Translating community land use visions into development guides

The 6th International Urban Design Conference welcomes Paul Walter of City Plan Urban Design, NSW and Ms Monica Gibson of City Plan Strategy & Development, NSW who will be presenting jointly on the role of the urban designer in the new NSW planning system at the upcoming conference 9th to 11th of September 2013 at the Novotel Sydney Olympic Park.

Dramatic planning reform is under way in New South Wales. A new Planning Act is the centrepiece; there is also root and branch reform of the processes of urban planning and urban design. Paul and Monica will examine the practical implementation of the new planning system for NSW and the objective for coordinated and integrated strategic planning, that results in streamlined development assessment, with improved time and cost outcomes.

They will also look at the challenge to create community-supported strategic plans to be reliably translated into development guides for predictable development results via new code assessment track and the role of urban design practitioners in communicating form based development guides.

Challenges and opportunities for better urban design faces the state as it undertakes the challenge to develop and implement an effective system. The focus now is where the rubber hits the road: the interface between applicants, community and the planning authority. The current system has failed to integrate community aspirations or to provide a reasonable level of certainty for developers. The success of the new system hinges on success of code assessment track.

In recent years the planning and development processes have been characterised by uncertainty and conflict. Poorly-made or non-existent strategic plans have left communities with no clear understanding of how future development should look and no constructive way to influence change. The absence of high quality development plans shifted the emphasis onto individual projects, overburdening the development application process and creating an atmosphere of mistrust and conflict.

In many jurisdictions court applications were lodged simultaneously with development applications. Code Assessment amounts to shifting from numerical standards to a form based approach. Improved visual descriptions and responsive design will be key tools in plan-making. Important issues will need to be raised and resolved in order to establish effective processes for strategic plans: capturing and expressing community visions, difficulty in getting consensus and, subjective design assessment.

Registrations to attend the 6th International Urban Design Conference are open!  Click here to register and attend Paul and Monica’s presentation or many others in our program. Or the program can be viewed here.

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