Day one of the 6th International Urban Design Conference went exceptionally well here at the Novotel Sydney Olympic Park! Thank you speakers, sponsors and delegates for making it a superb event so far! Today is shaping up to be another exciting and busy day!!
In the not too distant future Australian cities will exist as material evidence of the massive and at times, catastrophic re-birthing of the capital which currently underpins our economies. There is an increasing sense that those that control the capitalisation of energy, food and land will give way to those that control the capitalisation of technology, infrastructure and knowledge.
Accordingly, power will attempt to shift to ‘the local’ as domestic energy security, amongst others, becomes a reality. With this we will also see a de-coupling of local communities from the foundational grid of the industrial economy to become truly post-industrial. While this shift will bring many benefits, it also brings with it many challenges which will materialise nowhere more potently than in our cities.
We must innovate the economy (the cycle of production, distribution and consumption) to be dependent on this new hierarchy of emerging capital and in so doing ensure that the city exists as material evidence of this innovation, a task which by its very nature is spatial.
Grounded in the body of knowledge that constitutes ‘spatial political economy’ we must employ local ‘spatial investment and development programs’ to enable the re-production and re-accumulation of value in a way that prioritises the health of our planet and our society, and gives greater legitimacy to the intervention of local government in the generation of wealth.
Dr Ingo Kumic Knox City Council
The 6th International Urban Design Conference will be held at the Novotel Sydney Olympic Park from Monday the 9th to Wednesday 11th of September 2013.
The conference “UrbanAgiNation” urbanisation | agitation | imagination will examine the Liveability, Productivity, Affordability and Efficiency of our Cities.
“No elected official or planning professional should miss this book. Birch and Wachter have collected essays spanning every dimension of rebuilding. From historical lessons to cutting-edge practices, there is so much to learn.”—Brent Warr, Mayor, City of Gulfport, Mississippi
“A remarkable collection of essays.”—Journal of the American Planning Association
“Disasters—natural ones, such as hurricanes, floods, or earthquakes, and unnatural ones such as terrorist attacks—are part of the American experience in the twenty-first century. The challenges of preparing for these events, withstanding their impact, and rebuilding communities afterward require strategic responses from different levels of government in partnership with the private sector and in accordance with the public will.
Disasters have a disproportionate effect on urban places. Dense by definition, cities and their environs suffer great damage to their complex, interdependent social, environmental, and economic systems. Social and medical services collapse. Long-standing problems in educational access and quality become especially acute. Local economies cease to function. Cultural resources disappear. The plight of New Orleans and several smaller Gulf Coast cities exemplifies this phenomenon.
This volume examines the rebuilding of cities and their environs after a disaster and focuses on four major issues: making cities less vulnerable to disaster, re-establishing economic viability, responding to the permanent needs of the displaced, and recreating a sense of place.
Success in these areas requires that priorities be set cooperatively, and this goal poses significant challenges for rebuilding efforts in a democratic, market-based society. Who sets priorities and how? Can participatory decision-making be organized under conditions requiring focused, strategic choices? How do issues of race and class intersect with these priorities? Should the purpose of rebuilding be restoration or reformation?
Contributors address these and other questions related to environmental conditions, economic imperatives, social welfare concerns, and issues of planning and design in light of the lessons to be drawn from Hurricane Katrina.
Eugenie L. Birch is Professor and Chair of the Department of City and Regional Planning at the University of Pennsylvania School of Design. Susan Wachter is Richard B. Worley Professor of Financial Management and Professor of Real Estate and Finance at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Together, they direct the Penn Institute for Urban Research.
The article was wriiten by Peter Newman, who is the Professor of Sustainability at Curtin University and is on the Board of Infrastructure Australia that is funding infrastructure for the long term sustainability of Australian cities. He has recently returned from a North American tour promoting his two new books Resilient Cities: Responding to Peak Oil and Climate Change and Green Urbanism Down Under, both written with Tim Beatley.
“The need for a federal response to sustainability has been growing and should a be critical part of the Gillard Government’s new term. The bipartisan House of Representatives Environment Committee wrote an exceptional report in 2005 called Sustainable Cities.1 It had a series of very good strategies and policy suggestions – most of which have not been implemented”
See more on More Than Luck: Ideas Australia Needs Now.