Julie Matheson

CFP Business Specialist | Local Government Expert | Political Adviser

CBD & Town Centre Planning

This conference was held in Sydney, June 2013.  Some of the key themes I took away were as follow:

  1. Language like retrofit was used to fix up planning mistakes such as Docklands, ref. S Buckeridge, Hayball
  2. If silos exist between different departments, there’s problem, ref H Elkai, Deakin University, Geelong
  3. Don’t ignore the wisdom of the crowd, ref, Ibid
  4. Be careful of the weighting between rational evidence and local knowledge and intelligence.  One without the other is problematic, ref Ibid
  5. Use a steering committee to manage data and information collection from the community, ref. Ibid
  6. Ideal infill economy is one new resident to one new worker, ref. A McDougall, SGS Economics & Planning
  7. Plans for large buildings does not equal more jobs (Penrith example), ref. Prof. P Phipps, University of Sydney
  8. Having no height restrictions brings more development interest, ref. D Lynch, Townsville Council
  9. Flippers” and speculators can sterilise a place when inappropriate zoning is in place (Penrith example), ref. Prof. P Phipps, University of Sydney.
  10. Developers are NOT good at mixed use developments.  Residents complain of noise and loss of amenity and office workers claim that washing on balconies spoil their views, Ref. Ibid
  11. The legal experts were unconvinced on amalgamations, ref. P Ibbotson, Maddocks
  12. Successful planning should include “shovel-ready” projects to win the hearts and minds of residents, ratepayers, community and State Govt (Tallangatta example), ref. D Landy, ClarkeHopkinsClarke
  13. If funding is a problem for civic assets, make them mixed used to attract grants, ref. Ibid
  14. Make play spaces not play grounds – to keep up with community fickleness, Ref. P DeAraugo, Bendigo Council
  15. Removing a building with history can have a profound effect on the community and their connection a place – they may never visit that area again, ref. Hill Street Precinct, Sydney
  16. Tell people what they can do in a Town Planning Scheme, not what they can’t, Ref. Ref. P DeAraugo, Bendigo Council
  17. To reboot a village using council assets, use office income to fund social services, ref. Degenhart & Shedd
  18. Do not replicate or imitate shopping centres in a village (Townsville experience), ref. Ibid
  19. Council should avoid doing staged developments with developers.  Cherry picking will be done, leaving council with the expensive stuff to complete, ref. P Ibbotson, Maddocks

20. New shopping mall killed off town centre (DeeWhy experience), ref. D Chung, Warringah Council

  1. Roundabouts are friendly for cars but not pedestrians, ref. D Johnson, Ryde Council

22. Have an adaptive use for heritage buildings, and make the most of universities in the locality, ref. J Wing, NSW Dept of planning and infrastructure

23. Use website to brand and promote new projects to get the best teams interested/bidding from far and wide, ref. K Westlake, Parramatta Council

24. Involve children from local schools to launch a project.  They are the future users of it, ref. M Fooks, Frankston Council

  1. It is the role of the council to work directly with traders and tenants to get the right mix of business, ref. C Isles, Place Design Group

26. The capital base of an infill site increases by 120% over 5 years.  Banks require 100% of construction costs to be covered by presales.  Bank will lend up to 60% of LVR, ref. P Archer, Cedar Woods Properties

  1. Focus on specialised developers to get the right use.  Build enduring character that will be future heritage, ref. P Annand, Urban Design

28. Find the businesses you want and entice them in, ref. B Nowland, Savills

29. Solastalgia – the demolition of memories though the loss of buildings or environmental change, ref. J Donovan, Inclusive Design

30. Buskers and musicians don’t like traffic noise, ref. Ibid

For more information see:  http://commstrat.com.au/cbd

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