28 March 2012 – The convenor of a national urban design forum in Victoria next month, Bill Chandler, believes there needs to be a better understanding of the economic value of good urban design particularly in regional cities where more than four million live.
“Bad design costs you money,” he told The Fifth Estate. There is a more subtle way to promote good design: encouraging people to enjoy street life, to be part of a community, to have the necessary facilities such as close public transport.”
Mr Chandler, who coordinates The Australian Urban Design Initiative, a national network of some 420 members, cites an initiative of Associate Professor of Urban Planning at Deakin University, called Midicities.
Interest across Queensland includes a group of Regional Development Australia committees and municipal, academic and agency partners. This is being led by the Logan and Redlands RDA, which will host a national MidiCities conference from 11-12 July in Logan City, Queensland.
The Victorian urban design forum will be from 20-22 April in Melbourne and Bendigo. Topics will include how regional cities function, not just how they look but the roles of local, state, and federal government, the private sector, institutions and communities, Mr Chandler said.
It would also examine urban design education and skill development for successful urban design in regional cities.
It will discuss the work by public and private sector designers and developers in making sure regional cities vital, successful, and part of the low carbon sustainable future.