Suburban areas of the the City of Fremantle have shown a decrease in housing options over the past 25 years. What do people want from their future suburb? What is missing and how can we transform these environments? We designed an interactive customisable model suburb so that the policy makers could make decisions based on practical and community generated evidence. Community open days invited people to come and create their own ideal piece of future suburb and we recorded their designs and preferences. People came face to face with the opportunities and challenges of transforming suburbs.
Delegates at the 2018 National Planning Congress and 2017 WA State planning Conference were given the task of transforming or ‘pimping’ the suburbs using our interactive and customisable 1:200 scale design tool. A game which involved tripling the number of households on their site of 3 to 5 existing lots. Trees, gardens and communal spaces were all ‘up for grabs’ as teams of delegates vied for the prize of the best design response.
Laughter, seriousness and frustration were evident as teams of planners attempted to transform their piece if suburbia. What was important? Does planning knowledge help or hinder spatial innovation. Twenty teams of between 3 and 8 people used their collective energy to design a future suburban residential environment in a fun and interactive session.
Instead of designing dwellings what if we focussed on trees and tree canopy coverage. In this project we created models of three different urban contexts and asked the community to collectively help build an urban forest in each one. Partnering with the Vic Park Collective and the Victoria Park Urban Tree Network in Perth as part of the Victoria Park Urban Forest Strategy these workshops gave real-time feedback on canopy targets and led to some great sharing of knowledge across the community to feed into strategy.
‘Co-designing the structure of the workshops and the design of the models was hassle-free. Your professionalism, and that of your team’s made our life much easier. You were accommodating, flexible and innovative in your approach to our requests.’
Dave Lindner & Heather Johnstone, Vic Park Collective & Victoria Park Urban Tree Network
Delegates at the 2017 Conference of Australian Institutes of Transport Researchers were challenged to build a Transit Oriented Development (TOD). Typically these professionals are concerned with transport service and frequency however they are a critical stakeholder if ambitions for more intense land use activity near transit stops are to be realised. This exercise created a cross-disciplinary platform for transport planners to understand the principles and challenges that urban planners face when attempting to integrate density and diversity near transit.
‘Groups composed of participants with diverse professional and cultural backgrounds were passionately engaged for the afternoon designing their own development...a distinctive outcome which could not be achieved by simply reading and sharing ideas about planning.’
Doina Olaru, Associate Professor, Management and Organisations (UWA Business School)
In Perth and other Australian cities typical responses to upzoning for medium density tend to lead to some poor spatial outcomes. Trees and gardens disappear, everything gets paved and cars dominate the site. Its not in line with 21st century thinking around resource conversation, physical health and mental wellbeing. When a typical R40 scape is shown in model form it provides a startling baseline to reimagine a different future for our suburbs.
This upcoming project partners with architect Katherine Sundermann and the development company Property Collectives who specialise in deliberative residential development - bringing groups of like-minded individuals together into collectives to help source sites and manage residential development projects. The initial workshop to be held in Melbourne in March 2018 showcases a new 1:100 customisable model for collaborative apartment planning and design for 32 aspiring households.
How do creatively engaged kids see the future of their suburbs and living spaces? Millenium Kids champions the agency of young people to develop local, regional and international partnerships to explore, identify and address environmental issues and make change in their communities. This workshop asked kids to transform their typical suburban residential environments and the result were innovative and playful.
‘Thanks for facilitating Anthony! Was a wonderful open ended session with Kids setting their own goals. Such a wonderful process.’
Cat, Millenium Kids CEO
Year 10 high school students studying geography see their ideas for urban planning brought to life in this co-design excursion. Classes learn about the principles of urban design and get to apply them using a scale model kit. Typically three iterations of their design are created and documented per group giving the students opportunities to receive real time feedback from experts and modify their decisions. Sun-path simulations are always a spectacle!
‘This unit of work has worked better than I ever expected and the highlight of every student is the trip to AUDRC to model the work.’
Sarah MacGill, Domain Leader HASS, Joseph Banks Secondary College