Shaping great places: The future is in good hands

13 November 2018
A student team from the Sydney School of Architecture, Design and Planning has won Landcom's Collaborative Urban Teaching Platform competition, to be awarded at the annual research and learning showcase, Co.Lab 2018.

The Collaborative Urban Teaching Platform invites university partners to showcase student learning initiatives which can be adopted to enhance the community both immediately and in the long term. Known for garnering high quality ideas and presentations, the University of Sydney team competed alongside three other institutions across seven different disciplines.

The team of students - Yvonne Kanti, Elizabeth Jones, Aleksandar Kresovic and Jill Davies - are completing the Land Use and Infrastructure Planning course as part of the Masters of Urban and Regional Planning, under the supervision of Gunika Singh and Adrian Melo.

Their project, which included finance and feasibility studies, as well as environmental and social considerations, focused on the Landcom Sydney Metro Northwest Places Program, Bella Vista site.  The team was commended for their response at a strategic level and the realistic planning which could be adopted into the existing site, delivering commercial return to government.

The team produced an excellent body of work and demonstrated a thorough understanding of the challenges faced by Landcom for the redevelopment of Bella Vista. They adopted a place-based and design-led approach to strengthen the values of the existing area and deliver the future vision to create The Hills premier living and business precinct'.

When the students who have been through the Collaborative Urban Teaching Platform move into urban planning practice our cities will be in safe hands.
Dr Dallas Rogers, Program Director, Master of Urbanism

The concept, which provided solutions to build strong and resilient communities in the Bella Vista area, addressed a range of issues:

The team tackled the challenge of movement and transport; they identified additional pedestrian and cycle bridges which filled in the gaps of the existing pedestrian and bicycle network. The group also suggested some innovative solutions such as ‘Hail and Ride’ Shuttle service, ‘First free metro trip’ and cycle share programs to create a well-connected and accessible place and influence people’s behaviour to use active or public transport rather than private cars, currently the primary mode of transportation.

The team also proposed the integration of design principles in order to improve the cohesion of newly developed sites with the existing development in Bella Vista. Design ideas included the adaption of permeable urban design strategies of shading, innovative street paving design and Solar Collector ‘Umbrellas’ to combat the heat issues in North Western Sydney.

The team’s concept also looked at ways to create a lifestyle culture within the area. This included User-paid Workforce shuttle and an exclusive membership Lifestyle Program for Bella Vista residents and workers to access a range of discounted events and dining options.

The University of Sydney team recognised these issues and challenges which reflects why research and learning becomes an important factor in the urban planning process and the shaping of our cities.

“I’m very proud of our students and teaching staff who worked extraordinarily hard. The competition was of the highest calibre and the student work was exceptional across the board. When the students who have been through the Collaborative Urban Teaching Platform move into urban planning practice our cities will be in safe hands.”  Dr Dallas Rogers, Program Director, Master of Urbanism.

Landcom Research and Learning Director Nicole Campbell said the Collaborative Urban Teaching Platform competition was a great opportunity for university students to practically apply what they have learned to a real project.

“The Collaborative Urban Teaching Platform provides a rich opportunity for Landcom to hear the ideas from undergraduate and post-graduate students – it is a win for students and a win for our project teams,” Ms Campbell said.

“These students are the urban planners, architects and designers of the future and the quality of their ideas has been fantastic.

 “This year our focus was specific to Landcom’s Sydney Metro Northwest Places Program, and we are excited by the opportunity to take some of these ideas forward.”

The University of Sydney team will present their proposal at Landcom’s annual research and learning showcase Co-Lab 2018 on 22 November at Parramatta North.

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