Applying a Place Making Sustainable Centres Framework to Transit Activated Corridors in Australian cities
The future ability of urban centres in Australia and around the globe to adapt and respond to big challenges of climate change, economic development, and social inclusion, will depend on how well we integrate and embed them within these built environments. Such a complex agenda presents a major collective challenge for designers, planners and engineers to address with politicians, developers, financiers and community leaders. Refocusing design requires collaborative processes and co-creation in a design space currently dominated by siloed approaches to traffic management, transport planning, precinct design and engineering, architecture and landscaping. With the aim of bridging these silos, an interdisciplinary research team has synthesised and then applied a set of principles of design to a range of development scenarios with the aim of delivering sustainable urban centre outcomes. This paper uses the lens of the Theory of Urban Fabrics to present a place making Sustainable Centres Framework created by the authors, comprising 7 principles and 21 associated practices of design. This formed a critical first step for a national sustainable centres research project underway at the time. The paper then presents the findings of a two-phase investigative study to apply the framework to four place-oriented urban regeneration initiatives (i.e. case study sites) that were endeavouring to enable transit activated corridors with local micro-mobility linkages, in Townsville, Sydney, Melbourne and Perth. The first phase of the study comprised a desk-based application of the Sustainable Centres Framework to the four sample urban fabric types observed the case study locations. The second phase involved detailed sense-checking of the framework in the one of the case study locations (Townsville), through stakeholder workshops. The findings provide insights into opportunities and considerations for managing the complexity of urban regeneration projects. The authors discuss the potential for the Framework to inform planning tools and decision support tools, and opportunities to further refine the Framework.