Early Bird Registration Closing September 26!

The upcoming 9th International Urban Design Conference will be held at Hyatt Canberra from Monday 7 November to Wednesday 9 November 2016. With presenters from 7 countries including Australia, China, Denmark, Hong Kong, New Zealand, United Kingdom and the United States, this is an industry event not to be missed!

The conference program includes 9 keynote presenters, 80 stream and forum presenters, an Expert Panel discussion, along with two optional walking tours. Early Bird registration for the Conference will close Monday 26 September 2016; registration by this date will secure you a $100 discount.

Register for the 9th International Urban Design Conference HERE

2016 Program Topics:

  • How to make a city smart?
  • Sustainability in a smart city
  • Urban design innovation for smart cities
  • City Infrastructure
  • Urban design opportunities in high density living areas
  • Mixing up residential and commercial uses in inner cities
  • Population change and livability
  • Housing affordability
  • Financing city development
  • What future for car dependent cities like Canberra?
  • Politics and city form: lessons learnt from the City of Canberra, and other Australian cities

For more information on the 9th International Urban Design Conference please visit the Conference Website.

Will Canberra become the electric vehicle capital of Australia?

electric cars in canberraMake no mistake, Australia is in the grips of a long love affair with cars. According to ABS data, we collectively own 13.5 million of them, and we purchase over 1.1 million every year. With the possible exception of the US, cars are an entrenched part of life like no other place on earth. And nowhere perhaps is this reliance on cars more apparent than right here in Canberra – with our city even being referred to on occasion as “a car city” as discussed by Dr Evan Franklin, Senior Lecturer and Research Fellow at the ANU Research School of Engineering, with research focus on renewable energy and battery storage, and their integration into the electricity system at The Age

The technology underpinning our love affair hasn’t really changed since we “started dating” some 100 years ago. We continue to rely on the internal combustion engine and the requisite network of oil refineries and filling stations to support our long-term, short- and long-distance relationships. Until now, that is.

Electric vehicles have been available commercially in Australia for some five or six years, chiefly via the traditional car producers Holden, Nissan and Mitsubishi. However, with ‘”sluggish” sales figures in Australia to date these EVs haven’t even managed to get into first gear yet. However, the steady rise of EVs globally is certainly underway, with four countries (the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and the US) and now boasting EV sales at greater than 1 per cent of all new car sales.

In Australia, the last couple of years has seen the technology starting to gain traction and popularity, at least “on paper” if not yet on the road. I think we owe much to Elon Musk’s Tesla Motors for this, for their game-changing marketing strategy as opposed to any particular game-changing technology break-through: they grabbed everyone’s attention with their finely turned out Model S, a “high-performance luxury automobile” by any standards first … and, “oh did we mention it has some batteries” second.

Tesla’s move has certainly put EVs on everyone’s radar, even if not exactly in everyone’s price-range, and has been swiftly followed by the Model 3 at a far more modest price-point. Meanwhile, the traditional vehicle manufacturers are becoming more active in the same space. The Nissan Leaf is the recognised forerunner, but lately the more high-end manufacturers (BMW, Audi, Mercedes, Porsche) have all announced that they are working on similarly eye-catching, performance EVs with broader market appeal. You can expect therefore to experience a lot more “EV envy” in the years ahead. To read more from Dr Evan Franklin click here.

The 9th International Urban Design Conference will be held in Melbourne in November. Registrations are now open, CLICK HERE to register for the Conference.

Authors or organisations interested in presenting at the 9th International Urban Design Conference are invited to submit a 300 word abstract. To submit an abstract CLICK HERE.

Move over suburbia, Green Square offers new norm for urban living

urban design australiaThe suburbs were the urban living format that defined Australian cities in the 20th century. Inevitably they’ve had their champions and detractors. Suburbia now has a new format in the medium-to-high-density residential spaces that are being rapidly built in previously industrialised areas.

This new urban ecology will bring with it new rhetorical possibilities for reverence, disgust, indifference and interest. The Green Square urban renewal area, which encompasses Zetland and Waterloo along with parts of Alexandria and Rosebery, is a paradigm in this sense. It is tipped to become the most densely populated area in Sydney by 2030.

The once-dominant industrial infrastructure of Green Square now has a less odorous, brighter and more glossy feel, which caters to a new demographic. The cultural history typical of the dominant mix of Anglo and European migrants in the Sydney suburbs of the 20th century is no longer the norm.

While English is still the most common language spoken at home, 45.7% of residents in Green Square and City South Village speak a language other than English at home. Chinese and “other Asian” languages make up 25.9% of this 45.7%.

The Federation cottage and its human equivalents are more likely to appear exotic in these contexts than the generically flashy apartment blocks with their red-brick simulacrum, coloured feature walls and laser-cut cladding.

Residents are unlikely to have a long history in the area. As a result, they lack the nearby family and neighbourly connections to care for children and animals.

The rapid increase in new housing has made heritage a matter of concern for the City of Sydney. It has released a comprehensive study of the area’s industrial heritage and proposed 62 new listings. The listings will have a lasting consequence not only for the history of the area but for its character as it continues to develop.

The majority are buildings that date back prior to 1970, with Harry Seidler’s Q Store on Bourke Road the most recent. Red brick buildings in Art Deco and Functionalist styles fare particularly well. These will now, in all likelihood, outlast many of the post-1970s warehouses and showrooms currently in use. To read more click here.

The 9th International Urban Design Conference will be held in Melbourne in November.  To express your interest in the 2016 Conference CLICK HERE.

Sustainability the new goal in home design


A competitive return on investment is drawing more buyers to energy efficient homes, writes Amelia Barnes.

The vast majority of Australian homes cannot be classed as sustainable. Often derivative of American or European architectural styles that aren’t designed for the country’s unique environment and context, Australian homes are historically poorly insulated and made from materials selected primarily to keep costs down.

While the term “sustainable” is often used in design without true consideration of its definition, this most accurately means “a home that meets the needs of present generations without compromising on future generations”. Using efficient energy and materials both in production and in operation, a sustainable home benefits its current residents as much as its future occupants. They seek to embrace their environment, use natural materials, and are constructed to encourage passive temperature control.

Unlike design trends that fade over time, a sustainable home carries fewer ongoing utility costs, most often due to the implementation of solar energy generation. Until recently, buyers have struggled to place a price tag on existing solar systems, but as more owners of sustainable homes report lower bills, Australians are increasingly seeking out these features.

Agent Meg Pell at Kay & Burton says solar power, rainwater tanks, spring-fed dams, fruit orchards and properties with a north-facing orientation all add value and appeal to listings.

“It is certainly true to say buyers are seeking a more hands-on, back-to-basics, cleaner air, smaller footprint lifestyle for themselves, their kids and grandkids,” Pell says.

Developers and architects are also responding to this change, with numerous companies and organisations solely dedicated to sustainable design.

25 Eastern Grey Rise, Flinders.

Tips for sustainable home design

  • Tell your builder of your commitment
  • Incorporate good passive solar design for natural heating in winter and cooling in summer
  • Orientate your home for north-facing windows to  bring sunlight into living spaces
  • Install double glazed windows
  • Install solar powered electricity and water systems where possible
  • Choose energy efficient appliances with a high star rating
  • Install a rainwater tank for gardening, toilet and laundry water use
  • Use recycled building materials where possible

View the full article here.


Early Bird Registration Closing Soon!

You are invited to The 8th International Urban Design Conference, held at the Sofitel Brisbane from Monday 16 November to Wednesday 18 November 2015.

Early Bird registration for the Conference will close Friday 2 October so make sure you have registered and paid by close of business 2 October 2015.

In 2014, this event sold out so you are encouraged to register at your earliest convenience to secure your seat.

This years’ theme titled Empowering Change: Transformative Innovations and Projects will focus on inspirational changes in urban environments.  To view the conference program click here.

This years’ Conference streams to include:

  • Building inclusive multicultural cities
  • Eco cities
  • Health & urban design
  • Higher density urbanism
  • Spatial / temporal changes in Chinese cities
  • Rapid urban development in South East Asia, China & India
  • Balancing the quick and slow formation of cities
  • Using technology to change how cities work
  • How will big data change the future of cities?
  • Urban Design Practice

To secure your discounted delegate rate before early bird registration closes, please visit the conference website here.

If you have any questions about the event, please do not hesitate to contact the Conference Secretariat on +61 (07) 5502 2068 or email conference@urbandesignaustralia.com.au