May 18, 2012

Improving the liveability of Australian cities

 The Federal Labor Government has announced the successful projects from its $20 million Liveable Cities program, designed to help make Australia’s 18 major cities more productive, sustainable and liveable.

The Liveable Cities program supports a wide range of projects in two categories:

  • those that demonstrate best practice in urban design or that encourage better public transport and cycling, urban sustainability and infill;
  • plans that help cities prepare for demographic change, climate change, urban infill, healthier lifestyles and greater well-being.

The Liveable Cities program addresses the objectives of the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) cities reform agenda and the Federal Labor Government’s National Urban Policy by supporting urban renewal and strategic urban development.

The successful projects (and Liveable Cities Program funding provided) are:

Sydney:

  • Parramatta City Council – Parramatta River City Renewal ($3,750,000) – a separate cycling and walking link will be built between the University of Western Sydney, housing developments in the area and key employment precincts of the Parramatta city centre.  This will ensure residents have access to a safe, healthy and sustainable way to get to work or university.
  • City of Sydney – Green Square Town Centre Trigeneration ($3,750,000) – Australia’s first large scale low carbon trigeneration energy network, it will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by around 40,000 tonnes a year and help the City of Sydney reach its target of a 70 percent reduction in emissions by 2030.

Melbourne:

  • Arts Victoria, Department Of Premier and Cabinet – Southbank Cultural Precinct Redevelopment Blueprint ($400,000) – a plan for better integration of the precinct’s commercial, cultural and residential centres, encouraging greater work opportunities, increased commercial activity and better pedestrian access in this fast-growing area.
  • Melton Shire Council – Toolern Train Station Feasibility Project ($125,000) – an assessment of the options and costs of a rail station in the Toolern precinct in Melbourne’s west, with a view to shaping development of this key growth corridor into the future.
  • Wyndham City Council – The Greenfield – Tarneit West ($448,500) – a plan for sustainable development on the Regional Rail Link with good urban design, which aims to reduce car dependence and maximise the number of local jobs so that people moving to the region do not face long daily commutes.

Melbourne/Geelong:

  • Victorian Department of Transport – Principal Pedestrian Network Demonstration Project ($1,200,000) – projects in four sites across Melbourne and Geelong that will encourage more people to walk between local destinations by identifying key routes for pedestrians and improving those routes so that they are safer and more appealing to use.

Brisbane:

  • Queensland Department of State Development, Infrastructure and Planning – Meadowbrook Knowledge Precinct ($120,000) – strategic blueprint to guide future growth and developments around Logan’s major health and educational institutions.
  • Logan City Council – The Logan Central Affordable Housing Demonstration Project ($689,038) – a new apartment complex catering for the area’s growing number of low-income retirees and local hospital staff, part of the Council’s longer term plans to rejuvenate Logan Central by attracting a wider-range of affordable housing options, as well as jobs, public transport, retail facilities and recreational activities.

Perth:

  • Western Australian Land Authority – Rockingham Strategic Regional Centre Renewal – Sustainable Development Demonstration Project ($3,750,000) to change perceptions of higher density living by building a medium-density, medium-rise, 30-unit residential building in the centre of Rockingham on Goddard St.
  • City of Cockburn – Cockburn Central – Integrated Facility Precinct Structure Plan ($444,400) – Precinct Structure Plan for the Cockburn Central West site which will be the basis for a sporting, education and recreational precinct for the region.  This is likely to include a gym, elite training community sporting hall, AFL ovals, university health science facilities and conference and community spaces.
  • City of Melville – Willagee Structure Plan ($30,000) – creating designs to rejuvenate Willagee and prepare it for future growth, focusing on developing affordable housing, particularly for low income households, and identifying the best location for shops and other commercial activities. 

Adelaide:

  • South Australian Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure – Vibrant Adelaide: Energising the City ($1,000,000) – the rejuvenation of Adelaide through a series of projects across the city, starting with an upgrade of Hindley Street West.
  • Campbelltown City Council – Magill Urban Village, Precinct Master Plan ($100,000) to coordinate future development, revitalising the Magill Urban Village in Adelaide and improving its overall liveability.
  • City of Port Adelaide – Port Adelaide Centre – Black Diamond Square Upgrade ($229,841) – looking at ways to revitalise the Black Diamond Square, bringing more tourists, locals, night time activity and economic growth to the area.

Newcastle:

  • Maitland City Council – Hunter Region – Strategic Infrastructure Plan ($500,000) for targeted delivery of infrastructure in the Hunter Valley to lift productivity in the region.

Canberra/Queanbeyan:

  • Australian Capital Territory Government – Realising the Capital in the City ($500,000) – a major planning project to unlock the potential of the city’s CBD and better integrates it with public transport, residential buildings, surrounding parklands, the Australian National University and the Canberra Institute of Technology campuses.

Sunshine Coast:

  • Sunshine Coast Regional Council – Sunshine Coast Light Rail Project ($500,000) – feasibility study and business case into a light rail link between Caloundra and Maroochydore that would provide an alternative form of transport for local commuters and tourists travelling along the coastal strip.

Hobart:

  • Tasmanian Department of Economic Development, Tourism and the Arts – Macquarie Point Railyards Future Development Options and Benefit Cost Analysis ($110,000) – a major economic study into the potential and future use of the Macquarie Point Railyards, an 8.4 hectare site located right on the doorstep of Hobart’s CBD with enormous potential for urban renewal and development.
  • Hobart City Council – Hobart Central Bus Interchange Planning Project ($125,000) – a plan to overhaul Hobart’s bus service to make it more functional, coordinated and user-friendly, so that bus travel is a more attractive transport option for families and commuters.
  • Kingborough Council – Redevelopment of Former Kingston High School Site ($200,000) – a coordinated design to meet the needs of Tasmania’s fastest growing community by looking at the best land use and development options, a transport strategy with pedestrian access and public transport and economic feasibility.

Townsville:

  • Townsville City Council – Townsville Smart Link ($300,000) – an urban design framework around a defined transport corridor linking the Townsville CBD to the Douglas Knowledge Precinct, an important part of Townsville’s continuing development.

Darwin:

  • Darwin City Council – Precinct Based Master Plan for the Darwin CBD ($250,000) – looking at ways to reshape the Darwin CBD and guide new roads and transport links to support Darwin’s unique tropical lifestyle while improving its productivity and liveability.

Launceston:

  • Launceston City Council – Greater Launceston Plan ($320,000) – an innovative planning project that will allow the region to plan for the future, taking into account future public transport, water and land-use needs, the best placement of new employment and industrial precincts, population growth, demographic change and community aspirations.

Albury/Wodonga:

  • Albury City Council – Improving Albury Wodonga’s Cycling Infrastructure ($300,000) – funding of a cross border bicycle network to service the large and growing numbers of cyclists in the region.

National:

  • Whittlesea City Council – Practical Design for Resilient Outer Suburbs ($355,300) – a study that will look at ensuring well-designed, vibrant and people-friendly development, reducing car dependence, improving job opportunities in outer areas and encouraging greater economic and environmental sustainability.  Other partners for this project are Penrith City Council (NSW), Town of Kwinana (WA), Mount Barker District Council (SA), Ipswich City Council (QLD), the National Growth Areas Alliance (NGAA) and the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA).

From a national perspective, it’s a great example of the kind of cooperation between governments, communities and the private sector which is required if we are to overcome the big challenges facing our cities such as climate change, a lack of affordable housing, traffic congestion and a growing, ageing population.

Cities that are more liveable, sustainable and productive will contribute to Australia’s future economic prosperity and social cohesion.

To find out more about these projects please visit this website http://www.nationbuildingprogram.gov.au/funding/liveablecities/index.aspx