Cross-pollinating Urban Design Approaches

If we think about buildings in “business-as-usual” terms, the operational resource flows
would be:

• Inputs – Energy, water and materials
• Outputs – Waste heat, waste water and solid waste

Drawing on approaches already utilised in industrial process design, transport and modern
management techniques, the concept of outputs as “waste” could be questioned.
To enable built environment professionals to evaluate, optimise, visualise and communicate the potential for interlinking buildings, technically sophisticated tools are required for use at early development and planning stage.

A visualisation tool, currently developed by Sustainable Built Environments using Google
Sketch Up, is presented to illustrate the possibilities of enhancing the urban ecology and most importantly provide decision makers with a instrument that allows to appropriately identify opportunities.

Christoph Begert, Sustainable Built Environments, Melbourne, Australia, presented this paper last year at the 5th International Urban Design Conference – Hilton on the Park in Melbourne 10th – 12th September 2012

The full paper is available for viewing in the Conference Book of Proceedings HERE

You can submit an abstract NOW for the 2013 Conference to be held at the Novotel Sydney Olympic Park from Monday the 9th to Wednesday 11th of September 2013.

E: conference@urbandesignaustralia.com.au | W: http://urbandesignaustralia.com.au

Mapping Urban Residual Space and Exploring Opportunities for the Re-use of Existing Buildings

The need to realise a higher density of houseswithin Australian cities has shown a preoccupation with the demolition of existing buildings, and the construction of multistorey apartment buildings.

While adapting urban form for higher densities is a necessary process for ‘living sustainably’ (Blair et al. 2004), some recent developments have neglected the space of the street (street space) as a vital part of urban life (Alexander et al. 1977; Jacobs 1961).

Chris Tucker outlined a study being undertaken to assess the opportunities for occupying residual space on the outside of existing buildings within the urban streets of Newcastle. The study makes a case for urban streets that are compact and diverse, and where a sustainable urban form can be achieved through the the gradual adaptation and re use of existing buildings. He also discussed how the boundaries of residual space are mapped using the potential of; planning policy, historical precedence, the local environment and the existing street space1. The residual space is then occupied with new spaces that gradually repair the urban condition and reinforce an active engagement with the environment.

Chris Tucker, University of Newcastle, Australia presented this paper last year at the 5th International Urban Design Conference – Hilton on the Park in Melbourne 10th – 12th September 2012


The full paper is available for viewing in the Conference Book of Proceedings HERE

You can submit an abstract NOW for the 2013 Conference to be held at the Novotel Sydney Olympic Park from Monday the 9th to Wednesday 11th of September 2013.   

E: conference@urbandesignaustralia.com.au | W: http://urbandesignaustralia.com.au

Opportunistic Urban Design – 2012 Conference Report

Michael Neustein Committee (NSW)

The fifth International Urban Design Conference took place in Melbourne this September. Themed ‘Opportunistic Urban Design’, this year’s event examined the creative interventions that are transforming contemporary urban spaces.

The giveaway is in the title: Opportunistic Urban Design. I shouldn’t have been surprised that the tone of the 2012 International Urban Design Conference was significantly more upbeat and forward thinking than last year.  While last year’s theme, resilience, was reminiscent of a steady, reliable carthorse, this year’s focus took the form of a prancing thoroughbred.

Jo Leeder from the Australian Design Review reports… full story here

How much is enough? Defining the shape and scale of suburban regeneration

Over the past few decades the needs of public housing tenants has changed, whilst the type and condition of housing stock has remained largely unchanged. Throughout Australia public housing providers are seeking to identify appropriate solutions that address this issue through the provision of new housing types and tenures, including affordable housing.

Aims:
SJB Urban led a team of consultants to prepare master plans for two suburbs, located in Sydney’s southwest. The focus was to realign the public housing properties with the needs of their tenants, whilst providing affordable housing and improved well-being, services and urban design outcomes for the broader community. 

The project presented a unique challenge as the scale of the problem facing Housing NSW and the target for redevelopment weren’t defined. Starting at ‘first principles’, and informed by a comprehensive consultation program, the team prepared a design process that defined the optimal housing target and a range of housing, density and redevelopment solutions to achieve the project objectives.

Contents:
Both master plans ran concurrently, as the similar contexts (physical, social and economic) allowed the work to be shared and undertaken to a greater level of interrogation, including the development of new modelling and design processes. Programs such as Rhino and Grasshopper were used to calculate and visualise changes in density and dwelling numbers across both projects, taking account of changes in housing targets, tenure and mix.

Costings and feasibility of the proposals also presented difficulties due to the scale of the project and the uncertainty over future delivery. The range and flexibility of the design scenarios allowed an array of solutions to be tested and combined until an optimal route forward was identified.

Conclusions: Changes and permutations can be easily investigated in the future due to this specifically catered design approach and adopted modelling techniques. New information can be inserted at any point in the process, should the housing mix, costings, density or typologies change.

Jonathan Knapp SJB Urban will be speaking at the 5th International Urban Design Conference – Hilton on the Park in Melbourne 10th – 12th September 2012

The FULL PROGRAM is now available on the conference website

E: conference@urbandesignaustralia.com.au   |  W:  http://urbandesignaustralia.com.au

The Whole Business of What Can and Should be Done

Our practice has prepared alternative designs for six nationally important infrastructure projects in New Zealand, worth a total value of NZ$1.5 billion. Three of these alternative designs have been implemented, two will likely be in the medium term and the sixth is under initial consideration. In each case, our projects’ conceptual thinking and environmental outcomes have differed fundamentally from the proposed developments, yet we have been able to convince relevant authorities, clients and affected communities of their soundness, affordability and achievability.

All these projects are sited within complex urban environments which include significant heritage buildings, city precincts and cultural landscapes. Each design is unique in respect of its contextual fit. Our solutions are deceptively simple and create space where none was perceived to exist. They also extend planning objectives identified for each project. In effect, we have been able to draw out the potential implied in the planning legislation and at the same time produce a surplus of social, environmental and economic opportunities, inspiring possible new directions for the sustainable evolvement of each city.

We believe our success with these projects and their long time-line vision will interest the conference. Richard Reid will discuss and illustrate the core spatial techniques and skills, and key strategic and tactical moves, needed to deliver them. The projects required a trans-disciplinary approach to infrastructure, architecture and landscape and through their whole of environment approach to citymaking, overturn the received place and conventional modes of engineering. Richard will conclude with discussion on the business and funding issues the practice faces working in an entrepreneurial way. 

Richard Reid, Director of Richard Reid & Associates Ltd.will be speaking at the 5th International Urban Design Conference – Hilton on the Park in Melbourne 10th – 12th September 2012

The FULL PROGRAM is now available on the conference website

E: conference@urbandesignaustralia.com.au   |  W:  http://urbandesignaustralia.com.au