Image: The protocol utilises winners of the Australian Award for Urban Design (like the Paddington Reservoir Gardens) to illustrate the principles. While I like these places too the majority of photos in the book are not 'typical' urban design scenarios. A lot of placemaking outcomes are delivered by the design of everyday buildings - active edges to commercial and retail buildings and houses which relate to the street.
Posted by: Andrew Hammonds
Tuesday 24 January, 2011
Creating Places for People Is the Urban Design Protocol for Australian Cities was launched in Melbourne on 30 November 2011. Importantly, it is a collaborative commitment to best practice urban design in Australia.
"Creating Places for People does not take a one size fits all approach. It provides broad principles for urban design that take into account the unique characteristics of a location, people’s enjoyment, experience and health, and encourages excellence and collaboration in the design and custodianship of urban places."
While we have some minor gripes, this is a significant (if belated) step forward for urban design in Australia for 6 reasons.
- Clear outcomes around productivity, sustainability and livability for urban design along with some suggestions to get there - leadership and design
- Clear design principles for place and people and principles on leadership and governance
- It establishes a common benchmark and language for urban design. Hopefully this enables us to act rather than argue.
- It was suggested by Neil Savery during his term as President of the Planning Institute (reminding us of the a fey role of planning in urban design)
- It was produced through a collaborative process between peak community and industry organisations, States, Territories, Local Governments, and the Australian Governmentwith some help at the end from the Major Cities Unit. As Dorte Ecklund reminded us recently, there is no Commonwealth logo on the front cover.
- While this is the case the Minister Albanese has publicly committed to the protocol. In response to a question at the National Urban Design Workshop, the Minister stated that he would like to tie Commonwealth funding to delivery of the UD Protocol! This could have a significant result for roads, hospitals, schools etc...
For these reasons we are pleased to endorse the protocol (hopefully they accept it!). We have prepared a table to show how the Placefocus website and training reinforces the principles of the Protocol. We do this by illustrating the principles of the Protocol and providing you with a process, tools and references to enable application at work.
One of the advantages of Australia releasing a protocol after a lot of other countries in the world (and Australian States) is that we can ask them what worked and what didn't. My understanding is that a lot of organisation signed up to the NZ Protocol without necessarily resulting in any improvements in their delivery of UD outcomes?
The overt reference to the City might be reconsidered in the next revision? is the Protocol for Cities (as per the title) or is it for suburbs and centres (regional and rural). As Peter Richards suggested after walking around Sydney, 'our cities are doing a pretty good job. We need to focus on where the majority of people live and work.'
As we discussed in National Urban Design Workshop - a success? the big question is how do we advance the Protocol and coordinate urban design nationally?