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                    [post_content] => [caption id="attachment_30682" align="aligncenter" width="687"] The Craft Your Park project engaged various community groups in the design.[/caption]

A project that engaged various community stakeholders in the design of a new park is among the public works that have been recognised for innovation and leadership. 

Design studio Spacelab was recognised by the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects ACT Chapter on Thursday for its ‘Craft your Park initiative in Finn Street, O’Connor for listening to the community and translating their feedback into the design.

“The design process involved an open dialogue, woven with local stories and histories from kindergarten children to landcare groups and the local community, where the design team were the ‘editors’ and the community the ‘authors’ of the new design,” the judges said.

The awards recognised 10 projects in landscape architecture in categories ranging from parks and play spaces to infrastructure and cultural heritage.

“There are a number of projects from this year’s awards program that demonstrate the community and environmental benefits that come from proper community engagement and consultation, planning for green infrastructure and involve landscape architects leading quality design projects at the early stages,” the institute’s ACT president Gay Williamson said.

Changing streetscapes

The award of excellence in civic landscape was jointly awarded to Jane Irwin Landscape Architecture, the National Capital Authority, Hill Thalis, SMEC and AECOM for the first stage of the transformation of Constitution Avenue. In this major public space enhancement project, Constitution Avenue has been transformed into a series of pedestrian friendly streetscapes changing in character from ceremonial to civic to urban to bushland, in response to surrounding landscapes.  [caption id="attachment_30679" align="alignnone" width="659"] Constitution Avenue now has a series of pedestrian friendly streetscapes.[/caption]

Parks and open spaces

A successful mix of landscape and utility to encourage community interaction in open space in Moncrieff East, a new suburban estate in north Canberra, was recognised in the award's parks and open space category. Redbox Design Group was recognised for leading the works on the multi-purpose community recreation park. [caption id="attachment_30684" align="alignnone" width="650"] Moncrieff East was recognised in the parks and open space category.[/caption]

Play spaces

Redbox Design Group was also recognised for its work on the Moncrieff Community Recreation Park, a space designed to meet the needs of the community by integrating a range of exercise, play and ball sport areas.  [caption id="attachment_30685" align="alignnone" width="655"] The community recreation park in Moncrieff integrates a range of areas.[/caption]
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[post_title] => Cutting-edge parks, open spaces celebrated [post_excerpt] => A project that engaged various community stakeholders in the design of a new park is among the public works that have been recognised for innovation and leadership. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => cutting-edge-parks-open-spaces-celebrated [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-06-12 10:54:45 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-06-12 00:54:45 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=30678 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [1] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 30661 [post_author] => 674 [post_date] => 2018-06-12 09:36:12 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-06-11 23:36:12 [post_content] => [caption id="attachment_30670" align="aligncenter" width="670"] The NSW Government has legislated for new regional collaboration among councils.[/caption] As an Australian-first model for collaboration between councils rolls out across NSW, the Office of Local Government CEO tells Government News the new network is flexible enough to meet regional priorities. The new organisations facilitating regional collaboration among councils are mandated by law to deliver just three functions, leaving them able to pursue a range of activities suited to their specific needs, according to Tim Hurst, acting chief executive of the Office of Local Government NSW. “The legislation only mandates three core functions – strategic planning and priority setting, intergovernmental collaborating and shared leadership and advocacy. [caption id="attachment_30664" align="alignright" width="179"] Tim Hurst[/caption] “In practice, they can undertake a huge range of activities, such as shared services, regional leadership, economic development – there are many other things that, through the pilots, we learned councils wanted to use these entities for,” says Mr Hurst. Last month, the NSW Government announced that 74 councils across the state had voluntarily signed up to the new network of 11 joint organisations, which will “strengthen collaboration” between state and local government on “important regional projects.” Since the government passed legislation establishing the network late last year, the Office of Local Government has been working with councils on the membership of organisations that best suits their needs. Mr Hurst says the model of joint organisations is something that’s been driven by the local government sector. He points to the 2013 local government review panel, which highlighted councils’ concern about existing methods for regional collaboration, and the evaluation of five regional pilots of joint organisations in 2015, which found 80 per cent of participants agreed led to better alignment of local, regional and state priorities. “So we knew they worked,” Mr Hurst says. “We then used the evaluation process to co-design a final form of the model, which had to be enabled through legislation.” Having been given the status of an entity under the Local Government Act, the joint organisations have all the powers and responsibilities of a council, but with the proviso they cannot exercise that authority without member councils first delegating it, Mr Hurst said.
“We’ve made them a very powerful entity under the act but we also made them fully under local government control."
Over 90 per cent of councils that were eligible to make a resolution to engage in a joint organisation did so, Mr Hurst points out.

More expected to join

When asked about the councils that had not chosen to join the new network, Mr Hurst says that some had “technical issues” with how they framed their resolutions. “The legislation was clear it had to be unambiguous they were making their own decision to join, what they were joining and who they were joining with, and in some cases if they didn’t do that correctly we couldn’t, under the legislation, put them into the joint organisation. “A few councils have had to fix their resolution and we’ll go back and proclaim them into their chosen joint organisation in a second round,” he said. In addition, Mr Hurst says there was a group of councils in the far west that were offered a different model with greater funding, and seven of eight of these local governments have agreed to these arrangements and will be proclaimed into two new joint organisations in July. “We expect that even more councils are going to be joining the existing network and the network will grow to encompass the far west of the state when we get to July.”

Implementation phase

Given the councils involved in the pilots are “much more advanced in their thinking and practice,” the OLG has a program in place to share those insight and experience with other councils that are new to the network, Mr Hurst said. “We have a process of helping the new joint organisations understand the capacity of the new model and what it can deliver to them,” he said. For now, there’s a list of “terribly practical processes” each joint organisation has to follow as it establishes itself, including electing a chairperson from its members, employing an executive officer, adopting a code of conduct, developing a charter and a statement of regional priorities, he says. “The first meeting is important,” Mr Hurst says. “Only one has had its first meeting so far – the Central NSW Joint Organisation, but we have one more happening tomorrow and two more on Wednesday next week.” The OLG has produced a guidance document that steers the organisations through their establishment phase, which it sees as being between now and 1 July. “Then the operational phase begins after 1 July when they have governance arrangements in place, they’ve had their first meeting and are able to start delivering some of their priorities,” he says.

Evaluation: deliver on infrastructure, service   

Asked how the joint organisations will be monitored, Mr Hurst says the OLG has a template for evaluating their success, which will measure “their ability to improve infrastructure and service delivery outcomes in their regional communities.”
“They’ll have similar reporting obligations to councils; they’ll prepare annual financial statements, they’ll be audited by the Auditor-General. But we’ll be specifically evaluating how in different regions they are taking advantage of the model to actually deliver better outcomes to communities at a regional level."
He says the joint organisations will likely be in operation for a year before the OLG begins evaluating their outcomes. “We’d be looking to do that probably in the second half of next year.” Mr Hurst confirms that the evaluation will involve “feeding back what we learn into improving practice across the whole network, right from the beginning.”

‘Not too late’

Given some councils are still in discussions about whether to engage with a joint organisation, Mr Hurst said that “it’s not too late” for a local government to participate in the network. “When we proclaim the additional joint organisations in the far west we can use that opportunity to add new councils.” He says the joint organisations network is a “good example of co-design that’s gone at its own pace and now, after a few years of patience and working with the sector, it’s delivering results.”
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[post_title] => Broad agenda for new joint organisations, says OLG chief [post_excerpt] => As an Australian-first model for collaboration between councils rolls out across NSW, the Office of Local Government chief executive tells Government News the new network is flexible enough to meet regional priorities. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => broad-agenda-for-new-joint-organisations-says-olg-chief [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-06-15 12:10:03 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-06-15 02:10:03 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=30661 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [2] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 30600 [post_author] => 675 [post_date] => 2018-06-08 08:38:31 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-06-07 22:38:31 [post_content] => [caption id="attachment_30601" align="aligncenter" width="665"] City of Melbourne is exploring long-term public transport options.[/caption] As Melbourne explores various options to meet unprecedented demand for public transport, leading experts point to road pricing and improved traffic signaling as key solutions. With a rapidly growing population, pressure on the Melbourne public transport network is expected to reach 200 per cent of current capacity by 2031. According to chair of the transport portfolio in Melbourne, Councilor Nicolas Gilley, the tram running through the center of the city is one of the busiest in the world. “At peak times at the moment the trams are at capacity. When you have trams on single lane traffic at peak hour sharing with cars, it’s not working well,” he said.  Overcrowding and vehicle congestion are causing trams to spend 17 per cent of their time stopped at traffic lights, according to a recent public transport discussion paper from the City of Melbourne. [caption id="attachment_30602" align="alignright" width="169"] Graham Currie[/caption] Despite having the largest tram network in the world, Melbourne “compares very poorly internationally” with speeds in the lowest 20 per cent of all tram systems, according to Professor Graham Currie, director of the public transport research group at Monash University. “They are delayed, held back and unreliable as a result and traffic is growing. There is a need to substantially change the right of way for trams on streets,” he told Government News. The City of Melbourne’s discussion paper, released in April, has recommended the introduction of a Metro 2 network linking Newport to Clifton Hill and a Metro 3 connecting Southern Cross to the airport. The paper also proposes the introduction of electric buses, bus charging capabilities at stops, traffic priority for buses and trams, more accessible tram stops and the creation of orbital routes to link suburbs.

Follow example on road pricing

Professor Currie said that in formulating its 10-year public transport plan later this year, Melbourne needs to follow other major cities by focusing on building metros, minimising single person vehicle use through a charge or pricing while also improving rail, bike and tram networks. “We should be taking the same approach all world megacities do in central areas when they have eight million people which is restricting car access for anyone who wants to travel on their own in the peak,” he said. The occupancy of the average car in Melbourne during peak hour is 1.06, the lowest rate in the nation, said Professor Currie. He describes single occupancy vehicle trips as the second most inefficient use of space second to parking, saying it is getting “less and less efficient over time.”
“The number one priority is public transport in high volumes, the second priority is walking. Commuting by car shouldn’t be encouraged at all in central areas and if it’s causing a problem we should tax them with a congestion charge."
Professor Currie said that while there are political impediments to road pricing given the density of voters in outer suburbs that use cars to commute, it is a political reality that must be confronted if public transport is to be improved and congestion constrained. [caption id="attachment_30604" align="alignright" width="163"] Ian Woodcock[/caption] “There are short-term difficulties politically in implementing these policies but my view is we have no real choice,” he said. Dr Ian Woodcock, a co-author of the City of Melbourne’s discussion paper and convener of the planning and city transport program at RMIT University, agrees that greater focus on improving both bike and tram networks is critical. “It is other road traffic that causes congestion on trams and the more people who get out of cars and into trams, the fewer vehicles on the road,” he told Government News.

London adopts congestion charge

Dr Woodcock pointed to London as an example of a city facing growing population pressures that was able to transform itself following the introduction of a congestion charge. The charge was introduced more than 15 years ago, and according to Transport for London has reduced traffic by 15 per cent and congestion by 30 per cent. Road pricing “needs a lot more investigation” in Australia given its proven ability to reduce congestion in comparable global cities, said Dr Woodcock.
“The center of London was transformed because of the introduction of a congestion charge."
Dr Woodcock says that the City of Melbourne has commissioned other consultants to look at the issue of road pricing in an upcoming report.

Melbourne Metro 2 is ‘critical’

Both Dr Woodcock and Professor Currie agree that Melbourne Metro 2, which would include a new rail tunnel linking Newport to Clifton Hill via Fishermens Bend with high capacity trains through Wyndham Vale to Mernda, should be commenced as soon as possible. Although Metro 2 was one of the key recommendations of the discussion paper and identified as a priority by Infrastructure Victoria and the Rail Network Development Plan, the project has not yet been greenlit by the government. Dr Woodcock said that the Metro 2 is the most “critical project” and needs to commence immediately if it is to be completed by 2028. Professor Currie similarly said that the Victorian Government needs to prioritise Metro 2 and 3 as they are the most efficient means of managing the volume of commuters in the area. “The idea of more metros in particular is something we need given the substantial growth we’re having in the inner area and the lack of capacity we have for managing that growth,” he said. The use of improved technology in tram signaling to reprioritise trams in traffic and the electrification of buses are also welcome and would be  more in line with international practice, said Professor Currie. According to Clr Gilley, another key priority identified in response to the discussion paper is the need to reclaim more space from parking and reuse for pavements.
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[post_title] => Mind the gap: Melbourne looks for transport fix as pressure mounts [post_excerpt] => As Melbourne explores various options to meet unprecedented demand for public transport, leading experts point to road pricing and improved traffic signaling as key solutions. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => mind-the-gap-melbourne-looks-for-transport-fix-as-pressure-mounts [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-06-12 10:56:05 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-06-12 00:56:05 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=30600 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 1 [filter] => raw ) [3] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 30594 [post_author] => 658 [post_date] => 2018-06-05 10:32:10 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-06-05 00:32:10 [post_content] => [caption id="attachment_30596" align="aligncenter" width="636"] Many large cities face the twin challenges of ageing infrastructure and increased volumes of people.[/caption] Cities are expanding upwards and downwards, as well as outwards. With urban density also increasing, moving people efficiently around the city, often using ageing infrastructure, is quite a challenge, write Andrea Connor and Donald McNeill. Cities worldwide face the problems and possibilities of “volume”: the stacking and moving of people and things within booming central business districts. We see this especially around mass public transport hubs. As cities grow, they also become more vertical. They are expanding underground through rail corridors and above ground into the tall buildings that shape city skylines. Cities are deep as well as wide. The urban geographer Stephen Graham describes cities as both “vertically stacked” and “vertically sprawled”, laced together by vertical and horizontal transport systems. People flow in large cities is not only about how people move horizontally on rail and road networks into and out of city centres. It also includes vertical transport systems. These are the elevators, escalators and moving sidewalks that commuters use every day to get from the underground to the surface street level. Major transport hubs are where many vertical and horizontal transport systems converge. It’s here that people flows are most dense. But many large cities face the twin challenges of ageing infrastructure and increased volumes of people flowing through transport hubs. Problems of congestion, overcrowding, delays and even lockouts are becoming more common. Governments are increasingly looking for ways to squeeze more capacity out of existing infrastructure networks.

Can we increase capacity by changing behaviour?

For the last three years, Transport for London (TfL) has been running standing-only escalator trials. The aim is to see if changing commuter behaviour might increase “throughput” of people and reduce delays. London has some of the deepest underground stations in the world. This means the Tube system is heavily reliant on vertical transport such as escalators. But a long-standing convention means people only stand on the right side and allow others to walk up on the left. In a trial at Holborn Station, one of London’s deepest at 23 metres, commuters were asked to stand on both sides during morning rush hour. The results of the trials showed that changing commuter behaviour could improve throughput by increasing capacity by as much as 30% at peak times. But this works only in Tube stations with very tall escalators. At stations with escalators less than 18 metres high, like Canary Wharf, the trials found the opposite – standing would only increase congestion across the network. [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="640"] By standing only, 30% more people could fit on an escalator in the trial at Holborn Station.[/caption] The difference is down to human behaviour. People are simply less willing to walk up very tall escalators. This means a standing-only policy across the network won’t improve people flow uniformly and could even make congestion worse.

Is people movement data a solution?

With the introduction of ticketless transport cards it’s now possible to gather more data about people flow through busy transport hubs as we tap on and off. Tracking commuters’ in-station journeys through their Wi-Fi enabled devices, such as smart phones, can also offer a detailed picture of movement between platforms, congestion and delays. Transport for London has already conducted its first Wi-Fi tracking trial in the London Underground. Issues of privacy loom large in harvesting mobile data from individual devices. Still, there’s enormous potential to use this data to resolve issues of overcrowding and inform commuters about delays and congestion en route. Governments are also increasingly turning to consultancy firms that specialise in simulation modelling of people flow. That’s everything from check-in queues and processing at terminals, to route tracking and passenger flow on escalators. Using data analytics, people movement specialists identify movement patterns, count footfall and analyse commuter behaviour. In existing infrastructure, they look to achieve “efficiencies” through changes to scheduling and routing, and assessing the directional flow of commuters. Construction and engineering companies are also beginning to employ people movement specialists during the design phase of large infrastructure projects. Beijing’s Daxing airport, due for completion in 2020, will be the largest transport hub in China. It’s also the first major infrastructure project to use crowd simulation and analysis software during the design process to test anticipated volume against capacity. The advice of people movement specialists can have significant impacts on physical infrastructure. This involves aspects such as the width of platforms, number and placement of gates, and the layout and positioning of vertical transport, such as escalators.

Movement analytics is becoming big business

People movement analytics is becoming big business, especially where financialisation of public assets is increasing. This means infrastructure is being developed through complex public-private partnership models. As a result, transport hubs are now also commercial spaces for retail, leisure and business activities. Commuters are no longer only in transit when they make their way through these spaces. They are potential consumers as they move through the retail concourse in many of these developments. In an era of “digital disruption”, which is particularly affecting the retail sector, information about commuter mobility has potential commercial value. The application of data analytics to people flow and its use by the people movement industry to achieve “efficiencies” needs careful scrutiny to ensure benefits beyond commercial gain. The ConversationAt the same time, mobility data may well help our increasingly vertical cities to keep flowing up, down and across.
Andrea Connor is a postdoctoral research fellow at the Institute for Culture and Society, Western Sydney University and Donald McNeill is a professor of urban and cultural geography at Western Sydney University.This article was originally published on The Conversation
[post_title] => Growing cities face challenges of keeping the masses moving  [post_excerpt] => Cities are expanding upwards and downwards, as well as outwards. With urban density also increasing, moving people efficiently around the city, often using ageing infrastructure, is quite a challenge, write Andrea Connor and Donald McNeill. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => growing-cities-face-challenges-of-keeping-the-masses-moving [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-06-05 11:20:21 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-06-05 01:20:21 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=30594 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [4] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 30454 [post_author] => 675 [post_date] => 2018-05-25 10:00:50 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-05-25 00:00:50 [post_content] => [caption id="attachment_30456" align="aligncenter" width="668"] New code in NSW to fast-track[/caption] As new laws fast-tracking duplex developments meet resistance from NSW local governments, Urban Taskforce says councils are being “mischievous” while experts call for focus on evidence. Just weeks after Ryde and Canterbury Bankstown councils were exempted from the code, eight councils this week followed suit and sought to bypass the regulations out of concern they will lead to further population density without appropriate infrastructure. Under the change, which comes into force on 6 July, one and two storey dual occupancy developments can be fast-tracked and developed in narrow 12 metre wide manor houses and terraces. The new Low Rise Medium Density Housing Code provides fast-tracked development of one and two storey dual occupancies, manor houses and terraces. The NSW Government argues that low-rise medium-density housing is the “missing middle” of the state’s housing stock, between free-standing homes and strata-titled apartments. Urban Taskforce, a peak body representing developers, said the council backlash was escalating into a pre-election “anti-growth, anti-change” position that could prompt a state retreat from what it argues is a warranted response to population growth. [caption id="attachment_30465" align="alignright" width="144"] Chris Johnson[/caption] CEO Chris Johnson pointed to Strathfield Council which is seeking exemption from the code despite its existing prohibition on medium density housing as an example of the political slant of the debate. He said councils were misusing the call from planning minister Anthony Roberts for local governments to raise any concerns about the code with the State Government “as a proxy to protest about overdevelopment.” “The danger is the government looking like it’s backing down on a fairly sensible approach,” he told Government News. Mr Johnson said the code itself will only apply to councils who already permit medium density developments. “Councils have been a bit mischievous to say it’s opening up a giant Pandora’s Box of new developments.”

Medium-density dwellings supported: research

Professor Roberta Ryan, director at the Institute for Public Policy and Governance, said the response to the code had become “political,” pointing to the institute’s evidence that medium-density developments are largely supported by constituents. “This has become a political debate that’s separated itself from the evidence,” she told Government News
“The research we’ve done indicates that people are receptive to add a storey to respond to population growth.”
While the code is to be welcomed as part of an “ongoing strategy” to fast-track medium-density development to support population growth, councils need to focus on both the evidence and consultation with local communities, Professor Ryan said. “We need to invest in understanding what communities want at a strategic planning level and to fully understand what their aspirations are. This has all happened without that investment,” she said.

Need to undertake planning, says Randwick

On Wednesday, Randwick Council announced it was one of seven other councils seeking an exemption from the code, citing the need to undertake local planning and prepare infrastructure for the estimated 8,500 blocks that would be eligible for subdivision under the code, due to rollout in July. Randwick Mayor Lindsay Shurey said the council needs extra time to undertake local planning measures such as its housing and town centre planning. She said: 
“It would be prudent to allow council more time to properly consider the issue until local planning has been undertaken and appropriate strategies such as our Housing Strategy and the K2K Town Centre Strategy are in place to ensure local infrastructure is sufficient to accommodate any increases in population that may result from additional residential development."
Professor Ryan questioned whether there was evidence showing that the code would lead to increased population density in an LGA, but she noted that Randwick was undertaking a housing study. “We should be looking more closely at large-scale apartment dwellings than one or two storey developments, ordinary people wanting to put another storey in their house, which might not even increase density,” she said.

Code could address infrastructure: developers

Professor Ryan said that while she supports the code, it has been compromised by the NSW Government’s infrastructure backlog. She told Government News earlier this month that successive governments have failed to adequately plan for an estimated two-fold population growth. Mr Johnson argues increased urban density that might result from the loosening of duplex regulations could help to address an infrastructure backlog, by funneling money into public infrastructure such as schools, hospitals and transport. “It’s much more likely as development occurs the planning starts to occur for increasing hospitals, schools, pub transport, so I think it’s a process that in my opinion is better as it’s a kind of integrated approach with development,” he said.
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[post_title] => Building code: developers say council backlash is a ‘proxy to protest’ [post_excerpt] => As new laws fast-tracking duplex developments meet resistance from NSW local governments, Urban Taskforce says councils are being “mischievous” while experts call for focus on evidence. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => building-code-developers-say-council-backlash-is-a-proxy-to-protest [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-05-29 09:14:20 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-05-28 23:14:20 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=30454 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [5] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 30326 [post_author] => 674 [post_date] => 2018-05-18 10:28:56 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-05-18 00:28:56 [post_content] => [caption id="attachment_30333" align="aligncenter" width="623"] The Sydney demonstration showed how design and technology changed the public's use of a street.[/caption] A collaboration of planners, architects and technology developers says that greener, smarter streets lead to more inclusive cities. A new position statement demonstrating the design concepts and technology that create "future public spaces" has been produced to help governments transform streets into usable public amenities. The Australian Institute of Landscape Architects, the Smart Cities Council Australia and New Zealand and the Internet of Things Alliance Australia has released the Future Street position statement advocating for the design and building of streets to be “greener, more complete and smarter.” It also calls for government policy and regulation to facilitate the design and management of streets in line with this approach. The position statement comes after the groups staged a four-day pop-up demonstration at Sydney’s Circular Quay last year which demonstrated how technology and design changed people's use of a street. In most CBDs streets represent 30 per cent of land across a city and more than half of that space is given away to move cars and buses, the groups argue. Current approaches that provide for minimal trees and vegetation mean streets can be 10 degrees hotter while air quality is often poor. “Streets are our most fundamental shared public spaces, but they are also one of the most contested and overlooked,” the position statement says. The design principles advocate for streets that provide equitable access for pedestrians, cyclists, car drivers, public transport users and operators. “It also provides opportunities for life to occur, be that community gatherings, commerce, public art, lighting or landscape.”

Watch a summary of the smarter street installation: 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p_e7HVXhwKk&t=3s Tim Arnold, CEO of the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects, said the new position statement aimed to ensure the messages from the successful street demonstration were not forgotten.  “Alfred Street was reinvigorated. It changed the way that people used the street and provided them with education on technologies of the future.” Adam Beck, head of Smart Cities Council Australia and New Zealand said the demonstration showed “designing streets that are greener, more complete and smarter had a tremendous response from the tens of thousands of people who visited and walked through the installation.” Frank Zeichner, CEO of the IoT Alliance Australia said the initiative explored “playful and interactive ways technology can engage citizens, activate places and inform city policy and urban planning.” Mr Zeichner said industry and governments should be “doing more to discover better ways to make our streets and cities - places to be.” Earlier this month the installation was recognised by World Architecture News when it named the design partner, Place Design Group, as winner of the 2018 Urban Challenge.
Related GN coverage: Global smart cities body targets Australia 
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[post_title] => Embrace streets as ‘important public spaces’, governments told [post_excerpt] => A collaboration of planners, architects and technology developers says that greener, smarter streets lead to more inclusive cities. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => embrace-streets-as-important-public-spaces-governments-told [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-05-18 10:44:44 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-05-18 00:44:44 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=30326 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [6] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 30321 [post_author] => 674 [post_date] => 2018-05-18 09:16:48 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-05-17 23:16:48 [post_content] => [caption id="attachment_29348" align="aligncenter" width="584"] Liveability targets: Perth is creating more walkable streets but lagging behind on dwelling density. [/caption] Consistent, evidence-based policies across state and local governments are essential to creating healthy communities, new research shows. A new evaluation of the progress to improve liveability in Perth has highlighted the importance of targets for key domains as well as integrated planning across government departments and agencies. The report by researchers at the University of Western Australia, RMIT University and Australian Catholic University builds on last year’s measure of liveability in Australia’s capital cities. It found that while Perth had made progress in some areas, including walkability and access to bigger parks, it was lagging behind in others. Perth is doing well in creating smaller, walkable streets and providing access to larger neighbourhood parks within 400 meters of residences. But it’s lagging behind on dwelling density and proving access to activity centres, the report found. The city is achieving its transport target – that 60 per cent of residents should be within 400 metres of a bus stop of 800 meters of train stop – but the researchers note the policy is “modest” compared to other state capital cities. The report found: 
“Although Perth is creating some walkable communities on the urban fringe, many of these communities are not ‘liveable’ because they lack access to transport, employment and infrastructure."
The research team recommends that the Western Australian Government undertake “evidence-informed integrated transport, land use and infrastructure planning” and create walkable neighbourhoods as a foundation of a liveable city. The government should also set targets for all seven urban liveability domains, including short, medium and long-term goals, the researchers said. The report also highlighted the importance of ensuring state and local government policies are “consistent, based on evidence and designed to create healthy, liveable communities.”

Report at a glance 

Walkability: 71% of residential streets in Perth meet length and width targets for walkability. Reflecting a common pattern in Australian cities, walkability in Perth is best in inner-city areas and declines towards the urban fringe Public transport: 64% of residents in Perth achieve nearby access to public transport.  Public open space: 78% of residents in Perth are withing 400 metres of a public open space of any size, behind Melbourne and Sydney (82%) but ahead of City of Brisbane (75%).  Housing affordability: Like most other cities, Perth's housing affordability declined between 2011 and 2016. Some 38% of lower-income households in Perth are experiencing housing affordability stress.  Employment: 31% of employed people live and work in their broader local area, high than in Melbourne (28%) and Brisbane (27%). 
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[post_title] => Integrated planning key to liveable cities: report  [post_excerpt] => Consistent, evidence-based policies across state and local governments are essential to creating healthy communities, new research shows. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => integrated-planning-key-to-liveable-cities-report [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-05-18 10:44:50 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-05-18 00:44:50 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=30321 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [7] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 29976 [post_author] => 674 [post_date] => 2018-04-24 09:33:10 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-04-23 23:33:10 [post_content] => [caption id="attachment_30065" align="aligncenter" width="602"] The RAI's new program will provide an evidence base to government on regional policy, says Jack Archer.[/caption] Governments back new research program that aims to provide guidance and best practice for responding to challenges facing regional areas. Adapting to a changing local economy, ensuring jobs in the future and balancing urban and regional population growth are the three initial priorities of a new research program from Regional Australia Institute that has been endorsed by state and territory governments. RAI chief executive Jack Archer said governments had joined with the institute to share ideas and invest in better knowledge for regions. “This is a really efficient way to work on these big issues, which are often common across different regions,” he told Government News. “Toowoomba in Queensland has a lot in common with places like Tamworth and Wagga in NSW, so regions can learn from each other and governments can look at what’s working in different places to apply those learnings in their state.” The RAI, which was established in 2012 to provide decision makers with independent research on regional issues, has been working with regional leaders and agencies around Australia to shortlist common issues for the new program to focus on, Mr Archer said. “When you think about how regional economies are changing these really are the three biggest issues we have to deal with,” he said. The first project aims to provide a new evidence base for governments around helping communities that are experiencing major economic change, such as industrial closures. “There is still a gap in the evidence when it comes to designing policy responses ... The Regions in Transition project is going to give governments a policy playbook so they'll have some guidance when faced with a closure or a big transition in a region.” A focus on jobs of the future in the regions will see the second project gather evidence on the key roles at risk in different areas. and help local authorities plan how they’ll respond to automation and support regional workforces, he said. The third project seeks to broaden the ongoing national discussion about a “big Australia” beyond population growth in the capital cities to examining the opportunities for expansion in regional cities and centres. In addition to the three major projects, the RAI researchers will undertake a smaller initiative on government procurement, examining how policies to buy local can best support regional investment and economic development. “That project is looking at how we do government procurement well, where you get the best impact and what the options for improvement are,” Mr Archer said.

Work with governments

The RAI’s researchers will be undertaking their analysis in consultation with governments and community agencies to get an understanding of key policy challenges and identify evidence of local approaches that are proving effective, Mr Archer said. “We get all the governments around the table every three months to talk about these issues and share information. We also spend a lot of time bringing regional leaders in to contribute their views. “It’ll be a mixture of analysis, new data collection, engagement with policy makers and regional discussions,” he said of the program’s methodology. In terms of expected outcomes, Mr Archer said the research will culminate in analyses, policy guidance for governments, discussion papers to inform public debate and case studies that convey best practice. “It’s really important to look at things that are working well, so governments can learn from how various regions are dealing with their challenges. You find approaches can be quite different as you go around the country and so there’s a lot to be learned from those detailed case studies,” he said. First up, the RAI is preparing to release an analysis into the impact of automation at the local level and likely implications for regional education and employment. “Off the back of that analysis, which we’ll release in the next couple of months, there’ll be some policy advice back into governments,” he said.
Follow Government News for ongoing coverage of the RAI’s regional research program.
Comment below to have your say on this story.
[post_title] => Initiative to provide ‘policy playbook’ on regional Australia [post_excerpt] => Regional Australia Institute's new program will provide governments with guidance and best practice for responding to challenges facing regional areas, CEO Jack Archer tells Government News. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => initiative-to-provide-policy-playbook-on-regional-australia [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-04-24 09:54:54 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-04-23 23:54:54 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=29976 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [8] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 29836 [post_author] => 655 [post_date] => 2018-04-10 10:45:14 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-04-10 00:45:14 [post_content] => Our wrap of the latest infrastructure projects and initiatives being delivered by governments around Australia.

In this story:

  • TAFE NSW’s digital HQ launched
  • Melbourne unveils Australia’s first blind soccer pitch
  • Isaac council opens upgraded waste management facility
  • Blacktown City upgrades six playgrounds

TAFE NSW’s digital HQ launched

[caption id="attachment_29839" align="alignnone" width="509"] The new headquarters of TAFE Digital which offers more than 250 courses online.[/caption] The NSW Government has launched TAFE NSW’s new $6 million Digital Headquarters in Armidale. State Minister responsible for TAFE NSW, Adam Marshall said the facility’s opening heralded a revolution in online learning. TAFE Digital, TAFE NSW’s online brand, offers more than 250 courses. The headquarters in Armidale will be responsible for developing and refining course content for TAFE Digital courses, using the latest in virtual reality, augmented reality and simulation.  “TAFE Digital is the country’s largest online vocational education and training provider and this futuristic new facility will propel TAFE’s offering of ground breaking courses such as cyber-security, 3D computer aided design and web-based technologies,” Mr Marshall said. “Thanks to TAFE Digital and the learning technologies that will be pioneered at the Digital HQ, people across NSW will be able to access this world-class training anywhere and anytime they want." The facility will also benefit regional NSW, with Armidale set to benefit from the creation of 50 new high-skilled jobs, attracting talented workers from across the country, he said.

Melbourne unveils Australia’s first blind soccer pitch

[caption id="attachment_29840" align="alignnone" width="486"] City of Melbourne is building Australia's first blind soccer pitch[/caption] The City of Melbourne has unveiled Australia’s first blind soccer pitch as part of a $1.5 million redevelopment of the North Melbourne Recreation Reserve. The new facility will be capable of holding B1 international level soccer competitions, an internationally recognised Paralympic sport. Acting Lord Mayor Arron Wood said the council wanted the city to be accessible, inclusive and engaging while promoting health and participation for people of all ages and abilities. “Blind soccer is played outdoors with two vision impaired teams of five players. An audible ball is used, which makes a rattling noise to allow players to locate it by sound. Outfield players wear eye-shades to equal their sight, but the goalkeeper can be fully or partially sighted.” People City Portfolio chair Beverley Pinder said the pitch was an important step in making sure Melbourne’s sports facilities are accessible to everyone. “This new pitch is a meaningful way we can we can provide access to people who are visually impaired,” Cr Pinder said.

Isaac council opens upgraded waste management facility

[caption id="attachment_29838" align="alignnone" width="513"] Moranbah Resource Recovery Centre's expansion was recently unveiled[/caption] Isaac Regional Council has launched Moranbah’s $7 million upgraded waste management facility which it said will cut costs, increase revenue and guarantee reliable, long-term waste disposal. The Moranbah Resource Recovery Centre was funded with $3.58 million from the Palaszczuk Government and $3.58 million from Isaac Regional Council. The facility guarantees waste disposal for seven resource companies depositing 16,000 tonnes of construction, demolition, commercial and industrial waste per annum, and the 8,900 permanent residents of Moranbah and surrounds. The facility’s improved efficiency will cut council’s costs by an estimated 20 per cent. Isaac Region Mayor Anne Baker said the project had been an important initiative for the area. Meanwhile, Moranbah’s water storage capacity will also be expanded through a further $5.2 million from the Queensland Government's Building our Regions fund. Due for completion by early 2019, the Moranbah Reservoir and Associated Works project will increase the storage of safe, clean drinking water and raw water storage, and address critical pressure issues.

Blacktown City upgrades six playgrounds

[caption id="attachment_29841" align="alignnone" width="532"] Doonside Heights Park is one of six being updated by council.[/caption] Blacktown City Council is upgrading six playgrounds across the City as part of a $790,000 improvement project.   The playgrounds are:
  • George Alder Reserve, Quakers Hill
  • Thomas Kelly Street Park, Lalor Park
  • Prospect Park, Prospect
  • Azzopardi Street Park, Glendenning
  • Doonside Heights Park, Doonside
  • Willmot Reserve, Willmot.
The playground upgrades in Quakers Hill, Lalor Park and Prospect were partially funded by federal grants while the park at Willmot was jointly funded by Blacktown City Council and the NSW Government. Mayor of Blacktown City Stephen Bali said the playgrounds will provide valuable places for children of varying ages and abilities to play and learn. “Blacktown City recognises their importance by allocating funding to build new and improved play spaces for our community.” Construction work on the playgrounds is expected to begin in the coming months. Mayor Bali said resident feedback gathered through online surveys informed the parks' designs.
Last issue’s Noticeboard: Melbourne City Council approves Southbank plan
Have we missed a key local, state or federal government infrastructure project? Send us details and a high res image to: editorial@governmentnews.com.au
[post_title] => Noticeboard: TAFE NSW’s digital headquarters launched [post_excerpt] => Also in this wrap: City of Melbourne unveils Australia’s first blind soccer pitch; Isaac Regional Council opens upgraded waste management facility; and Blacktown City upgrades six playgrounds. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => noticeboard-tafe-nsws-digital-headquarters-launched [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-04-10 11:00:40 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-04-10 01:00:40 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=29836 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [9] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 29598 [post_author] => 674 [post_date] => 2018-03-23 10:44:54 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-03-22 23:44:54 [post_content] => [caption id="attachment_29601" align="aligncenter" width="590"] Like Sydney, housing affordability is an issue for cities such as Auckland, Toronto and Vancouver.[/caption] Metropolitan Australia isn’t alone in facing challenges like population growth and climate change and could learn from other cities, an international expert tells Government News. In Vancouver, years of rising property prices have sparked a new policy to reduce absentee ownership, particularly among foreigners, amid a growing public perception that Chinese investors have contributed to unaffordability in the local market. At the same time, on the far side of Canada, officials in Toronto are considering a policy that will seek out vacant homes in an attempt to get them occupied as the city similarly deals with a heated property market. [caption id="attachment_29599" align="alignright" width="143"] Alan Mitchell[/caption] Alan Mitchell, KPMG’s Toronto-based executive director of cities, recounts these two examples to illustrate how major cities around the world, including in Australia, are experiencing many of the same challenges – from population growth and housing shortages to the impacts of climate change. He also says they illustrate why cities across the board need to get better at sharing solutions. “Cities need to talk about these things globally and they’re not,” Mr Mitchell told Government News during a visit to Sydney last week. “What’s worked and what hasn’t? We don’t need to go through this discovery independently. We need to talk about innovation and excellence and share that among and between cities," said Mr Mitchell, who has over 30 years experience working in and with government developing digital solutions, conducting service reviews and introducing program-based budgeting. Like housing affordability, the need to respond to climate change is a challenge common to cities across the world, particularly coastal ones, he said. “I've just come from New Zealand where they say they’re having more flooding, not because of rising sea levels as much as the wave action has changed and they’re now getting waves that cross over the barriers. “In New York, the city said if they’d had a retaining wall perhaps six inches higher it would have prevented a lot of the damage caused by Hurricane Sandy. “Cities globally are looking at climate, which has a response component in terms of emergency management, but also impacts for things like planning; having more living green space and using solar panels, for instance,” he said.

Using data for benchmarking

Mr Mitchell said city administrators and service providers have “all sorts of information available” to help them forecast demand for their services, particularly amidst population growth, “but whether or not they’re doing that remains to be seen.” He advocates the power of data and analytics to help local governments understand their own services and deliver them better. Mr Mitchell was involved in developing the Municipal Reference Model, a tool used by KPMG to assess local government capabilities and viability, and was co-author of the firm's inaugural Global Cities Benchmarking Study last year.  The 35 cities in the survey, drawn from 20 countries across Asia Pacific, North and South America, Africa and the Middle East, focused on 12 service areas including roads, transit, parks, drinking waster and waste. Australia had five cities in the survey – the highest of any country – consisting of Brisbane, Sunshine Coast, Wyndham, Mornington Peninsula and Adelaide. “The reason we were successful in getting 35 cities in that first instance was because we used a methodology for understanding cities’ business, by identifying the services they actually deliver,” he said. The analysis threw up some interesting figures. For instance, it found the average cost per lane kilometre of road is about US$15,000, and that drinking water costs US$1.14 per cubic metre on average. While garbage costs range from US$30 to US$580 per tonne, three cities in the survey made money on collection through direct charges.

Cities in the dark on service costs

Many if not most cities globally don’t know how much their service costs, Mr Mitchell argues. “That’s a frightening prospect but it’s endemic, across the world. They don’t actually account for their funds by services, they account for them by who spends the money – the organisational units.” He’s now encouraging cities to move towards “service-based budgeting” which details how much its costs to deliver services, taking into account both operational and capital costs. KPMG is working with a large software vendor with a view to implement the benchmarking program in a cloud solution to enable cities to input their information and produce their own reports at any time, Mr Mitchell said.  “We’re looking at building that in the next four to six months and then releasing it to the market and we expect within a year we’d have about 100 cities wanting to join.”
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[post_title] => Cities globally ‘need to talk’ about their issues [post_excerpt] => Metropolitan Australia isn’t alone in facing challenges like population growth and climate change and could learn from other cities, an international expert tells Government News. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => cities-globally-need-to-talk-about-their-issues [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-03-23 10:45:20 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-03-22 23:45:20 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=29598 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 1 [filter] => raw ) [10] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 29561 [post_author] => 655 [post_date] => 2018-03-19 13:12:40 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-03-19 02:12:40 [post_content] => [caption id="attachment_29569" align="aligncenter" width="570"] Sydney's harbourside CBD would be one of three cities in Greater Sydney under new plan.[/caption] Greater Sydney will become a “metropolis of three cities” under a key region blueprint adopted by the State Government. NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian released the Greater Sydney Region Plan on Sunday along with NSW’s State Infrastructure Strategy and the state’s Future Transport Strategy 2056, saying it was the first time these plans had been delivered together. The plans will align land use, transport and infrastructure planning to reshape Greater Sydney as three unique but connected cities, the premier said. The Greater Sydney Plan is built around three cities “where most residents live within 30 minutes of their jobs, education and health facilities, services and great places.” It consists of the Eastern Harbour City, with the harbourside CBD at its centre; the Central River City, Greater Sydney’s geographic centre with Greater Parramatta at its core; and the Western Parkland City extending west of the M7. [caption id="attachment_29562" align="aligncenter" width="422"] Greater Sydney as a "metropolis of three cities".[/caption] Earlier this month the federal and NSW Governments, together with eight local councils of Western Sydney, signed the Western Sydney City Deal to create the Western Parkland City. As the population of Greater Sydney is projected to grow to eight million over the next 40 years, with almost half of that population residing west of Parramatta, the State Government argues that economic and social opportunities need to be balanced more equally across Greater Sydney. Minister for Planning and Housing Anthony Roberts said the plan also delivers important new policies including an Affordable Rental Housing Target of 5-10 per cent, while urban services lands, which provide local jobs, services and industrial capabilities, will be better protected. Greater Sydney Commission’s chief commissioner Lucy Turnbull said the region plan and five supporting district plans were the result of more than two years of engagement with more than 25,000 Sydneysiders and more than 750,000 via social media. “Behind all great cities of the world are great plans and Greater Sydney now has a region plan and five district plans, prepared concurrently with the Future Transport 2056 strategy and the State Infrastructure Strategy, to guide its future,” she said. https://twitter.com/gscsydney/status/975207162535292928 The Urban Taskforce, which represents property developers and financiers, said the Greater Sydney plan was an improvement on earlier drafts but government would still need to advocate more for apartment developments if affordable housing targets are to be met. “In 40 years, 50 per cent of homes in Sydney will be in apartments, which is a big increase on the current 30 per cent. But there is significant tension in the community about this change and we believe the plan should have shown more advocacy for the urban form of the city,” said CEO Chris Johnson.
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[post_title] => NSW Government adopts infrastructure, transport plans [post_excerpt] => Greater Sydney will become a “metropolis of three cities” under a key region plan adopted by the State Government on Sunday. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => nsw-government-adopts-infrastructure-transport-plans [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-03-20 11:00:59 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-03-20 00:00:59 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=29561 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [11] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 29461 [post_author] => 658 [post_date] => 2018-03-13 09:23:40 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-03-12 22:23:40 [post_content] =>
[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="754"]File 20180308 30958 1d8aohi.jpg?ixlib=rb 1.1 The design for Paris Rive Gauche incorporates a mix of uses and access to green spaces. Image: Paris Rive Gauche/SOA Architects[/caption]
The regeneration of inner-city areas is a global challenge. Inner cities in France certainly have their problems, but the nation also has a good record of successful major urban regeneration projects. We have analysed three of these initiatives to understand what factors contribute to good regeneration outcomes. Urban regeneration can be defined as a holistic approach to revitalise under-used areas of the city. It’s commonly associated, however, with the related challenges of gentrification, rising property values, and displacement of low-income groups. And these projects do not always achieve a sense of place. French cities have much higher densities than Australian cities. For instance, Paris has 10,000 inhabitants per square kilometre, which is more than five times the population density of Sydney’s 1,900/km2. Higher density and more accessibility to public transport are important for successful urban regeneration. But this is not the only explanation for its success in France. With the post-industrial society, new approaches are emerging to solve planning challenges in France. Since the nation began decentralisation in 1982, local authorities have gained more power to implement planning strategies. At the same time, the multiplicity of urban stakeholders makes decision-making difficult. Since the 1990s, legal obligations to consult with residents have increased. Regeneration projects have to follow general planning principles but must also allow some flexibility to enable the local community to have an input.

Lyon Confluence

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="172"] The Lyon Confluence. Image: Lyon Confluence.[/caption]
Lyon Confluence is the largest urban regeneration project in Europe with 150 hectares of land having been redeveloped since 2003. The project is led by public redevelopment company SPL Lyon. It is 89% owned by Greater Lyon, a metropolitan institution made up of 59 local authorities. SPL Lyon is able to set up strict planning and urban design principles. Developers are required to integrate these principles into their designs to be part of the project. SPL sells the land to developers at a fixed rate. Developers need to win design competitions to be part of the project and not just offer the best price for the land. Lyon Confluence has attracted foreign investors, such as Japan’s NEDO, and became a model for smart positive energy buildings, which produce more energy than they consume.

Île de Nantes

The Île de Nantes regeneration project aims to transform a 337-hectare industrial area into a sustainable living and working environment. There is a strong emphasis on preserving the industrial character of the area.
[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="472"] The Île de Nantes project has transformed warehouses into places for cultural events. Image: Île de Nantes[/caption]
Another objective is to attract creative industries firms to a creative arts district to replace the local shipbuilding industry, which closed in 1987. A public redevelopment company known as SAMOA oversees the Île de Nantes project, which will be completed in 2037. Innovative placemaking strategies are being developed to create a sense of place connected to the area’s industrial past. The project includes a lot of consultation with urban stakeholders.

Paris Rive-Gauche

The Paris Rive Gauche project is one of the most important regeneration project in the city. The 130-hectare site is located in the east of Paris, on the banks of the Seine. Paris Rive Gauche means Paris Left Bank and refers to the Paris of an earlier era.
[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="471"] Work on the Paris Rive Gauche redevelopment began in the early 1990s and is now halfway through. The aim is to create a mixed-use neighbourhood around landmarks such as the national library and Paris Diderot University. Image: Paris Rive Gauche[/caption]
The aim is to redevelop industrial wasteland located around the Austerlitz train station. A publicly owned local development company, SEMAPA, manages the project. The concerted development zone, or ZAC (zone d'aménagement concertée), was launched in 1991. Works included the construction of the François Mitterrand National Library, which began in 1991 and was completed in 1995. Despite being overseen by one leading agency, the project is based on strong public involvement and the program has been modified. Powerful local associations went to court as there was not enough public space and the density was too high. In 1997, to prevent further revisions, SEMAPA developed a meaningful public involvement process to ensure the intentions of community stakeholders are incorporated in this large-scale project; developers are obliged to integrate these intentions. The role of the development agency is to select developers through a competitive process to achieve the best design outcomes. Paris Rive Gauche is not just another business district like La Défense, but a real urban neighbourhood developed around existing urban landmarks. It combines a mix of uses (offices, housing, local retail and services, green spaces) and good access to public transport.

What do these projects have in common?

The three regeneration initiatives presented here are all led by a single development agency financed with public money. This type of governance allows for clear leadership, which is essential to complete projects with a 30-year lifespan. Development agencies ensure through a public involvement process that these initiatives reflect local community aspirations. The creation of the ZAC as a planning instrument allows for the project’s objectives to be modified as it evolves. Development agencies have the financial capacity to sell the land below market prices and to subsidise housing for low-income households. The French planning instruments and financing mechanisms associated with public involvement in decision-making contribute to successful urban regeneration. This approach is known as “transactional urbanism”, reflecting the increasing negotiations between the development agency and the community. Sebastien Darchen is a lecturer in Planning at The University of Queensland and Gwendal Simon is assistant professor of planning and urban planning at the Université Paris-Est Marne-la-Vallée. This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article. [post_title] => Australia can learn from France's unique approach to regenerating inner cities [post_excerpt] => Three initiatives from France show that a single development agency financed with public money can provide clear leadership, which is essential to completing major projects, write Sebastien Darchen and Gwendal Simon. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => australia-can-learn-from-frances-unique-approach-to-regenerating-inner-cities [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-03-13 09:25:09 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-03-12 22:25:09 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=29461 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [12] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 29290 [post_author] => 674 [post_date] => 2018-03-05 13:40:41 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-03-05 02:40:41 [post_content] => [caption id="attachment_12250" align="aligncenter" width="589"] City councils should work with scientists and innovators on climate, says Australian expert.[/caption] Local governments and city councils must work closer with scientists and innovators to tackle the impacts of climate change in major cities, an Australian expert says. Professor Xuemei Bai from Australian National University warns that city councils acting alone to address climate change, without evidence-based approaches, can have unintended consequences.   [caption id="attachment_29292" align="alignright" width="192"] Professor Xuemei Bai[/caption] "Well-intended local actions can displace issues to other sectors or into the future. One city's crack-down on energy-intensive production might shift the problem to less-regulated regions, with no net effect on global emissions,” she said. Professor Bai and other international urban experts have identified six priorities for cities and climate change in an article published in the journal Nature. It comes ahead of an international conference in Canada this week bringing together 700 government officials, policy makers and researchers from 80 countries to tackle the issue. Professor Bai and her colleagues have called for the greater use of data, emerging and disruptive technologies and innovations, and a better understanding of complex city environments and how they’re affected by climate change. They pointed to Victoria where the City of Melbourne is trialling permeable bluestone pavements to allow rainwater to soak down rather than run off, thereby potentially improving soil moisture and watering adjacent trees. Professor Bai said there needed to be a better understanding of the interactions between cities and climate. "We need to know how urban physical characteristics, building materials and human activities affect atmospheric circulation, heat and light radiation, urban energy and water budgets."  

Using data better 

City authorities need to extend the quantity and types of urban data collected, Professor Bai and her colleagues argued. They highlighted the United Kingdom where Newcastle University has been collecting one million measurements a day from sensors across the city, which are made available online in real time. “These range from transport emissions, precipitation, water flows and air qualities to biodiversity measures such as beehive weight. The city council and the transport, energy, environmental and water sectors are using the data. Similar observatories are being developed in Sheffield and Bristol.”

Disruptive technologies

City councils and local government should harness disruptive technologies, they added. “The digital revolution is transforming cities. For example, urban shared-mobility schemes have improved air quality and social inclusion, and reduced congestion.” They pointed to Lisbon where studies have shown that a fleet of shared taxis could maintain residents’ mobility levels using only three per cent of the current number of vehicles. Elsewhere, they argued that affordable materials and technologies that can reduce the carbon intensity of infrastructure should be developed and commercialised. They said:
“Cement can be engineered to absorb more CO2. Cement production is the third-largest human-made source of emissions after fossil-fuel burning and land-use change, contributing around 5.6 per cent of global fossil-fuel and industry-related CO2 emissions. ‘Carbon-neutral’ timber and bamboo have been used to build lightweight skyscrapers. These materials need to be sustainably produced at low cost.”
They added that vegetation corridors, green parks, reed beds and low-lying areas that soak up water can be woven into the built environment to reduce flood and heat risks, while improving biodiversity and carbon storage.
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[post_title] => Call for governments to collaborate on climate in cities [post_excerpt] => Local governments and city councils must work closer with scientists and innovators to tackle the impacts of climate change in major cities, an Australian expert says. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => call-governments-collaborate-climate-cities [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-03-06 09:37:17 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-03-05 22:37:17 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=29290 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [13] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 29269 [post_author] => 673 [post_date] => 2018-03-01 15:33:39 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-03-01 04:33:39 [post_content] =>

NSW’s controversial new planning laws come into operation today (1 March 2018), and not everybody is happy. At the centre of the new system are Independent Hearing and Assessment Panels (IHAPs), which will take over the planning process from councils for all developments between $5 million and $30 million. Each council is to appoint its own panel, comprising a chair, two independent expert members and a community member. The panels, also to be known as Local Planning Panels, will assess development applications made to local councils. Under revisions to the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979, the panels are now mandatory for all Sydney councils and Wollongong City Council. “Panels are to be put in place so the process of assessment and determination of development applications (DAs) with a high corruption risk, sensitivity or strategic importance are transparent and accountable,” says the Government. The composition of the panels will be largely controlled by the State Government, which will nominate each panel’s Chair. Councils will be able to choose the two ‘independent’ members of the panel, but only “from a pool established by the Department of Planning and Environment and approved by the Minister for Planning.” Only the community member will be appointed solely at the discretion of the council. The Government, predictably, says the new regimen will be an improvement and will ensure the transparency of the approval process. Many councils are not so sure. Blacktown Council, in Western Sydney, has gone so far as to stage a mock memorial service for local decision-making. It has created an obituary based on cricket’s famous Ashes lament: ‘In Affectionate Remembrance of Accountable Development, which died in Blacktown on 28 February 2018. Deeply lamented by a large circle of sorrowing friends and acquaintances. R.I.P. NB – the body was cremated and the ashes taken to the NSW Parliament’ The day before the new law came into effect the council burnt its last Development Application in protest against the move to IHAPs. The ashes were placed in two urns, one to remain in council chambers and the other to be presented to NSW Planning Minister Anthony Roberts. “We hope he will keep it as a reminder of how he has killed the voice of the community,” said Blacktown City Mayor, Stephen Bali, who is also an ALP member of State Parliament. “Not only have elected councillors lost the power to approve or reject development applications, but the community has lost the power to stand up before the councillors it elected to voice an opinion about how the neighbourhood takes shape.” It cannot been argued that the process of Councillors voting on DAs slowed down development in Blacktown, Mayor Bali said. “Last year, the Councillors only voted on 21 DAs – the other 2,500-odd were approved by council officers under delegated authority in an average time of just over a month. “Councillors only looked at contentious developments of community concern or those where developers were not complying with regulations. “Open council meetings are the epitome of accountable, transparent and balanced decision-making. By contrast, Local Planning Panels will be chaired by powerful state-level experts who are unlikely to have the same level of knowledge or understanding of our city’s needs,” he said.   [post_title] => It’s IHAP day in NSW – and ashes for Blacktown [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => ihap-day-nsw-ashes-blacktown [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-03-02 09:25:48 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-03-01 22:25:48 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=29269 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) ) [post_count] => 14 [current_post] => -1 [in_the_loop] => [post] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 30678 [post_author] => 655 [post_date] => 2018-06-12 10:54:45 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-06-12 00:54:45 [post_content] => [caption id="attachment_30682" align="aligncenter" width="687"] The Craft Your Park project engaged various community groups in the design.[/caption] A project that engaged various community stakeholders in the design of a new park is among the public works that have been recognised for innovation and leadership. Design studio Spacelab was recognised by the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects ACT Chapter on Thursday for its ‘Craft your Park initiative in Finn Street, O’Connor for listening to the community and translating their feedback into the design. “The design process involved an open dialogue, woven with local stories and histories from kindergarten children to landcare groups and the local community, where the design team were the ‘editors’ and the community the ‘authors’ of the new design,” the judges said. The awards recognised 10 projects in landscape architecture in categories ranging from parks and play spaces to infrastructure and cultural heritage. “There are a number of projects from this year’s awards program that demonstrate the community and environmental benefits that come from proper community engagement and consultation, planning for green infrastructure and involve landscape architects leading quality design projects at the early stages,” the institute’s ACT president Gay Williamson said.

Changing streetscapes

The award of excellence in civic landscape was jointly awarded to Jane Irwin Landscape Architecture, the National Capital Authority, Hill Thalis, SMEC and AECOM for the first stage of the transformation of Constitution Avenue. In this major public space enhancement project, Constitution Avenue has been transformed into a series of pedestrian friendly streetscapes changing in character from ceremonial to civic to urban to bushland, in response to surrounding landscapes.  [caption id="attachment_30679" align="alignnone" width="659"] Constitution Avenue now has a series of pedestrian friendly streetscapes.[/caption]

Parks and open spaces

A successful mix of landscape and utility to encourage community interaction in open space in Moncrieff East, a new suburban estate in north Canberra, was recognised in the award's parks and open space category. Redbox Design Group was recognised for leading the works on the multi-purpose community recreation park. [caption id="attachment_30684" align="alignnone" width="650"] Moncrieff East was recognised in the parks and open space category.[/caption]

Play spaces

Redbox Design Group was also recognised for its work on the Moncrieff Community Recreation Park, a space designed to meet the needs of the community by integrating a range of exercise, play and ball sport areas.  [caption id="attachment_30685" align="alignnone" width="655"] The community recreation park in Moncrieff integrates a range of areas.[/caption]
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Planning

Blacktown IHAP

It’s IHAP day in NSW – and ashes for Blacktown

NSW’s controversial new planning laws come into operation today (1 March 2018), and not everybody is happy. At the centre of the new system are Independent Hearing and Assessment Panels (IHAPs), which will take over the planning process from councils for all developments between $5 million and $30 million. Each council is to appoint its […]