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Sydney has ranked worst of all the major capital cities in terms of metropolitan planning with ’below average’ urban design and architecture, according to a new report.



BY jesse

June 22nd, 2010


Sydney has ranked worst of all the major capital cities in terms of metropolitan planning with ’below average’ urban design and architecture, according to a new report.

The report measured each capital city against the performance criteria for effective city planning adopted by COAG on 7 December 2009 and provided an overall score and ranking.

Strong documentation but “poor implementation” left Sydney lagging in sixth position overall, with only Darwin and Hobart scoring lower.

Erratic and whimsical planning decisions suggested a “breakdown” in the way the planning system encourages investment, delivers world-class architecture and design, releases land, builds infrastructure and addresses policy, the report argues.

Sydney scored 5 out of 10 for urban design and architecture, below the average score of 6 and trailing behind Melbourne (7), Perth (7), Canberra (6) and Darwin (6).

A strong culture of expert review, a metropolitan plan, transport plan, land supply program and housing strategy saw Melbourne ranked overall first.

Brisbane came in second after a strong reform of its capital city strategic planning system, including the SEQ regional plan and infrastructure program.

The report identifies a “clear need to elevate achievement of design excellence as a priority for urban development across all areas” and suggests bonuses for design excellence and greater authority for Government Architects as ways of advancing design.

The news has led the design and property industry to call for a Cabinet Minister for Urban Affairs, along with a centre for design excellence. The Development Assessment Forum (DAF) model should be adopted at a local level and a Better Cities program should be introduced, argues the industry.

Peter Verwer, CEO of the Property Council of Australia, said: “Delivering long-term plans to manage future growth is essential if Australia is to have more liveable, sustainable and productive cities. There can be no nation-building agenda without lifting the performance of our cities.”

David Parken, CEO of the Australian Institute of Architects, said: “We need to ensure that our capital cities are favourably positioned to lead the world in design excellence and sustainability.”

Full report and summary available on bemp.com.au.


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