Politicians Step Forward With New Plans To See Brisbane Go Live

LNP Leader Tim Nicholls has come forward with a commitment to fast-track the proposed Brisbane Live arena project led should he emerge victorious next election.

In a move they describe as making Brisbane a more attractive investment and tourist location, an LNP Government will grant AEG Ogden and their partners an exclusive mandate to develop the project.

According to The Sunday Mail, tenders would also be invited for a new university campus and the LNP had already received expressions of interest from Australian institutions.

Photo: article supplied

The LNP’s vision for the project included a new university campus, a 17,000 seat arena, film and production studios, a world-class public square, a new commercial and residential precinct, 12 hectares of new public space, a health hub and new pedestrian access to other entertainment spaces in Brisbane City.

A purpose-built entertainment and education hub located in the CBD would potentially complement the Queens Wharf Development, together with the cultural and arts precinct at South Bank and Suncorp Stadium. Mr Nicholls believes the updated plans for the project, now dubbed the Brisbane Entertainment and Education Precinct (B.E.E.P), would deliver integrated links between these important spaces to create a truly modern and strategically linked city.

This article was originally published by The Urban Developer.

Click here to read the entire article.

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Sunshine Plaza Receives Developmental Approval

Sunshine Plaza, located in Maroochydore on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, has gained final approval to commence construction of a $400 million redevelopment, which is jointly owned by the Australian Prime Property Fund Retail, managed by Lendlease and The GPT Group.

Affirming its position as the largest retail centre north of Brisbane, Sunshine Plaza will expand from 73,000 square metres to over 107,000 square metres turning the strong performing centre into a leading fashion, leisure and tourist destination. Customers will enjoy an enhanced retail mix with the region’s first David Jones department store, a new BIGW, a refurbished Myer, a stunning new Amaroo Street mall entrance, provision for large format fashion operators and over 100 new specialty stores, bringing highly sought-after fashion brands to the Sunshine Coast.

The first stage of the redevelopment will involve the construction of a car park on vacant land behind Toys R Us. This will provide alternative customer parking during the construction of the first multi-deck car park, located at the Kmart entrance. Lendlease’s Head of Retail, Gary Horwitz, said extensive community consultation provided deep insights into the needs and aspirations of the local market.

Preliminary_Artist Impression_internal mall_Sunshine Plaza_indicative on...

“We are proud of our strong history at Sunshine Plaza, having delivered innovative and unique retail experiences which celebrate the outdoor coastal strengths of the region. The Centre already achieves solid results, ranking second in Queensland for specialty sales productivity and performs significantly higher than the national benchmark.

“The current performance of Sunshine Plaza indicates a strong demand for an expanded retail offer,” Mr Horwitz said.

Sunshine Plaza aerial

GPT Group’s Head of Investment, Retail Scott Meehan said the development would strengthen Sunshine Plaza’s reputation as the Sunshine Coast’s leading retail and leisure destination.

“GPT is excited to invest in the expansion of one of its best performing shopping centres, which is located in a market that should continue to benefit from strong population and tourism growth.”

Read more.

Melbourne’s apartment boom overshadows government projections

There are 42 more buildings proposed for the CBD on the planning minister’s desk (The Age)

Melbourne’s residential apartment boom is set to leave the central business district, Southbank and Docklands flooded with dwellings far outweighing the requirements predicted by the state government.

A research project by RMIT over the past nine months has found there are about 85,000 apartments and new residences either built or in the pipeline in Melbourne’s central city area in the decade between 2011 and 2021.

The government’s own Victoria in Future study, released in May, shows about 43,000 new dwellings needed for the area over the period covered by the RMIT analysis.

However, Planning Minister Matthew Guy continues to sign off on skyscrapers in the city and at the new suburb of Fishermans Bend, and last week shrugged off concerns there was a looming oversupply problem for Melbourne.

On Sunday, his spokeswoman said: “Any suggestion the government has or will approve anything like 85,000 apartments in central Melbourne is utterly false and grossly misleading.”

Read the full story by Clay Lucas and Timna Jacks, The Age on 29 September 2014.

Melbourne-Manhattan: Rhetoric and Response

In 2012 the Victorian Planning Minister announced a “bold new vision for Melbourne’s central business district”, proposing a considerable expansion to the capital city zone and inviting public debate around the nature of urban growth in Melbourne.

The plan intended to alleviate pressure in existing suburbs by concentrating intensive development within the new city footprint, maintaining the liveability of established residential areas while providing new opportunities for Melbourne to be a world-class city. Beyond a basic map delineating the extent of the new zone, very little visual material accompanied the announcement and few details provided about what it would achieve. The ‘vision’ was propagandised in mainstream media; the rhetoric was alarmist.

Under the plan, development controls would be “abolished” resulting in “wall-to-wall skyscrapers” and a “Manhattan-style metropolis five times its present size”. A shallow and reactionary dialogue ensued, largely criticising the present city’s failings and the government’s motivations for the zoning change. There was a notable lack of debate about the future of Melbourne.

The 6th International Urban Design Conference welcomes Mr Tom Morgan of MADA, Monash University who will present this paper at the event running from 9th to 11 September at the Novotel Sydney Olympic Park.  Tom will speculate on the potential realisation of the Melbourne-Manhattan provocation and examine the kinds of density, amenity, services and infrastructure that could be delivered and how it might alter the built form and quality of the city.

Importantly, it questions what it would mean for the broader metropolitan area should a Melbourne-Manhattan come about. Through a design-led research process, the authors reveal alternative urban conditions that challenge conventional strategies for delivering sustainable urban growth through poly-centric activity areas, linear transport corridors and urban fringe expansion. The speculative scenarios ‘unpack’ the rhetoric of the Minister’s announcement and subsequent media reports as a way of examining notions of quality and liveability in contemporary cities.

Finally, the research asks, what could instigate a more ingenuous public debate about these complex urban issues?

You may register to attend Tom Morgan’s seminar or any other of the sessions being delivered under the conference theme of “UrbanAgiNation”.  Simply click here to register your attendance.  The full program can be viewed here.

Transforming Historic City Centres An Integrated Approach of Urban Design & Historic preservation

The most important characteristics of recent century have been technological developments and elatedly rapid urbanization. The wave of urbanisation that is sweeping across the country represents one of the greatest opportunities as well as one of its most serious challenges. This fact has led to many problems like congestion, environmental issues.

The congestion of the city area within the walls along the 19th century and the economic and social crisis of historic centres during most of the 20th century led to their deterioration. Built heritage looked upon exclusively as landmarks of historical value, have been preserved, conserved, restored and renovated over the years, specially because of their cultural value. Historic preservation has been seen for a long time as a field completely separated from Architecture, urban planning and the economic development of a city.

An effort has been made to describe an integrated approach, of preservation and urban design to enhance eminence of the historic city centre. As we integrate traditional architecture in the contemporary context we need to find ways and means to integrate preserved old buildings to act and function on a day to day basis this will be explained through the case studies.

After this study it is seen that the integrated approach including both preservation and urban design could create an urban character that would attract people to use these urban spaces for varying activities throughout the day and also beneficial for economic generation.

Prof Seemantini Soraganvi 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