Adelaide streetlife

18 July 2011 – A series of forums that sets out to redesign inner city Adelaide is currently under way and just one of a number of initiatives stimulated by the appointment in 2008 of Adelaide Thinker in Residence Laura Lee.

Professor Lee’s report on her term as Thinker, “An Integrated Design Strategy for South Australia: Building the Future, has already led to the establishment of an Integrated Design Commission of South Australia, headed by Tim Horton, the appointment of a government architect, Ben Hewett, and development of an integrated design strategy for inner Adelaide.

The forums will report to the South Australia’s Department of the Premier and Cabinet, which will use the results to create a set of draft guiding principles to achieve the project’s aims.

A spokesman for the Integrated Design Strategy said two forums in the “5000 plus” www.5000plus.net.au project have already been held, including the most recent, entitled “Green City,” held at Adelaide Zoo on 14 and 15 July. Remaining forums will be held in the next two months, dates to be announced on the 5000plus website,

During her term Professor Lee brought to the table growing evidence design can generate economic advantage.

Laura Lee

Cities that based their decisions on integrated design principles are more economically competitive, innovative, sustainable, vibrant and productive, she said in her report.

The IDS goal is now to create a vision for inner Adelaide that sets the direction for the long term and with this a “set of guiding principles outlining community priorities, values and desirable characteristics of inner Adelaide as a reference for future design, development and decision-making,” a spokesman from the IDC said.

A major benefit of the framework set out by Professor Lee in her report was that it has developed as a model that could be replicated elsewhere, the spokesman said.

Other parts of the strategy will include examination of how government agencies buy and contract services and ways to streamline processes and improve the planning and delivery of projects.

An explanatory paper from The Integrated Design Strategy for inner Adelaide includes the following highlights:

The Strategy
Professor Lee’s strategy for design puts people at the centre. This means involving people when initiating projects, and in planning and developing them. The strategy is envisaged as a repeatable process for integrated design anywhere and at any scale.

The Integrated Design Strategy is a framework designed to guide decisions on planning and development for inner Adelaide.

While the IDS aims to address the range of global challenges facing cities all over the world, it strives to balance these decisions on a shared vision for Adelaide; its character and on a lifestyle and quality of life that everyone can share in.

Through collaboration with interested parties and informed by evidence, the IDS will develop a design-based vision to guide future planning and development for inner Adelaide. It will create a set of guiding principles, improvements to government purchasing of goods and services, and models for collaborative decision-making.

A unique partnership
The Integrated Design Strategy builds on the work of outstanding Thinkers in Residence such  as Herbert Girardet on Creating a Sustainable Adelaide (2004), Charles Landry on Rethinking Adelaide (2003) in addition to Professor Laura Lee.

The IDS will also be guided by the aspirations and objectives of South Australia’s Strategic Plan, The 30-Year Plan for Greater Adelaide, and the Adelaide City Council’s Strategic Plan.

National alignment and a template for all
At the national level, the IDS aligns with Australian Government initiatives through the statement Our Cities, Our Future: A National Urban Policy, and the Council of Australian Governments’ reform program to develop a national strategy for better planning and design of Australia’s capital cities and urban centres.

The Department of Regional Australia, Regional Development and Local Government has funded the IDS in Adelaide as a national pilot that will lead to better co-ordination and collaboration between government, industry, academics and citizens in developing a great Australian city. The notion that integrated design can be repeated nationally is behind the support for this pilot.

How will the Strategy develop its guiding principles?
The IDS will be informed by ideas, information and opinions from a wide range of people in many roles and from all walks of life – citizens, experts, activists and decision-makers.

The IDS will begin a “civic conversation” on the future of the city that will be open and accessible to everyone. This will be achieved through a multi-platform, tailored public engagement strategy that encompasses traditional and social media.

A series of forums (supported by the Capital City Committee) will begin in June 2011 based on five themes: Green City, Moving City, Vibrant City, Leading City, and Liveable City.

The gathering of ideas and information from all sectors of society – will ensure that considerations such as population growth, climate change, South Australia’s economic growth and advancing technology – will be included in discussions about and planning for Adelaide’s future.

Public engagement will be supported by the latest international research into integrated design and the city of tomorrow.

Through the IDS, internationally renowned Gehl architects will update earlier work mapping Adelaide to come up with demonstrated ideas to improve the city’s public realm.

IDS research will show what is driving change in cities world-wide, and how this is playing out in Adelaide by identifying factors unique to Adelaide.

Alongside this will sit examples of integrated ways of thinking, through design, drawn from cities around the world, highlighting others’ successes and inspiring ideas.

This research will help everyone take part in the conversation about Adelaide’s future with a shared understanding and using a common language.

Why does inner Adelaide need an Integrated Design Strategy?
Like cities around the world, Adelaide is at the cross-roads. Complex changes are reshaping cities, demanding a rethink of how they are planned and designed for the future. Many cities have embarked on exercises to find new ways to meet these challenges.

In South Australia, the Integrated Design Strategy represents a once in a generational chance to plan and design for the future and effect real, and lasting change.

Mounting evidence – gathered by Professor Lee and others – indicates that cities that based their decisions on integrated design principles are more economically competitive, innovative, sustainable, vibrant and productive. These cities can and do attract and keep the best and brightest people. They are people-centred cities in which people want to invest, work, live and play.

The over-arching goal of the IDS is to create a vision for inner Adelaide that sets the direction for the long term.

Alongside the vision will be a set of guiding principles outlining community priorities, values and desirable characteristics of inner Adelaide in concise statements as a reference for future design, development and decision- making.

Procurement
The Strategy will also examine how government agencies buy and contract services, and look at ways to streamline processes and improve the planning and delivery of projects.

The solutions proposed will align with the IDS vision and guiding principles, be environmentally sustainable, make projects more efficient, and deliver value for money.

Underpinning all these elements will be models for decision-making that are integrated, collaborative and inclusive – involving all spheres of government – so that decision-making on project initiation, planning and delivery is grounded in public engagement.