The Urban Design Forum in Brisbane was immensely enjoyable and informative. The lessons of Brisbane were plain to see and the work of UDAL(Q) very impressive. The current renaissance of urban design in Australia, and now in New Zealand, is of course part of a continuing cycle of reactions to the sectorial approaches of the past. Urban design requires committed political leadership and that leadership will only be sustained if the value of urban design in economic, social, cultural and ecological terms is obvious.
The current research led by Victoria University and presented by Professor Gordon Holden in Brisbane is highly relevant to our work. [Ed: to be presented in the next edition of UDF]. However, urban design must not become just another separate discipline in our quest for quality human settlements. Absent from Brisbane were of course the traffic planners, the civil engineers, the surveyors and others who are also involved with bits of urban design every day.
Having worked at Doxiadis' Ekistics Research Centre in the early 1970s, I reflected on the fact that he lived in Brisbane for two years while recovering from his post-war reconstruction effort in Greece, unable to practise, as Australia did not recognise his qualifications or appreciate his unique inter-disciplinary experience. He probably never intended to stay in Australia, but one wonders what contribution he could have made had he been allowed to practise.
A genuinely inter-disciplinary approach to the design and planning of human settlements is yet to be achieved. The contribution of Urban Design Forum and UDAL (Q) towards this goal is substantial.
Also in UDFQ 74: June 2006:
- Promoting transit-oriented development
- Urban Design Toolkit
- Six visions for King George Square
- Broadmeadows Central – Proposition 3047
- Competitions - East Darling Harbour
- Conceptual Tools - Understanding Urban Regions
- Designing the Small Lot Suburb
- NZ Government raises the bar
- Organising Australian Urban Designers
- Developer’s dollars vs good urban design