney Opera House by the Premier. The people of Penrith see themselves, recognise their ideas and celebrate their stories in the form of an optimistic, achievable project. They are proud of their future city. They see it as a connected, inclusive, sustainable river city that plays its role as the western gateway to the Metropolis of Sydney.

Furthermore, the group’s enterprising initiatives to cooperate with State departments has allowed the departments to recognise an opportunity to partner in an integrated and publically engaged process that will deliver key infrastructure elements that not only respond a local vision but also to Metropolitan objectives.”

Tim Willaims from Campement Urbain, Sylvie Blocher, François Daune, Tim Williams
will present a paper on the project at the 5th International Urban Design Conference in Melbourne Monday the 10th to Wednesday 12th of September 2012

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