26 June 2013 — The idea behind the recently published book “Urban Voices”, is a celebration of urban design in Australia and came from the publication of the 100th edition of Urban Design Forum.
Editors John Byrne, Bill Chandler and Bruce Echberg say Urban Voices reflects “on urban design in Australia over the past 25 years as we confront the challenges of the next 25 years”.
“It is a compendium of contributions from a wide range of people interested in how our cities and towns function and the quality of life they deliver.
“By intent, it is neither a comprehensive record of all that has happened, nor the final word on the subject.
“It is a snapshot, a ‘peg in the ground’ of what has been achieved and where the challenges still lie.
“Our aim has been to encourage a diversity of personal, rather than institutional or corporate, contributions. The ideas, observations and opinions are those of the individual authors in their own voice, not necessarily those of the organisations that the authors are or have been involved with.”
The editors say urban design in Australia is a work in progress.
“The past 25 years have seen radical changes in nearly all spheres of life in Australia, and the world. Think: climate change, population and household structure, immigration movements and urbanisation, as well as media and communications, finance, and governance.
“Few people doubt that the challenges facing Australia (and the world) are immense and urgent, although there might be a desire in all of us to ignore the challenges and simply enjoy a happy and prosperous life.
“What has energised (us) is the contention and confidence that creative and skilled urban design has made a very important contribution in the past 25 years and, more importantly, will be a key tool in addressing the challenges ahead.”