'Big Bang' planning and urban design: Imperatives and outcomes in Sydney and Melbourne's old port areas

Searle, Glen and Goodman, Robin (2011). 'Big Bang' planning and urban design: Imperatives and outcomes in Sydney and Melbourne's old port areas. In: Paul Maginn, Proceedings of the 3rd World Planning Schools Congress. 3rd World Planning Schools Congress (WPSC2011), Perth, W.A., Australia, (243.1-243.16). 4-8 July 2011.

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Name Description MIMEType Size Downloads
Author Searle, Glen
Goodman, Robin
Title of paper 'Big Bang' planning and urban design: Imperatives and outcomes in Sydney and Melbourne's old port areas
Conference name 3rd World Planning Schools Congress (WPSC2011)
Conference location Perth, W.A., Australia
Conference dates 4-8 July 2011
Proceedings title Proceedings of the 3rd World Planning Schools Congress
Place of Publication Perth, W. A., Australia
Publisher University of Western Australia
Publication Year 2011
Sub-type Fully published paper
Open Access Status
ISBN 9781740522373
Editor Paul Maginn
Start page 243.1
End page 243.16
Total pages 16
Collection year 2012
Language eng
Abstract/Summary This paper uses an exploration of the imperatives that favour contemporary ‘big bang’ urban planning (characterised by large scale, rapid planning and development processes) to show how this drives production of precincts that fail to deliver high quality urban design. The key imperatives focus on the evolution of the property development industry leading to the development of very large property development corporations, the hegemony of financial and employment dimensions in current state city-making, and the related subordination of urban design considerations. This situation is contrasted with the distilled wisdom of foundational contributors to planning thought such as Geddes and Jacobs who advocated careful, slow and iterative planning in order to produce the best urban outcomes. Two case studies are used to illustrate the paper’s propositions: the near-CBD redevelopments of the Docklands area of Melbourne and the Barangaroo dockside area in Sydney. In both cases there has been a state government focus on large scale development over a relatively short period, where development returns have been intended to pay for state infrastructure costs, and that have involved state development corporations and very large property developers to drive development forward. The result in each case has been the production of precincts with development that has been attacked as over-scaled by urban design professionals and local council planners, and that has failed to produce the human scale, pedestrian intimacy and visual variety, inter alia, that characterise the adjacent Central Business Districts.
Keyword Urban mega-projects
Melbourne Docklands
Q-Index Code E1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Paper Presented in Track 10 (Urban Cultures, Heritage and Urban Design). Paper # 243.

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Created: Wed, 16 Nov 2011, 11:07:51 EST by Associate Professor Glen Searle on behalf of School of Geography, Planning & Env Management