UNSW Built Environment: 2011 Melbourne Planning Summit

15 04 2011

The 2011 Melbourne Planning Summit is now open for registration.

This two day event will be held on 18 and 19  May. Speakers will discuss and review the future direction of metropolitan planning in Melbourne in the wake of the recent state election.

This summit will provide analysis of future urban planning policy, the examination of how to achieve sustainable planning solutions for Melbourne’s growing population and the presentation of case studies of innovative and successful planning solutions.

For more information on this event please visit the 2011 Melbourne Planning Summit page.

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UNSW Built Environment: The Challenges of NSW’s Planning System

25 03 2011

Authored by: Eli Geschiet

The Faculty of the Built Environment in conjunction with the City Futures Research Centre recently hosted a planning forum with guest speaker David Broyd, Group Manager, Sustainable Planning, Port Stephens Council.

David has recently prepared a paper titled “Where to Planning?” which was formulated to generate discussion on pressing urban planning issues in New South Wales.

Download David’s paper here.

With the advent of the 26 March State Government elections, the organisers took the opportunity to shed light on the real issues to inform the audience and the wider community.

The forum took place at the Hugh Dixson Theatre at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) campus on Wednesday 16 March. The audience was comprised of primarily planners from all age groups and across a range of fields including government, consultants, and there was also a young planners contingent. The audience had the privilege to hear the views of planning experts in response to the issues presented from David Boyle’s paper.

The line up of panelists included;

Malcolm Ryan, Director of Planning and Development Services at Warringah Council

Tony MacNamara – Director of Planning at Canada Bay Council and NSW President of the Planning Institute of Australia

Ken Morrison- CEO at the Property Council of Australia

John McInerney– Architect, town planner and City of Sydney Councillor

Why is planning so hard?

As an introduction to the forum, David Boyle outlined the main issues he believed to be influencing the current planning system. These included;

  • No national planning policy
  • Need to prepare a National Settlement and Infrastructure
  • There is too much focus on development assessment, rather than on strategic planning
  • There is too much fragmentation of the state agencies which inhibits forging strong relationships to achieve sound planning outcomes

The focus of the discussion evolved primarily around the inabilities of the planning system to deliver a pragmatic approach to Sydney’s geographic and social constraints.

Ken Morrison from the Property Council of Australia emphasised there is an evident lack of funding available to implement effective changes for the planning system. Representing the peak body of the development industry, he also referred to the housing supply issue, where only half of the required homes are being build to meet the demand for a growing population.

More transparency in the planning system is a pressing issue according to PIA President Tony MacNamara. One of the fundamental flaws in the current legislation is that there are two systems operating concurrently. According to MacNamara, The Environmental Planning and Assessment Act is being underminded by other planning loopholes including Part 3A, which provides incentives for developers to use a ‘back door’ approach in obtaining approval for major projects.

John McInerney from City of Sydney also emphasised David Boyle’s view that the Commonwealth Government should have a more intimate role and influence in the planning processes on the state and local government levels. John suggested there be an overhaul in the Department of Planning, which should be implemented as soon as the new Minister for Planning coomences his term.

During the course of the forum, the audience had opportunities to express their viewpoints.

Chris Johnson, from the Department of Planning concurred with Broyd’s position that the Federal government needs to play a more central role in the development of our cities.

Also, Gary Shields, Director of GSA planning, highlighted a fundamental flaw in the assessment process when an application is determined by Councillors. The Councillors are politicians and not “overnight decision makers”.

Planning Insights

The forum was primarily focused on the negative aspects of the current planning system. However towards the conclusion of the evening, a member from the audience raised the question to the panelists; “Are there any positive aspects that the planning system has contributed?”

Other audience members chuckled, but the panelists found it hard to provide sound responses. Panelist members suggested that Part 3A assessment for major projects and the introduction of the Joint Regional Planning Panels were effective functions of the planning system.

The night ended with a message to young planners on how they can get involved in improving the planning process. “Don’t give up” were words expressed by a panel member. Indeed all planners need to be vigilant, while also attempting to fix the mistakes of the past.

About the Author

Eli Gescheit is a Bachelor of Planning (UNSW) Alumni from 2008. Eli currently works at Waverley Council and is the Director of The Planning Boardroom website, an online portal and resource for urban planners, architects and developers. For more info visit; http://www.theplanningboardroom.net





UNSW Built Environment: Professor Robert Freestone wins Planning award

18 03 2011

UNSW Built Environment would like to congratulate Planning Professor Robert Freestone for winning the Planning Scholarship for Research or Teaching at the 2011 National Awards for Planning Excellence.

The award was for outstanding contribution to issues relating to rural and/or urban planning in Australia contained in a report, book, thesis, article or research piece. Professor Freestone won the award for his book “Urban Nation: Australia’s Planning Heritage”, which addresses the topic of the heritage value of urban planning in Australia.

The book was described by judges as “…an excellent summary of urban planning history. Richly illustrated, and well researched, the book will become a valuable resource for students and general readers alike.”

For more information on the 2011 National Awards for Planning Excellence, please click here.

Professor Freestone has been employed by UNSW Built Environment since 1991. He has held various appointments including Head of Planning Program from 2001 -2004 and Acting Associate Dean (Research) in 2007. His full profile can be found on the UNSW Built Environment website.





UNSW Built Environment: Elite Sports Program at UNSW

16 03 2011

UNSW Built Environment student, Lauren Kitchen has been featured in a video that profiles students enrolled in the UNSW Elite Athlete Support Program.

Lauren, who is currently studying a Bachelor of Planning at UNSW was recently named the “Under-23 National Cycling Time Trial Champion”, and competed in the 2011 Tour Down Under, Australia’s biggest international cycling race.

Click on the video below to hear Lauren’s and other UNSW student’s opinions on what it is like to be an elite athlete studying at UNSW.

For more information on Lauren, click on this related article in the Built Environment blog.





UNSW Built Environment Event: Where will Planning be after 26 March?

11 03 2011

Free Event – “Where will Planning be after 26 March”

David Broyd, Group Manager, Sustainable Planning Port Stephens Council

Date: Wednesday 16 March

Time: 6.00m – 8.00pm

Venue: Hugh Dixon Theatre (GO3), Ground Floor, AGSM Building, Gate 11, Botany Street, University of NSW

A FREE Planning seminar hosted by UNSW Built Environment City Futures Research Centre will be held on Wednesday the 16th of March. The Lecture will be given by David Broyd, Group Manager, Sustainable Planning Port Stephens Council.

In this special seminar, one of New South Wales’s most experienced planners, David Broyd, presents his thoughts about the future of the planning system in NSW.

Based on his recent paper “Where to Planning?”, David will outline a set of key reforms that might rekindle the public’s trust in and the effectiveness of the NSW planning system.

He will be joined on the platform by a guest panel of senior planners and commentators, including:

Malcolm Ryan – Director of Planning and Development Services at Warringah Council

Tony MacNamara – Director of Planning at Canada Bay Council and NSW President of the Planning Institute of Australia

John McInerney – Councillor, City of Sydney

Ken Morrison – Chief Operating Officer, Property Council of Australia

David’s view is that planning in NSW needs a comprehensive re-think and that the NSW Planning system has been subject to excessive, piecemeal, ad-hoc and politically expedient changes that have made it a system in need of comprehensive reform and new directions. He therefore proposes a range of proposals for the incoming State Government to achieve that comprehensive reform of planning in NSW.

David will present his ideas for change and the seminar will invite engagement from the guest panel and the audience to raise the debate on the ideas that David will present. The outcome of the seminar will be to make further submissions to the NSW Labour Party, NSW Coalition and NSW Greens to advocate change for those ideas and proposals from David that have total or majority support from the audience.

David’s paper is available to download here

Please RSVP by Monday the 14th of March to Maria Schwensen

Phone: 02 9382 7777

Email: m.schwensen@unsw.edu.au





UNSW Built Environment Student Lauren Kitchen named Under 23 National Cycling Champion

31 01 2011

The Faculty of Built Environment would like to congratulate Lauren Kitchen, who is currently studying a Bachelor of Planning at UNSW, for being named the “Under-23 National Cycling Time Trial Champion”.

Lauren has had an outstanding year, competing for the first time in the Open Women’s Cycling category after being named the 2008 ‘Australian Junior Cyclist of the Year’. Lauren also represented UNSW in 2009, winning Gold at the Australian University Games in both the Road Race and the Women’s Criterium as well as Silver in the Women’s Individual Time Trial. Lauren was rewarded with a much deserved place in the Green and Gold squad.

Lauren has been studying part time at UNSW Built Environment for the past 2 years. We managed to have a quick chat to Lauren about how she balances her study and cycling career.

Why did Lauren choose to study a Planning degree?

I chose the Bachelor of Planning degree as I find the field very interesting and I can see it becoming a bigger and bigger part of society into the future. I also chose this course as it was very different to the sporting side of things that I am around 24/7. I really enjoy spending time concentrating on things away from bike riding from time to time.

Do you find it hard to balance study and training? How do you fit it all in?

I have found it difficult at times to balance study and training but UNSW has an excellent support structure for elite athletes and I find once I get into a routine of studying regularly while training and competing overseas I can easily balance the two.

What sort of career are you looking for when you finish your degree?

In terms of when I finish my degree I really don’t know which direction I will head into. I am finding my degree interesting and enjoy studying it but I am a cyclist and I can also see myself running a team when I finish competing myself. I love studying though as it gives me the options in my future which is nice.

Due to her success at the National Cycling Championships, Lauren wore the National Cycling Jersey for her team, Jayco AIS, at the recent Tour Down Under, the biggest international cycling race in the Southern Hemisphere. Lauren will now focus on her attention on the Spring Classics in Europe in April.





UNSW Built Environment: 2010 Graduand Catalogues

14 12 2010

Our 2010 UNSW Built Environment Graduand Catalogues have been released for viewing. These catalogues showcase the achievements of our 2010 of our graduating students – congratulations to all those involved.

If you would like to view the various graduand catalogues, please click the links below.

Architectural Computing

Architecture (BArch)

Industrial Design

Landscape Architecture

Master of Architecture (MArch)