One of the main problems an urban designers day –to-day life is how to achieve the best design outcomes that benefits all members of the community on the ground. Many challenges come with it including:
Poor information – often reliability of data or even insufficient data makes it hard to create a viable case;
Lack of awareness – appreciation for good urban design from both sides the developer and the future occupant can be an issue;
Unpredictable market development – timing is everything- the property market fluctuates and if the market is on a low it can become a barrier to good design outcomes;
High land value – reduced profit margins will leave less room for any extra investments;
Short-term thinking – as our financial systems is structured to allow planning horizons to be funded for 3 to 5 years. This means it is hard to engage businesses in long-term improvements when usually quick fixes and well-intended ad hoc works are the prevalent form of commitment;
Skill deficit – a significant challenge on both sides of the spectrum in development processes are often represent through a low level of urban design skill that prevents best practice delivery of good design.
If these are some of the challenges you have identified in your professional capacity and also see them only as a mean rather the end to making a difference on the ground –come and join the conversation at the “Integrative Urban Design Master class” as part of the 2013 Congress of the Planning Institute of Australia on the 27th March.
I can look forward to exchange ideas and visions with some exiting distinct panel discussants such as:
- Dr. Susan Parham, Head of Urbanism, Centre for Sustainable Communities University of Hertfordshire, UK;
- Bill Chandler, Director, Chandler Consulting Services Pty. Ltd.;
- Neil Savery, Immediate Past President of the Planning Institute of Australia;
- Gay Williamson, Design Policy Manager, ACT Government, Environment and Sustainable Development Directorate;
- Kuga Kugathas, Senior Transport Planning Manager, ACT Government, Environment and Sustainable Development Directorate;
- Dr. Andrew MacKenzie, Assistant Professor of Landscape Architecture, University of Canberra;
- Chris Millman, Director, Cox Architecture;
Further information can be obtained from the following website http://www.piacongress.com/.