Keynote Speaker Announcement: Mr Chris Johnson AM, CEO, Urban Taskforce Australia on Apartment Living Driving Co-operative Consumption

Chris JohnsonWe are pleased to announce Mr Chris Johnson AM, CEO, Urban Taskforce Australia, as a Keynote Speaker at The 9th International Urban Design Conference; Smart Cities for 21st Century Australia – How urban design innovation can change our cities to be held at Hyatt Canberra from 7th-8th November 2016 with optional tours on Wednesday 9th November.

Chris Johnson will be speaking on; ‘Apartment living will drive co-operative consumption in Australian cities’

The growth rate of Australian cities can only be met by a cultural shift to a co-operative consumption philosophy where people live in smaller places (mainly apartments) but share amenities and urban spaces.

But the public domain will increasingly be delivered by the private sector as scarce government funds go to the health system for an ageing society. This will require innovative governance and private public partnership approaches to the urban design of cities.

Chris Johnson is the CEO of Urban Taskforce Australia, an organisation that represents the property industry. In this role Chris has produced research papers on the structure of local government in NSW and publications on the future of our cities.

Chris has worked closely with local government as Executive Director in the NSW Department of Planning in developing the Housing Code, plans for regional cities and urban renewal generally.

Before this he was NSW Government Architect for 10 years, a member of the Central Sydney Planning Committee, the Heritage Council of NSW and many government committees. Chris has written or edited over a dozen books on urban planning, architecture and cities. He has been adjunct professor at 3 Sydney universities and was made a Member of the Order of Australia in 2012.

The 9th International Urban Design Conference; Smart Cities for 21st Century Australia – How urban design innovation can change our cities  will be held at Hyatt Canberra from 7th-8th November 2016 with optional tours available on Wednesday 9th November.

Registrations are now open. CLICK HERE to register for the Conference. Early bird closes 26th September 2016 so be quick to receive a discounted rate.

This years’ theme, will focus on an understanding of what makes a city ‘smart’ from a urban design perspective and how the built environment develops during the city planning process.

Authors or organisations interested in presenting at the 9th International Urban Design Conference are invited to submit an abstract. To submit an abstract CLICK HERE. Abstracts close 25th July 2016.

Melbourne-Manhattan: Rhetoric and Response

In 2012 the Victorian Planning Minister announced a “bold new vision for Melbourne’s central business district”, proposing a considerable expansion to the capital city zone and inviting public debate around the nature of urban growth in Melbourne.

The plan intended to alleviate pressure in existing suburbs by concentrating intensive development within the new city footprint, maintaining the liveability of established residential areas while providing new opportunities for Melbourne to be a world-class city. Beyond a basic map delineating the extent of the new zone, very little visual material accompanied the announcement and few details provided about what it would achieve. The ‘vision’ was propagandised in mainstream media; the rhetoric was alarmist.

Under the plan, development controls would be “abolished” resulting in “wall-to-wall skyscrapers” and a “Manhattan-style metropolis five times its present size”. A shallow and reactionary dialogue ensued, largely criticising the present city’s failings and the government’s motivations for the zoning change. There was a notable lack of debate about the future of Melbourne.

The 6th International Urban Design Conference welcomes Mr Tom Morgan of MADA, Monash University who will present this paper at the event running from 9th to 11 September at the Novotel Sydney Olympic Park.  Tom will speculate on the potential realisation of the Melbourne-Manhattan provocation and examine the kinds of density, amenity, services and infrastructure that could be delivered and how it might alter the built form and quality of the city.

Importantly, it questions what it would mean for the broader metropolitan area should a Melbourne-Manhattan come about. Through a design-led research process, the authors reveal alternative urban conditions that challenge conventional strategies for delivering sustainable urban growth through poly-centric activity areas, linear transport corridors and urban fringe expansion. The speculative scenarios ‘unpack’ the rhetoric of the Minister’s announcement and subsequent media reports as a way of examining notions of quality and liveability in contemporary cities.

Finally, the research asks, what could instigate a more ingenuous public debate about these complex urban issues?

You may register to attend Tom Morgan’s seminar or any other of the sessions being delivered under the conference theme of “UrbanAgiNation”.  Simply click here to register your attendance.  The full program can be viewed here.