Opportunity beckons – realising the potential of the Gold Coast post light rail and Commonwealth Games

The Gold Coast has arrived at a crucial point in its brief but industrious history with a chance to drive a unique urban design agenda combining urbanised beachside living with mass transit. This opportunity stems primarily from the delivery of the Gold Coast Rapid Transit (GCRT) system to be operational in 2014 and the City’s successful bid to host the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

This is further emphasised through co-location of the projects with the majority of the Games’ venues located within 1km of a light rail station ensuring visitors to the city in 2018 can enjoy a vibrant experience of sporting events, night life and cultural activities without once setting foot in a car.

The flow-on benefits to the city in providing true transit-oriented development with its resultant public realm quality, density and integrated transport could set a lifestyle benchmark for other cities to follow. Both government (at all levels) and the private sector agree that these two projects represent catalytic opportunity from the point of view of private investment, public realm delivery, lifestyle and city branding.

However, whilst these two “city building” projects represent significant opportunity they have arrived at a time of dynamic political and particularly demanding economic times. Dan Barr details the re-think on the implementation of the City’s urban design vision as a result of a shared view that “business as usual” will not be enough to fulfill the high expectations generated by Queensland’s first light rail system and the Games’ legacy.

Dan Barr an urban designer who has been working on the Gold Coast Rapid Transit Project for the past three years will be speaking at the 5th International Urban Design Conference – Hilton on the Park in Melbourne 10th – 12th September 2012

The FULL PROGRAM is now available on the conference website

E: conference@urbandesignaustralia.com.au   |  W:  http://urbandesignaustralia.com.au

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