Queensland Government Plans First Inner-City Brisbane School In Decades

Two new schools will open in the inner-city in Brisbane and another significantly expanded as the Palaszczuk Government committed $500 million to the Building Future Schools Fund.

The fund’s purposes centres around building new schools, securing land in Queensland’s fastest growing regions and creating the necessary jobs to accomplish the projects in place.

Image: A ‘vertical school’ in Melbourne – the emerging concept throughout Australia to deliver more educational institutions without requiring vast amounts of land. Courtesy Hayball.

“We will build the first new high school in inner Brisbane since 1963,” Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said.

“We want every child to benefit from a quality education no matter where they live. That’s why we are investing $500 million over five years to help deliver world class education facilities where they are needed most,” she said.

Ms Palaszczuk said through the Fund, the Advancing Inner City Schools initiative will:

  • deliver a new state secondary school at the former Fortitude Valley State School site in partnership with Queensland University of Technology
  • establish a new high school in the inner-south working with the University of Queensland to take enrolment pressure off Brisbane State High School
  • support the expansion of West End State School to meet enrolment demand

The Palaszczuk Government also claimed to have plans already underway for new state high schools in other growth areas across Queensland including Mt Low in Townsville, North Lakes/Mango Hill north of Brisbane, Calliope near Gladstone and Yarrabilba in South Logan.

Deputy Premier, Minister for Infrastructure and Planning and Member for South Brisbane Jackie Trad said over the last 50 years, Brisbane used all available land to expand existing school sites, but she said you can only expand so much.

This article was originally published by The Urban Developer.

Click here to read the entire article.

Growing Food in Green Infrastructure

Green infrastructure has many purposes. Among them is food production, but do we use green infrastructure for this as much as we could?

Given proper management, there is plenty of scope to make better use of rooftops, walls and water sensitive urban design assets as sites for growing edible plants. These opportunities range in scale from modern twists on traditional home vegetable gardening to behemoth commercial operations.

Rooftops

A typical city rooftop is under-used. It is wasted space, wasted light and wasted rainwater, and an obvious site for urban gardening or farming. Rooftops can be used for food production in at least three ways:

1.   Commercial rooftop farms

Many commercial rooftop farms use soilless hydroponics systems. There are impressive examples internationally, in cities such as New York, Chicago, Montreal, Singapore, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Amsterdam and The Hague, and it seems to be only a matter of time before they flourish in cities such as Guangzhou. Commercial rooftop farms are yet to take off in Australia where, despite frequent discussion over the last decade, we still lack a practical understanding of what it takes to establish rooftop farms in Australian cities.

Photo: Pexels.com

2.   Rooftop community gardens

Community-style rooftop vegetable gardening has sprung up in many places, many of which feature a traditional type of container-based gardening, albeit at greater heights than most gardens. In a residential setting, a rooftop community garden is an opportunity for residents to connect with nature and to each other. In a commercial setting, it provides health and well-being benefits to staff, great marketing for the company, and direct benefits for the community if the produce is donated to charity. One of the key challenges in managing a rooftop community garden is keeping enthusiasm among the gardeners high, because their active participation is critical to success.

This article was originally published by Sourceable.net.

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Singapore to Provide Inspiration for Darwin Change After City Deal

Singapore will serve as the inspiration for Darwin’s transformation into a major international tropical city, as Chief Minister Michael Gunner leads a delegation to the Asian country this week.

Mr Gunner said the seven-person delegation would examine Singapore’s urban, green architecture and heat mitigation measures to incorporate into the Government’s $100 million Darwin CBD revitalisation plan.

Image: article provided

The trip follows the City Deal memorandum of understanding signed with the Federal Government this week.

“Singapore is a green oasis that thrives in a humid tropical climate and we can learn a lot from them about transforming Darwin, particularly in relation to using cutting-edge architecture, building vibrant centres and designing heat mitigation strategies,” Mr Gunner said.

“The delegation will meet with world-renowned architect Richard Hassell and connect with urban renewal project leaders with a view to use lessons learned in the Darwin CBD redevelopment.”

On Friday, the Sunday Territorian revealed the City Deal MOU signed with the Federal Government could see $100 million in federal funding ­invested in Darwin.

The PM’s Office said the deal would “help transform the Territory’s capital into a world-class tropical tourist and cultural destination”.

The City Deal requires all three levels of government to work together to develop priority reforms in investment and planning for the Darwin CBD.

This article was originally published by NTNews.com.au.

Continue reading the entire article here.

Smart Cities Plan offers signs of hope

urban smart citiesFor committed urbanists, any sign of serious urban policy action by the federal government is welcome. Early announcements by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and his appointment of a minister for cities were cause for some celebration.

The subsequent appointment of Angus Taylor as assistant minister for cities and digital transformation continued the positive outlook; a relatively new parliamentarian with a good track record of business development and an analytical disposition was entrusted to advance this policy agenda as reported by the Conversation.

April 29 marked the start of the next phase of policy development, when we got to see what a Smart Cities Plan looks like and whether it was worth the wait.

On first reading it contains all of the right words – smart, innovative, liveability and prosperity. It also advocated some sensible principles – collaboration, co-operation and partnership. But do these nice words and sensible principles add up to a real step change in urban policy thinking, or to a business-as-usual approach wrapped in the latest policy terminology?

At this stage we cannot be sure, but prospective partners in state and local government seem to have a fair degree of optimism about the plan.

Most sensible public bodies will profess their support, in principle, for any initiative that offers the prospect of new money to support development proposals in their area. They will commit, in principle, to working together for the common good in their locality. And, if necessary, they will rebadge their current plans to fit more easily with the rhetorical flavour of the new initiative.

The proof will, however, lie in the detail of partnership arrangements, in the implementation structures that are developed and in the way new money is allocated. Even more importantly, success will depend on whether the actual measures employed work in practice. 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.

 

How green infrastructure can easily be added to the urban planning toolkit

Green-Infrastructure-CEQ-ConferenceUrban planners are wary of green infrastructure, although they generally understand its benefits, as our recent Conversation article showed. But green infrastructure delivery can be achieved relatively simply through existing planning processes.

Green infrastructure refers to standalone and strategically networked environmental features designed for environmental, social and economic benefits. Examples include permeable surfaces, green walls, green roofs and street trees as reported by the Conversation.

Benefits of green infrastructure include reduced urban heat, lower building energy demand and improved storm-water management. There may be drawbacks, but these can often be mitigated through good design. Issues include maintenance costs, tree roots, bushfire hazard and power-line interference.

Urban planners are increasingly asked to create and deliver urban greening strategies. So how does green infrastructure delivery fit within the capabilities and remit of planning?

Existing planning processes, common throughout the world, can accommodate green infrastructure provision relatively easily.

Some of the many examples of successful demonstration are noted here. Many initiatives, ideas and practices are internationally transferable because of similarities in the constitution and function of planning systems.

So why aren’t we seeing more green infrastructure generally? Partly it is because planners are wary of new technologies and disruption to embedded practices. With this in mind, might the biggest challenge for planners be psychological rather than professional? To read more at the Conversation 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.

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