New Paradigms for the 21st Century Australian City

Considerable debate is underway in Australia in favor of better public transport in our cities, the introduction of light rail, bullet trains between our major cities with the aim to unravel Australia’s dependence on the car that encourages urban sprawl and pits ever more congested road networks against the need for people based livable places and community nurturing neighbourhoods.

Extensive investment is called for to transform our cities in a shift to better public transport, better local community and public space that would diminish our reliance on cars. It is open to question whether the move towards densification and increasing investment in good quality public spaces and integrated transport systems is enough to address the totality of issues facing our cities in the future. Questions remain whether these intentions and initiatives are comprehensive enough to address the realities not only the current of state of our cities but of the overreaching prerogatives of climate change, global warming, the switch to carbon mitigation and unsustainable cost of extended infrastructure.

Arguably a new paradigm is called for in the design of cities in the this 21 century as climate change, expanding mega cities, shrinking natural resources, the information/electronic revolution and the shift to carbon neutral energy sources call for new solutions. New strategies are called for to address the exponential impacts of these changes and in in Australia solutions rapidly adaptable to these changes.

Sasha Ivanovich
Sasha Ivanovich

Sasha Ivanovich is a practicing architect and urban designer with over 25 years’ experience and we welcome him as a speaker at the 6th International Urban Design Conference being held Monday the 9th to Wednesday 11th of September 2013 at the Novotel Sydney Olympic Park.  Sasha will present this paper which will examine the resilience of current urban renewal and city planning examining alternatives being tested in other parts of the world that in particular seek to address combined impacts of climate change, rising cost of energy and a shift in global economic thinking.

It will question and examine our current visions of urban space, relative to place and the natural environment by presenting alternatives pursued elsewhere in comparable conditions. The city of Masdar a new city of 50,000 under construction in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates will be examined in detail as an important example of planners seeking to derive new solutions by design, research and development responsive to a climate not dissimilar to much of Australia.

Masdar with its multiform initiatives in sustainable urban planning, carbon sequestration, clean technology, innovation and research as a pure concept and an unique prototype, promises a model for the making of a 21st city based on sustainability principles embodying city planning, infrastructure transport and urban design programs with the potential to inform the shaping and making of cities across the world, on the premise that such a model is adaptable to any place in the world.

What makes Masdar particularly relevant in the debate on the future of Australian cities is its systematic and integrated approach – its form of model governance and implementation, its research and implementation on carbon sequestration, solar and win power on site recycling, absence of cars, its public transport system, automation, design for climate, and passive cooling initiatives, and source to product carbon imprint management A Masdar quarter designed for a neighbourhood community of two thousand inhabitants, will be presented as a case study with reference to typical urban design and place specific Australian recent initiatives. A comparison of these and other recent models around the world to recent initiatives in Australia will define the suitability of various urban paradigms as plausible typologies for the 21st century Australian city.

Sasha Ivanovich developing from early 1980’s a design approach based on sustainability principles, a decade before sustainability had become a common word in the architectural profession . Sasha has taken an active interest in the planning of and an active role in the ongoing debate in the planning of the city, through various advisory committees in Perth and South West Western Australian local government authorities and postgraduate urban design studies. His proposal for WA Parliament square in the City of Perth “What If” urban studies received ‘best popular’ public vote including a proposal for a public square incorporating a museum focusing on west Australian indigenous history.

You can register to attend the 6th International Urban Design Conference  by clicking here.

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