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.

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6th International Urban Design Conference

The 6th International Urban Design Conference will be held at the Novotel Sydney Olympic Park from Monday the 9th to Wednesday 11th September 2013.

The conference “UrbanAgiNation” urbanisation | agitation | imagination will examine the Livability, Productivity, Affordability and Efficiency of our Cities.

The conference takes it’s theme from the Australian Governments 2011/12 Budget Papers where it stated;

“Three-quarters of Australians live in our 18 major cities (that have populations over 100, 000). While Australians are fortunate to enjoy some of the most liveable cities in the world, our cities face a number of long term challenges: the need to improve productivity growth; provide affordable and accessible housing; create safe community spaces; meet the needs of a growing and ageing population; ensure an inclusive and cohesive society; and address the implications of climate change. The way our cities develop to accommodate future growth and change will be critical to maintaining their status as some of the best cities in the world”.

“Liveable cities offer a high quality of life and support the health and wellbeing of people who live and work in them.

Liveable cities are equitable, socially inclusive, affordable, accessible, healthy, safe and resilient. They have attractive built and natural environments and provide a diversity of choices and opportunities for people to live their lives, share friendships, and raise their families to their fullest potential.”

“How efficiently our cities connect people, knowledge, businesses and markets—and how effectively our economic and human capital is utilised—directly impact on the economic performance of our urban and regional environments and their ability to contribute to national productivity growth.”

“Households should have affordable options for where they live and work, how they travel and access services and facilities, and for leisure opportunities.”

 “Our cities and the social and economic infrastructure and services that support them should be planned and managed to maximise their efficient use.”

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Urban Density – Is this where we are heading……

Could you live in this futuristic, ultra-tiny apartment?

By Annalee Newitz | io9 |Dec 11, 2012 1:28 PM

Instead of creating taller buildings to cope with skyrocketing urban populations, city planners are proposing tiny “micro-apartments” of just a few hundred square feet. A measure in San Francisco proposes to create hundreds of these apartments, which could increase the population in some neighborhoods by 35 percent. A similar measure would allow micro-apartments in New York City, too.

Above, you can see a proposal from Panoramic Interests for the San Francisco models, which are 220 square feet. They can be built for one or two people, and feature a foldaway bed that turns into a dining table.

For the full story – Click Here

Urban Design Australia Conference – Video Archive Now Open

The Urban Design Australia website now has over 90 video presentations from the 2011/12 conference programs.

You will see the full list of speakers and topics here.

You can also watch the full presentation of Alexandros Washburn, Director of Urban Design, Department of City Planning, New York City from this year’s conference.

Twelve month subscriptions are available to the full archive for $99 for delegates who have attended since 2007 and $199 for people who have not attended the conference.

If you would like more information on how to subscribe please contact  Rob Bass on Email:

The 6th International Urban Design Conference, Novotel Sydney Olympic Park, Monday the 9th to Wednesday 11th of September 2013

Infostructure Is the New Infrastructure

By Walter Russell Read in the Wall Street Journal
Among advocates of big government and Keynesian countercyclical stimulus, one subject keeps coming up: infrastructure. They’re always arguing the short- and long-term benefits of building new highways, bridges, tunnels, urban light-rail systems, or, the Holy Grail itself, a national high-speed rail network.

After all, proponents point out, Republican President Dwight Eisenhower’s support for the interstate highway system helped drive two generations of American growth. And scandal-ridden though they were, federal subsidies greatly accelerated the development of transcontinental rail lines in the 19th century.

Read the full article here