Queensland Government Plans First Inner-City Brisbane School In Decades

Two new schools will open in the inner-city in Brisbane and another significantly expanded as the Palaszczuk Government committed $500 million to the Building Future Schools Fund.

The fund’s purposes centres around building new schools, securing land in Queensland’s fastest growing regions and creating the necessary jobs to accomplish the projects in place.

Image: A ‘vertical school’ in Melbourne – the emerging concept throughout Australia to deliver more educational institutions without requiring vast amounts of land. Courtesy Hayball.

“We will build the first new high school in inner Brisbane since 1963,” Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said.

“We want every child to benefit from a quality education no matter where they live. That’s why we are investing $500 million over five years to help deliver world class education facilities where they are needed most,” she said.

Ms Palaszczuk said through the Fund, the Advancing Inner City Schools initiative will:

  • deliver a new state secondary school at the former Fortitude Valley State School site in partnership with Queensland University of Technology
  • establish a new high school in the inner-south working with the University of Queensland to take enrolment pressure off Brisbane State High School
  • support the expansion of West End State School to meet enrolment demand

The Palaszczuk Government also claimed to have plans already underway for new state high schools in other growth areas across Queensland including Mt Low in Townsville, North Lakes/Mango Hill north of Brisbane, Calliope near Gladstone and Yarrabilba in South Logan.

Deputy Premier, Minister for Infrastructure and Planning and Member for South Brisbane Jackie Trad said over the last 50 years, Brisbane used all available land to expand existing school sites, but she said you can only expand so much.

This article was originally published by The Urban Developer.

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LIVstyle’s Astor Set To Launch In Sydney ‘Hotspot’ Rosebery.

The Urban Developer

Rosebery is a suburb in transition, just 6km south of the Sydney CBD, well connected to public transport and ripe for redevelopment.

Many of the old industrial buildings and commercial warehouses are being demolished and replaced by attractive-looking apartment complexes. The latest of these is Astor by LIVstyle, a boutique developer who has achieved great success with its other Rosebery projects, Verde and The Parker Residences.

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Astor is within 600 metres of the entrance to the Eastern Distributor which provides direct links to the CBD, the Eastern Suburbs and the North Shore. Green Square Railway Station is within walking distance, and Sydney Airport is just a few minutes’ drive away.

Aaron Tippett, a Director of LIVstyle, regards Rosebery as a “social and cultural hotbed” undergoing extensive urban renewal.

At 105 apartments Astor is our largest project to date, which stems from our confidence in the growing popularity of Rosebery. With Darlinghurst and Surry Hills virtually moribund through road closures and parking hassles, Rosebery has the potential to offer a similar cosmopolitan lifestyle but with less congestion and at a much more affordable price.”

Astor comprises two seven level buildings, sited 23 metres apart, with a large central courtyard that will be landscaped with mature trees and have an outdoor kitchen for social gatherings, custom-designed seating, and areas for private relaxation.

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Environa Studio has designed both buildings to be visually complementary, with vertical green walls and slots in the façade to create visible entry points. The 105 apartments at Astor range from one-bedroom to three-bedroom options, and include penthouses with large rooftop terraces and garden units that provide a natural connection to the outdoors.

“Most things you want are within walking distance, including restaurants, theatres, boutiques, galleries, and shopping facilities. Those who buy here will appreciate the benefits even more in years to come as Sydney becomes more crowded and properties close to the CBD grow out of the financial reach of most.”

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WOHA and Architectus reimagine the Queenslander as riverfront tower.

Architecture AU

A new riverfront luxury apartment tower on the edge of Brisbane’s city centre designed by Architectus and WOHA has been submitted for approval by developer CBUS Property.

The $375 million tower has been designed to imitate the local vernacular of the Queenslander, rather than the sealed glass-walled towers of a more internationalist style. The project team has touted it as the first truly sub-tropical living environment of an urban scale in Brisbane (although some might argue that honour belongs to the 1961 Torbreck building by Job & Froud, two kilometres away on Highgate Hill).

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“The Queenslander – with its stilts and natural ventilation – was an inspiration for the tower,” said Elizabeth Watson-Brown, director of Architectus.

The development has been designed to maximize permeability within and around the site. The podium levels, which are designed to match the height of the adjacent Customs House, will be open to pedestrian traffic. It will essentially stand on urban-sized stilts, allowing a podium-level public domain that connects the city with the river.

The development introduces two new avenues to access City Reach Boardwalk along the riverfront. A proposed landscaped public plaza at Queen Street will take pedestrians to the river via a set of stairs. A proposed lane, Parkside Lane, will likewise connect to the water and will be activated with retail and cafe venues. The existing Howard Lane will also be reinvigorated and the existing Fig Tree Walk will be enhanced with hanging gardens and landscaping to frame views to the river.

The 47-storey tower will include 264 apartments, arranged in a cluster formation in plan, designed to maximize views and natural ventilation.

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The Fawkner Makes Strong Debut

The Urban Developer 10 September 2015.

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Melbourne’s new $300 million development The Fawkner has already sold more than half its offerings in the last three months with interest predominantly by owner occupiers.

The 253-apartment development, designed by architecture and design studio KPDO, is positioned on the site of the former Fawkner Centre building overlooking Fawkner Park.

The Fawkner will feature upon completion a 24-hour concierge and  resident-only facilities including a porte-cochere entrance into the lobby, timber lined wine room with 96 wine cellars, private movie theatre, infinity swimming pool, gymnasium, sauna and steam room, play spaces for children, private dining areas and communal meeting spaces.

The ground floor will be extensively re-landscaped to create a garden enclave, while more gardens will be created on the podium level, all designed by OCULUS Landscape Architecture.

Construction of the development is scheduled to commence in late 2015 and scheduled for completion by early 2017.

Read the full article here.

We should think more about the link between urban development and mental health

Originally Published by City Metric 21 August 2015 by Layla McCay

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Some spaces can be good for the psyche. Image: Layla McCay.

With an increasing majority of the global population living in cities, the question of urban public health is expanding far beyond its traditional practitioners.

Urban planners, designers and developers are increasingly being asked how their plans and projects actively improve people’s health and wellbeing. But when answering that question, many currently overlook the very category of urban health that they might most effectively impact: mental health.

Much of the focus at the nexus of health and design at the moment is on the physical health risks – most especially those associated with our often-sedentary lifestyle, which can contribute to non-communicable diseases (NCDs) like heart disease and diabetes. This often means designing built environments that nudge people to be more physically active. But opportunities for health promotion extend beyond physical activity: the World Health Organisation defines health as a state of physical, mental and social wellbeing.

In fact globally mental health disorders cause more disability than any other NCD. This is particularly true in cities, where our risk of having depression increases by 40 per cent, an anxiety disorder by 20 per cent, and the risk of schizophrenia doubles.

With the huge impact of mental disorders on people’s health and wellbeing, and the increased mental health risk of that comes simply from living in a city, you might think that mental health would be an urban health priority. In fact, few policies or recommendations for healthy urban environments address mental health in any depth.

There are many opportunities to improve population mental health through urban design. We can create places where people feel safe and confident. We can reduce noise to improve sleep. We can develop neighbourhoods that promote social interaction and belonging, while delivering privacy and security. We can reduce stress associated with commuting. We can design daily encounters with nature.  And there are many more options currently being explored.

View the full article here.