Ten Steps to Better Sports Investment

Across the world, governments and sports fans continue to be enamoured of huge sporting events and the ambitious new infrastructure that goes with them. We all understand the health and wellbeing benefits and the value to local economies. But without careful planning they can equally become dead places, or end up a drain on public funds.

Matt Lally 

Taking a global perspective I’ve arrived at ten rules for creating vibrant sporting destinations that have real long-term value:

1. Think beyond the finish line. The Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park was planned to provide a huge variety of on-going uses in its post-Games phase. It’s now a much-loved leisure destination for Londoners, bordered by a new neighbourhood that was originally the Olympic Village. Athens 2004, by contrast, demonstrates how not to do it.

2. Take the wider view. A successful venue must connect to the world beyond its doors or gates. That’s why the 2012 Games in London included regeneration plans for much of East London’s surrounding waterways and parkland.

3. Sustainability in each mode of operation. Set clear achievable targets for energy, waste, materials, water and mobility, from base-build, through event and legacy modes. These will safeguard long-term operational costs, while doing the right thing by the environment.

4. Not just sport. Enduring footfall relies on local enthusiasm. In its first year of operation the Singapore Sports Hub, with its mix of sports, entertainment, office, retail and community uses set in parkland, attracted more than one million people on non-sporting-event days.

5. Embedded urbanism. Be a valued neighbour. The Emirates Stadium precinct in London, squeezed into an unforgivingly tight site, has managed to incorporate mixed-tenure housing (including more than 1,000 affordable homes) helping its bottom line while meeting community need.

6. Partnership in delivery. Public and community bodies need to work with private ones. After London’s 2011 riots all key stakeholders came together to find more inclusive ways to use public space. Coinciding with local Tottenham FC’s redevelopment plans, the result is a proposed enlarged stadium that integrates with the surrounding area, creating new, more engaging public spaces.

7. Focus on the ‘Last Mile’. Get the first and last leg of the journey wrong and a facility might be doomed. Ensure good public transport connections, pedestrian ease, wayfinding and accessibility.

8. Beyond the front door. Facilities need to embed attractively and intuitively into their immediate surroundings, with a focus on the quality of public spaces.

9. Build a broad business case. A venue should have breadth of commercial audience and purpose all year round, from sport to music, art to business.

10. Think local. The Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NYC, has embraced local food and drink vendors, building a reputation for supporting neighbourhood artisans and entrepreneurs, rather than relying on the usual giants like KFC and McDonalds.

Taken together these rules provide an approach that ensures the whole community, from sports fans to local businesses, contractors to local government gains long-term benefits from sporting infrastructure investment, socially as well as financially.

This article was supplied by Matt Lally, Associate Principal of Integrated Design + Planning for Arup.

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7 Major Projects Shaping Brisbane As Australia’s New World City

Brisbane; it’s Queensland’s metropolitan jewel and has hopes of soon stepping onto the international stage as Australia’s next ‘world city’.

There are a number of development projects announced or underway in Brisbane that are projected to be up and running by 2022, each bringing its own unique quality to the city.

  1. Queen’s Wharf

Queen’s Wharf Brisbane is set to attract new visitors and investment as it reconnects the activity of Brisbane’s defining parts of the city like the Botanic Gardens, the Queen Street Mall, the Cultural Precinct, South Bank, the Parliamentary Precinct and the Brisbane River.

Queen’s Wharf will include:

  • Five new hotels– including premium brands like the Ritz-Carlton
  • Three residential towers
  • A new department store
  • About 50 food and beverage outlets
  • A riverfront moonlight cinema
  • A Queensland Hotel and Hospitality School in partnership with TAFE Queensland.

The development is expected to deliver $1.69 billion annual increase in tourism and 1.39 million additional tourists per annum, along with $4 billion to the Gross State Product.

  1. Northshore Hamilton

Owned by Economic Development Queensland (EDQ), Northshore Hamilton is Brisbane’s largest urban renewal precinct, spanning 304 hectares and will have an important role to play in helping the city position itself for the future.

In the next 20 years, Northshore’s primarily industrial area will be transformed into a $5 billion vibrant riverside precinct over the next 20 years. It will cater for 15,000 residents and become an employment hub for about 15,000 workers in retail precincts and office parks.

  1. Brisbane Airport Redevelopment

Brisbane Airport Australia is currently on the way to delivering the country’s best runway system with the $3.8 billion New Parallel Runway Project (NPR) for Brisbane Airport. While the airport has about 100 other projects in the works for the next 10 years, this NPR is considered the biggest aviation project in Australia.

  1. Howard Smith Wharves 

The Howard Smith Wharves project covers a 3.43 hectare riverside precinct that will connect the New Farm Riverwalk and the CBD and revitalise Petrie Bight

The Howard Smith Wharves project’s key features include:

  • A dining, retail and tourism centre utilising the existing heritage-listed buildings
  • New public open spaces that may be used for markets and festivals
  • A 64-room, five-star Art Series boutique hotel
  • A hotel facade that blends into the cliff face with natural tones and textures to keep the iconic Story Bridge as the main focus
  • Underground carpark for about 350 vehicles
  • A 1500sqm exhibition space.
  1. Brisbane Quarter

Located at 300 George Street and developed by Taiwan’s Shayher Group, Brisbane Quarter is the city’s first integrated, world-class mixed use precinct.

Brisbane Quarter encompasses a complete city block with Brisbane River views and will include Australia’s first purpose-built W Hotel, two levels of riverside dinning and luxury retail shopping beneath a 40 storey Prime Grade office tower, as well as an 82 storey luxury residential apartment building.

  1. Brisbane Metro

While still in its early stages, the Brisbane Metro Subway system was a commitment by Brisbane City council to provide a reliable high-frequency transport system that will reduce CBD bus congestion, cut travel times and allow for the redirection of buses to improve services in the suburbs.

  1. Brisbane Live

Brisbane Live is Australia’s response to New York’s Madison Square Garden in New York City, as a 17,000 seat world class arena which will showcase international superstar concerts and performances as well as world sporting events.

Brisbane Live’s masterplan image

The complex will be built above Roma street rail lines and would make use of public transport facilities making it accessible to everyone in Brisbane.

Read more.

 

How Urban Design Needs to Adapt to Rising Temperatures

urban design climate-changeRising temperatures from climate change pose numerous challenges to cities, including coastal flooding, rising sea levels, and droughts. But a new report by the Design for Risk and Reconstruction Committee (DfRR) of the American Institute of Architects New York addresses an often overlooked, but seemingly obvious issue head-on: the danger of higher and higher temperatures.

Extreme Heat suggests that cities, and the way we build and design them, needs to adapt and evolve to deal with the coming temperature changes associated with climate shifts. While urban density can be a boon for some environmental issues, since density reduces transport costs, it can multiply the effects of extreme heat, as the 1995 Chicago Heat Wave demonstrated. Cities need to adopt multifaceted solutions to provide heat relief and make sure that poorer, underserved communities don’t bear the brunt of negative effects. That, in turn, means architects and urban planners need to be just as aware and active.

As the report states: Expanded awareness of acute heat stroke and heat- exacerbated chronic disorders is no longer the exclusive province of medical personnel, but a matter for design, engineering, and planning professionals to consider in their creation of healthy, sustainable communities.

Drawn from the result of a summit held in New York City last fall, the Extreme Heat examines how the heat island effect and other issues may impact the abilities of cities and their citizens to adapt to rising temperatures, and resulting health issues.

A number of existing solutions can help combat these steadily rising temperatures, including greening and urban reforestation, transit-oriented development policies that encourage densification without adding cars, and covering heat-absorbing infrastructure with photovoltaics to generate renewable power while reducing heat concentration.  The report recommends designers, as well as those writing building codes, promote heat mitigation technology, and even invest in waste heat recovery systems that can turn excess heat into an asset. While there isn’t one solution to the issue, climate challenges suggests urban heat management needs to become part of the great conservation conversation. 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.

Paris is leading the world in progressive urbanism – here’s how

paris urbanismAt a time when cities are under pressure from growing populations, global warming and worsening inequality, we need to be making the most of our urban spaces. In the face of these challenges, Paris is leading the way toward a more transparent, democratic form of urbanism, to keep the city growing in a fair and sustainable way.

Last year, under the direction of mayor Anne Hidalgo, the city opened up 5% of its annual budget – worth €20m – to popular vote. Parisians were invited to select architectural and urban projects, to be funded by City Hall. The winning projects included public arts installations, co-working spaces, new pedestrian spaces, community gardens and vertical farms.

But local authorities across the world are facing tight budgets and decreased funding from central governments, which is limiting their capacity to improve our cities. So for now, the scope for publicly funded urban regeneration projects is limited.

An alternative solution is to lend or sell publicly-owned land and buildings to private investors, who have the capital to fund major urban developments and upgrade infrastructure. Yet privately-led regeneration comes with its own problems: private developers seek returns on these new developments, which means they often fail to address local needs and accelerate gentrification.

Yet it seems Paris has found a way to navigate this process in a more transparent and engaging way. In 2014, Mayor Hidalgo launched Reinventing Paris – an international competition inviting proposals for “innovative urban projects” to redevelop 23 sites across the French capital. Selected areas included old public baths, abandoned electricity substations, parking lots, disused hotels, empty plots of land and industrial brownfields.

Earlier this year, the 23 winning projects were announced. These are currently undergoing a final round of review and – pending final approval – construction should start in 2017.

For the competition, the City Hall relaxed its planning rules to encourage participation from smaller organisations, which are less familiar with the intricacies of Paris’ rigid planning system. In the first two stages, the only constraint for proposals was that an architect needed to be involved. 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.

Have you considered submitting an Abstract for the 8th International Urban Design Conference?

The 8th International Urban Design Conference will be held at the Sofitel Brisbane from Monday 16 November to Wednesday 18 November 2015 and This years’ theme titled Empowering Change: Transformative Innovations and Projects will focus on inspirational changes in urban environments.

If you are working in and/or a researcher in urban design, you may want to consider submitting an Abstract to present at the Conference. The Call for Abstracts will be closing 7 August and you are invited to submit an abstract of no more than 300 words.

All proposals will be reviewed by the program committee. Presentations will be selected to provide a program that offers a comprehensive and diverse treatment of issues related to the conference theme. Authors will be notified by e-mail of the outcome of their abstract submission.

Note: If you wish to submit an abstract for consideration, you must also intend to register for the conference.  A discount full registration is offered to all presenters.

Conference Topics

  • 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

For more information and/or to submit your Abstract click here and you will be directed to our website.