UD1: Lifestyle Alternative: The Rise of the Regional Town

The upcoming 2018 International Urban Design Conference will be held at the SMC Conference and Function Centre, Sydney, NSW next month over 12 – 13 November.

The conference will showcase innovations in projects and research embracing and creating transformational change in urban environments.

Joining us at the conference is Ms Rebecca Finn, Principal at Tract who will present on ‘UD1: Lifestyle Alternative: The Rise of the Regional Town’.


Melbourne’s population is expected to hit 5 million people within 3 years. It’s a 100-kilometre journey from the far south-eastern suburbs to the most western suburbs. Our love of single-family homes means that our cities are getting wider and wider, while infrastructure struggles to keep up. The pressures of population growth on the major Australian cities are significant.
Cue the regional city. As some people look to an alternative to life in the major capital cities, our regional cities offer charm, shorter commute times, and most importantly more affordable property. And while the growth of regional towns in Victoria is not yet keeping pace with the growth in Melbourne, these towns are experiencing faster growth than they have in many decades.

This presentation looks at current Tract projects in regional Victoria and how these beautiful towns and small cities are envisioning their futures. Actively encouraging growth without compromising charm and character is key to their success. These towns stand to gain much from increased population, so long as growth is ‘done well’ and in conjunction with improvements to services and infrastructure. Ballarat, Ararat, Wangaratta and Mansfield are four such towns. This presentation will highlight the journeys of each of these Councils and their communities, as they consider appropriate growth and how to leverage this growth to provide better amenities, employment options and services for their communities. More and more regional towns are providing an alternative lifestyle to that of our major cities. This is just the beginning.


Rebecca Finn is a Principal Urban Designer at Tract. She began her career as a Landscape Architect before completing a Masters of Urban Design at the University of California, Berkeley. Her career has focused primarily on the design of the public realm, and in particular streets, neighbourhoods and precincts. She has worked extensively with high calibre private and public sector clients both in Australia and overseas. After many years living and working in Washington D.C. and Los Angeles, she is now very happy to now call Melbourne home.

For more information on the 2018 International Urban Design Conference and to secure your spot visit the conference website at urbandesignaustralia.com.au


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