DESIGN IN AUSTRALIA
Extracts from Urban Design in Australia: Report by the Prime Minister's Urban Design Task Force 1994.
The Prime Minister's Urban Design Task Force produced these useful guidelines, outlining what makes 'good urban design', back in 1994. Many people take a great deal of pride in their homes and offices, investing in top quality interior designs and insurance policies from websites like Aviva.co.uk. However, it is also essential to ensure than the building structures are well designed in themselves. The following extract details what should be considered when designing architecture to be constructed within an urban area.
Extracts reproduced with permission, for What's
Good Urban Design?, the ecoversity
workshop at the George Hotel, March, 1996.
demonstrates design excellence in urban development
distributes benefits widely in the population;
3. produces environmental benefits;
4. responds to local features and needs;
5. is relevant to the contemporary world;
6. leaves open the possibility for continuing adaptation
7. forges connections with the past."
quality of urban design matters. It does so in terms
of experience and meaning because of the messages
and feelings different places provide us with; functionally
for the efficient and effective working of the city;
environmentally, for the way it can minimise waste,
energy and pollution; socially, as a means of building
equitably supportive towns and cities; and for the
way it can strengthen economic life and competitiveness."
engineers are not alone in shouldering the blame
for many of the failures in the design of cities.
Other professional groups share responsibility.
Architects and building designers are largely taught
to see individual buildings as isolated objects.
They do not generally begin by asking: what will
this structure do to the urban fabric as a whole?
Will it help the public areas? Will it support and
encourage street life and activity? Is it ecologically
sustainable design is about amplifying and sustaining
the quality of life for people. To do so, good urban
design needs to cushion the environmental effects
of urban development. It can help to reduce heat
islands, improve micro climates, prevent contamination
of land, protect water supplies, manage urban run-off
and storm water, encourage planting, nurture urban
environments as diversely life- sustaining settings,
and safeguard wildlife habitats. It can support
walking, bicycling and public transport, reducing
car dependency, and related energy use and airborne
urban form can be the glue for a community: well-designed
and cared-for public space supports interaction
and involvement. Shared activities thrive in good
places: play, recreation, ceremony, as well as day-to
day business, and a good design has an important
role to play in making streets and public places
safe and secure." '"Urban design world-wide
is beginning to be seen as integral to a post-industrial
mode of wealth-creation: cultural development. This
idea of harnessing environmental and cultural assets
on an urban and regional scale is being embraced
by an increasing number of cities and lies squarely
within the domain of urban design strategies."
problems such as those of urban design require a
contribution from a number of capable individuals
and require careful team building, mutual respect
and the development of shared values." '"The
complexity and pace of twentieth century urban development
has put urban design beyond the province of any
single profession -- urban design is more than 'big
architecture; or 'small planning' or 'soft engineering'."
quality of urban areas is unlikely to improve greatly
unless there is active interest and involvement
from citizens. Especially important are the voluntary
associations and bodies, operating independently
of governments, which take up issues, comment on
development proposals and generally act as environmental
devote great care to their privates spaces. Yet
many Australian cities struggle with a neglected
stock of public spaces because of the premium placed
on individual choice, and because of inappropriate
government and industry structures."
our cities, streets must retain their function as
the backbone of our society's public domain, and
be made attractive for pedestrians, for children's
play, for meeting other people, for resting and
eating. Like other parts of cities, streets must
be designed to serve these purposes well."
urban infrastructure practice is synonymous with
excellence in urban design. 'Infrastructure' usually
connotes technical networks of transport, energy,
water and communications -- but, equally importantly
there are human, amenity, environmental, narrative
(myth, history, symbolism, maintenance of meaning,
inspiration) and organisational infrastructures
that are critical in maintaining the fabric of society.
Good urban design will at minimum do nothing to
harm any of these networks, and at best strengthen
each one of them."
cannot bring about more pleasing and satisfying
cities without a drastic change in transport priorities."
"Privatised malls and plazas, introverted atria
and walled-off residential areas are anathema to
good urban design and healthy cities."
"Good urban design is essential to creating
settlements that minimise environmental damage through
good management of development densities, location
decisions, mobility planning, area and site design,
solar orientation and microclimatic aspects, surface
water capture, filtration and recycling, and the
protection and building of green networks: forests,
grasslands, dunes, wetlands and rivers and lakes
as supportive places for flora and fauna."
"The quality of a region's urban environment
can be a decisive factor in attracting and accommodating
investment and economic activity."
Urban Design in Australia: Report by the Prime Minister's
Urban Design Task Force 1994, reproduced with permission,
Good Urban Design?, an ecoversity
workshop at the George Hotel, March, 1996.