City Temperatures and City Economics, a Hidden Relationship Between Sun and Wind and Profits

Urban design undoubtedly influences the urban economy.

A simple thing like designing an area to make it more walkable can boost local business profits. This can also increase real estate value, create more and better jobs and generate stronger local economies. Street temperatures also determine their walkability. With climate change bringing longer and more frequent heatwaves, street temperatures will become even higher than at present. This will reduce walkability and, in turn, local business profitability.

Walkability impacts local businesses

The evidence shows businesses do better with foot traffic than car-based mobility. For example, closing New York’s Times Square to cars increased business revenue by 71% during an eight-month pilot project in 2009. The following example helps explain why foot traffic benefits local business. In car-based cities, a take-away coffee on the way to work may involve a series of decisions:
  1. driving the car to a certain cafe
  2. finding car parking
  3. leaving and closing the car
  4. joining a queue to buy a coffee
  5. getting back in the car
  6. proceeding on the journey to work.
In contrast, when walking down the street we may not even have considered having a coffee, but we can smell it. So:
  1. we walk into the cafe
  2. join the queue to buy a coffee
  3. carry on walking to work.
The process is shorter, more spontaneous and part of a daily journey. Impulse buys as a result of exposure to stimuli have surprisingly big economic consequences, particularly for the retail industry.

What is microclimate?

Microclimate refers to the atmospheric conditions in an area. These can vary not only from the surrounding region but also within the area itself. Both the natural and built environments influence these differences. A well-known example of such differences is in Sydney’s western suburbs, which are much hotter in summer than the eastern suburbs, which benefit from being close to the sea and cooling breezes. But can an unpleasant microclimate suppress impulse buys? To a certain extent, yes. The frequency of impulse buys, and ultimately the overall success of most businesses in tropical cities, may be connected to the local microclimate. For instance, the orientation of streets in relation to sun and breeze exposure can influence the microclimate. This can then determine if people stay and have a second coffee or extra ice cream after lunch, or if they avoid streets because they are too exposed and hot. Australian cities, however, are too often overzoned and planned in a sprawling pattern. By compromising walkability this represses spontaneous purchases. CBDs are also too frequently oversized with unshaded wide streets. In hot climates this makes the journey on foot unpleasant and poses health risks to young children, senior citizens and people with health conditions. This article was originally published by The Conversation. Click here to continue reading entire article.
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UD3: The Future of the Smart Precinct

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 Paul Edwards, General Manager at Mirvac who will present on ‘UD3: The Future of the Smart Precinct’.

Abstract

Smart precincts are digitally enabled, mixed-use urban districts that combine the latest technologies and smart services with new property and place-making strategies. From London and New York to Sydney and Seoul, they are emerging from the ground to form the essential building blocks of the future smart city.

In a new discussion paper, The Future of the Smart Precinct, Mirvac and UNWORK explore the smart precinct in the context of city innovation and regeneration, looking at:
• The physical–digital mix of the smart precinct
• How smart precincts are renegotiating 
the web of relationships between city authorities, citizens, businesses, employees
• How a balance can be achieved between preserving the human experience and the influx of new technology

In his presentation, Paul will discuss the current debate and thinking about smart buildings and cities, positioning the smart precinct as a key focus of urban development and innovation.

He will discuss concepts including “The New Bargain” and “Creative Citizenship”, positioning smart precincts as giant testbeds for urban innovation, where data is shared freely between all community participants, underpinned by the concept that there is shared value in data exchange.

He will also discuss how in all areas of development, a new bargain or balance must be struck
to ensure the human and digital elements
of the smart precinct can be harmonized, looking at:
– Reskilling the human workforce in the face of automation
– How technology will serve a human-centric urbanism
– Tech-enabled ‘collectives of intimacy’ allowing people to take on reciprocal roles in a community

Paul will showcase international and local case studies, while outlining the key challenges that face the smart precinct. More specifically, he will look at how the principles of a smart precinct have been applied at South Eveleigh, Mirvac’s new innovation and technology precinct in Sydney.

Biography

As General Manager of Workplace Experiences for Mirvac, Paul Edwards works to define and shape what the future of workspace and office development will look like for Mirvac, it’s customers and the greater property industry. His role centres on partnerships, relationships and knowledge creation across all elements of property including placemaking, smart technology, design, sustainability, health, wellbeing, brand, culture, community and mobility. With over 20 years’ experience in the property space, Paul is responsible for helping Mirvac set a new group workplace strategy through the development of a knowledge bank on the future of workplace. Mirvac will use this to help improve new and existing development projects and assets across Australia.

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

 

UD2: What Stops Urbanism, and Why the Design Profession Needs a New Approach

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. Tanya Vincent, Principal Manager Urban Design with Transport for NSW who will present on ‘UD2: What Stops Urbanism, and Why the Design Profession Needs a New Approach’.

Abstract

Every design report, masterplan and planning strategy promises a contextual, humanist urbanism with design excellence, yet something always seems to happen between the paper and the product. If the theory, principles and masterplans are in place, what is really stopping urbanism?

This article is about the production of streets, places, infrastructure and subdivision. It explores how the atelier model of architecture is unsuited to the industrialised, compliance processes behind the design and delivery of urban design and too often fails to deliver the principles promised.

The article charts the project arc from the vision to the outcome against the waning influence of principles and the dominating power of rules. Examples demonstrate how the focus on principles is no match to the accretion of rules over decades and the rigorous enforcement by multiple agencies.

The design profession’s strategies to address this imbalance are evaluated: educating the industry with design guidelines, codifying principles (e.g. sustainability, crime prevention) and design review panels. The first two strategies are found to be weak; in particular the idea that enlightened individuals will overcome the systemic barriers. Guidelines without a genuine policy change are found to rely on the weakest of policy mechanisms – inspiration and hope. The danger of codified principles (e.g. Movement and Place) intended to guide the design process evolving into prescriptive compliance tasks and reducing the creative space in which designers can be trusted to find the contextual, holistic solution is highlighted.

Alternative approaches are offered. Examples include a mechanism within the existing compliance system that values the contextual, holistic solution over the compliance of the parts, similar to the SFAIRP method in risk management; a focus on our own education of the industrialised procedures; and tackling the sub-urban regulations deep within the technical standards that stop urbanism.

Biography

Tanya Vincent is Transport for NSW Principal Manager Urban Design currently working on the Sydney Light Rail project. She explains the project as “12km of route equals 24km of urban design” and enjoys working with many talented professionals to balance the tensions between link and place through the city. She speaks frequently on urban issues, most recently the University of Sydney Alumni event on Urbanism and the Driverless Car at the Art Gallery of NSW.

Tanya’s experience in policy, projects and education bridges the disciplines of architecture, planning and urban design. Prior to joining Transport for NSW, Tanya was an Associate at JBA and previously the Urban Design Advisory Service. Recent urban design projects have included co-authorship of the Growth Centres Housing Diversity SEPP and DCP package, Landcom’s 21st Century Compact Housing initiative leading to NSW’s first display village of torrens title, attached housing at North Penrith, numerous master plans and industry publications such as Landcom’s Residential Density Guide, Better Residential Subdivision, and the UDAS Street Design Guidelines.

As a leading practitioner in neighbourhood design, Tanya was awarded a 2011 Churchill Fellowship. In 2015 she was awarded the Institute of Civil Engineers Outstanding Presentation of the Year.

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

 

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’.

Abstract

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.

Biography

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

 

UD2: Byron Bay Town Centre

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 Jo Kelly, Director at People, Place and Partnership who will present on ‘UD2: Byron Bay Town Centre – How to Implement a Comprehensive Masterplan for an Iconic Town Centre Talking Strategy to Action’.

Abstract

The Byron Bay Town Centre Masterplan is different. It is an integrated masterplan one that is based on the principles of comprehensive community engagement and a commitment to governance and implementation from the outset. This masterplan is not driven by the land developer’s opportunity sites, it is driven by a place focused assessment of future needs based around community catalyst sites.

Creating a masterplan for the iconic NSW tourist destination, Byron Bay which is visited annually by more than 1.4 million domestic and international tourists and is home to more than 30% of the Shire’s residents, approximately 8,500 people was always going to be a challenge. This masterplan was created around an ambitious commitment to work hand in hand with the community, to understand their aspirations for the future and create a framework that allowed for actions to be implemented incrementally.

Essential to the approach has been the understanding that town centres are constantly evolving and that masterplan strategies should show a commitment to establishing holistic, yet incremental responses to people’s needs.

This masterplan is created based on a 6-point vitality assessment that has community, implementation and governance at its core that takes a closer look at the Public domain, Access, Movement and Transportation,
Built Form and Aesthetics, Economic Development, Culture and Environmental Sustainability.

People, Place and Partnership worked alongside the lead designers McGregor Coxall to create a place making approach that allowed for community ownership, activation and community leadership to drive the masterplan delivery.

This presentation will share with you these insights on how to take the plan from idea to implementation from one of Australia’s most iconic destinations and follows the journey from the 2014 start, to what has been implemented as 2018 concludes.

Biography

Current Position – Director People Place and Partnership Pty Ltd Qualifications & Affiliations – Bachelor of Urban Planning (Hons), University of New England Expertise Areas • Strategic Planning • Place Planning • Masterplans • Place Making, Place Activation • Stakeholder communications and engagement • Community, stakeholder and technical facilitation Jo is a Director of People, Place and Partnership who has had an extensive and broad career in urban planning, master planning, large infrastructure projects and community development. For the last 20 years Jo has spent working on large scale masterplans to assist transition cities and key communities in renewal programs.

Jo has varied experience and has developed highly refined skills in facilitation, strategic thinking, project management and delivery. She is intent on looking for innovative solutions to problems and believes in delivering outputs and outcomes that are of an extremely high quality. With her diverse background in local and state government, private sector both in Australia and within Europe she brings a comprehensive insight to best practice and innovation in the tools and techniques applied in projects. Jo is an industry leader in engagement, strategic communications, governance and implementation frameworks.

She has developed strategic engagement and communication solutions efficiently and effectively that ensure successful delivery of high profile and at times contentious projects. Jo has been instrumental in the award-winning master planning projects for Parramatta City Centre, Bryon Bay Town Centre, Springwood Town Centre where she has worked alongside McGregor Coxall.

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