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 Mr Tim D’Agostino, Landscape Architect with Aspect Studios who will present on ‘UD1: Including Young People in Public Spaces and Active Interfaces; Case Studies from Europe’.
Active interfaces, that open buildings and the activities within them to the public realm, offer an ideal opportunity to bring diverse demographics and practices together. If these spaces are located within accessible areas, they can stimulate social interaction and provide learning opportunities, which seems to be particularly relevant for young people (ages 10-18). Such spaces need to be inclusive of all people, in order to inspire and encourage cultural diversity and understanding, creativity and informal mentoring from older community members.
By challenging the traditional barriers of building footprints (inside) and public realm (outside), more vibrant and resilient communities can be forged. In the lure of screen-oriented play, professions working in the urban environment have an obligation to make public spaces feel inviting and inspiring for the often disenfranchised and underrepresented generation of young people.
In this age group there are key stages of finding our place and passion in the world. In Australia we have a strong focus on designing playgrounds for children 10 and under. However, once we hit our teenage years and outgrow the playground we spend less time with our parents and more time with our friends. Together we search for new spaces to hang out in, be it shopping centres, public or privately owned spaces, somewhere local or somewhere in our capital city.
Professional experience and a study tour of European public spaces will be used to explore the question; “If we do not include, support, or enable young people to be in public spaces, how can we expect them to develop social skills, healthy cultural practices, and learn how to interact with broader society?”. Active interfaces will be explored as an opportunity to address this.
Tim D’Agostino is a Landscape Architect working for ASPECT Studios. After finishing his Landscape Architecture and Urban Planning double degree with Honours at RMIT in 2014, he has worked for multiple local councils developing Master Plans, Strategies and landscape architecture projects in both capital city and rural contexts. Tim has worked with a diversity of communities and key stakeholders to develop and deliver inclusive and considered urban design outcomes.
Tim was awarded a scholarship from Parks and Leisure Australia to undertake a study tour of Europe investigating public spaces inclusive of young people. On this study tour he discovered many precedents of communal and social hubs, rich in public life, mixed use activities and active interfaces, of which he will be presenting on. Tim in his spare time has also been a part of the Community Assembly for the Yarra River Strategic Plan and advocates for socially inclusive and sustainable public spaces.
For more information on the 2018 International Urban Design Conference and to secure your spot visit the conference website at urbandesignaustralia.com.au