Are Promises Kept ? Verification and Validation

Various large and small developments happen in our cities every day to build a better liveable and smarter space for us. The current process of using a contract or deed and a contractor to deliver the development could be further improved. It is vastly expensive or impossible to rectify, after the development completion, when the development failed to deliver the benefits.  There needs to have certainty in the achievement of the desired outcomes in urban design or smart city projects.

Richard Lau

A process of consistently verifying the requirements and validating the products (results) during the project would enhance the probability of achieving the results that the project is proposed to achieve. This verification approach has been applied in major infrastructure projects and could also apply to smaller scale local developments or any precinct-wide urban projects.

Independent Verification and Validation (IV&V) means that a completely independent entity reviews/evaluates the work products generated by the team that is designing and/or executing  a given project. The IV&V provider will often monitor and evaluate every aspect of the project itself from inception to completion. It is far easier and more cost effective to correct problems that are identified earlier rather than later in the project.

Looking at a project in progress from the perspective of an outsider, and not allowing oneself to be engulfed in details or assumptions, enables the independent reviewer to recognise warning signs and impending problems while they can still be mitigated or corrected.

The primary value of IV&V is in identifying high-risk areas early in the project which allows the organization to either mitigate risks or prepare contingencies.  Project implementation should be a partnership between the organization and the IV&V team, where the IV&V team provides tangible measurement and alternatives and helps identify issues which may not be immediately visible.  Independent verification and validation is a time-tested methodology that should be carefully considered as a relatively low-cost insurance policy at the outset of projects, in particular public ones.

This article was kindly provided by Richard Lau, Arcadis Australia Pacific Pty Ltd.

Richard presented an abstract entitled ‘Are Promises Kept ? Verification and Validation’  for the 2016 International Urban Design Conference.


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

Continue reading the entire article here.

Mr Anthony Venturni, Managing Director at Arcadis to join us.

Mr Anthony Venturni, Managing Director- Buildings and Urban Development at Arcadis Victoria joins us at the upcoming 9th International Urban Design Conference in Canberra and will present on the topic of Unlocking the full potential of your city’s transit-hubs’.

Mr Anthony Venturni
Mr Anthony Venturni

Our Mobile Future: Delivering City Value & Prosperity Through Mobility Orientated Developments (MODe).

MODe allows us to have a much better vision of what our cities can be, and how we can unlock the potential of transit-hubs to improve lives. Transit-hubs are no longer simply places where travellers arrive or depart, increasingly they are destinations in themselves. As a result they can positively impact the surrounding area both economically and socially. Using a unique, new approach Arcadis has benchmarked the performance of a selection of the world’s leading transportation-related developments in our latest report.

Join us at the upcoming 9th International Urban Design Conference will be held at Hyatt Canberra from Monday 7 November to Wednesday 9 November 2016. For more information on the conference and to secure your spot please visit the Conference Website.

How To Save Chicago

Chicago Tribune Jan 12 2014, 11:19 PM

A police officer stands beneath a beam of light projected into the sky at the 10th Annual Chicago Police Memorial Foundation’s Candlelight Vigil in Chicago, Illinois, September 17, 2013.
A police officer stands beneath a beam of light projected into the sky at the 10th Annual Chicago Police Memorial Foundation’s Candlelight Vigil in Chicago, Illinois, September 17, 2013.

Imagine city leaders surveying Chicago after the Great Fire of 1871, a landscape of ash and ruin. Their task, as daunting as it must have been exhilarating: Build the city again, from the husk of what was. Build it better. 30-eight years later, famed civic architect Daniel Burnham offered his Plan of Chicago, a blueprint for building this city into a dominant economic and cultural force on the national and world stage. Mission accomplished. Today Chicago’s muscular skyline and robust neighborhoods draw tourists from around the world.

But not far from these enclaves of affluence are neighborhoods poisoned by foreclosed homes, boarded-up businesses and empty lots, all of which spur an exodus of people. That poison spreads, imperiling healthier communities.

In October the Tribune launched a series of editorials to draft a new Plan of Chicago, encouraging solutions for education failures, joblessness, crime and other intertwined challenges that endanger the city’s livability and future. We asked readers for their proposals to solve these problems. And they delivered.

In more than 700 proposals, readers embraced Burnham’s admonition to “Make no little plans.” On Dec. 15 we presented proposals for improving the prospects of Chicago’s children. Today, we focus on the land, how the city and its people can better use vast swaths of Chicago’s 231 square miles, reviving neighborhoods and fueling growth.

Several readers urged the city to live up to its official motto, “Urbs in Horto” — “City in a Garden.” The idea: A campaign spearheaded by foundations, businesses and City Hall to convert polluted brownfields and other vacant lots into urban gardens that would not only provide communities in food deserts with fresh produce but also generate jobs and cash. Restaurateurs gladly would buy locally grown herbs. And why stop at crops? Urban farmers can raise fish. Or bees.

The benefits of creating farms and gardens extend beyond those neighborhoods. A 2005 Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs study showed that every dollar the state spent on cleaning up brownfields yielded $US16 in private, local and federal investment.

So City Hall, foundation leaders … what are you waiting for?

Ask any Chicagoan about the city’s most pernicious problems and you’ll hear about crime. Dangerous streets. Parks that devolve into shooting galleries.

Employers flee danger zones, accelerating a neighbourhood’s collapse. How to encourage those businesses to open and stay put? One reader suggested that the city offer tax incentives and training to businesses that agree to mentor a business owner in economically struggling, high-unemployment areas. The mentors would focus on helping businesses that attract people and more development: bakeries, clothing stores, cafes, day care centres, shoe repair shops. In return, the business owner who is mentored would agree to hire people in the community. Sounds like a great idea to us.

Another strong proposal: Create designated commercial strips and parks as “refuges.” These would get 24/7 security so people would feel safe in them at any time. That would ease parents’ anxieties and strengthen neighborhoods.

An exodus of city manufacturing jobs and population has left some neighborhoods ravaged by abandoned factories and warehouses. Demolishing them is expensive and leaves … empty lots. Readers have a raft of innovative suggestions for vacant and underused structures: Convert some into temporary dorm-style residences for homeless and working-class families. Repurpose other long-vacant buildings as centres for day care and job training, or places for small-business startups to root and grow.

Think big, then bigger: Designate and nurture a new Motor Row of vehicle and service outlets. Create a string of indoor hydroponic plant farms, financed by TIF funds, establishing Chicago as a leader in the industry. Cluster enterprise zones around sewage treatment plants for industries that need vast amounts of water but not potable water. Chicago, perched on Lake Michigan, is also a perfect place for a global fresh water research center, drawing on the talents and assets of companies, institutions and universities.

Public schools anchor many communities. For years, however, Chicago Public Schools mismanaged its portfolio, keeping half-empty buildings open to avoid political blowback. No more. Last year, CPS closed almost 50 schools. If no one will repurpose or replace them with commercial or other private investments, many could be reborn as training, athletic or elder day care facilities.

Several proposals echo an idea suggested by Education Secretary Arne Duncan when he headed CPS in 2008: Create public boarding schools where children from troubled homes would eat, sleep and study in a stable setting. Such schools already exist in Washington, D.C. They’re successful, though costly to run.

Still, CPS loses millions of dollars in aid based on attendance when kids don’t go to school. Ultimately, children pay the price of their parents’ neglect. So do their neighborhoods — the entire city — as families flee to suburbia. But that flight isn’t a foregone conclusion. We’ve seen how one business on one troubled block can make a difference. The same way that one cop can. Or one teacher.

Chicago’s current land and structures aren’t fixed and immutable. They must evolve so the city can thrive as a 21st-century colossus. Chicagoans have plenty of terrific ideas to rebuild Chicago, block by block. What they lack is the money, and the clout, to begin reviving their city…

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Jamie Hosking: Build up, not out to become world’s most liveable city

nzheraldJamie Hosking  |  5:30 AM Wednesday May 22, 2013

Urban intensification is the elephant in the room when it comes to affordable housing.

Former Reserve Bank governor Don Brash recently called for the opposite of intensification: relaxation of the metropolitan urban limits. The accord between Auckland Council and central government includes plans for more greenfields development on the edge of town. And the Budget suggested that if councils do not free up greenfields land for development, central government will over-ride them.

Much of this is being done in the name of affordable housing. Yet the main solution to the spiralling cost of land is staring policymakers in the face: intensification. Because it’s not the cost of building houses that is driving affordability woes, it’s the cost of land.

Intensification means “building up” rather than “building out”: density instead of urban sprawl. Crucially, it requires no new land. Building two storeys instead of one doubles housing capacity and uses no additional land. The cost of land is divided by the number of storeys.

“Building up” can’t deliver quarter acre sections. But it can deliver something much more important: liveability…

To read the full story, click here