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Architecture Australia

Architecture Australia September 2019

Ask architects which Australian magazine they choose to read or to publish their work and the answer is most likely Architecture Australia. If you want to be up to date with the best built works and the issues that matter, then Architecture Australia is for you. Its commissioned contributors are independent, highly respected practitioners, architectural thinkers and design commentators and each article is supported by images from leading architectural photographers. Provocative, informative and engaging – it is the national magazine of the Australian Institute of Architects.

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Architecture Media Pty Ltd
6 Issues

in this issue

3 min
designing for social and environmental equity and sustainability

As architects, we take responsibility for and pride in designing high-quality buildings and places that make a positive difference to their setting and, importantly, to peoples’ lives. We can – and should – apply the skills and knowledge that we gain through our many years of study and practice to creating more sustainable and equitable places. In the weeks since taking on the role of your National President, I have been inspired by the quality of projects at every scale awarded across all of our chapters – innovative, sustainable and fitting additions to their contexts that contribute much more than the brief entails. These projects help to craft a better future for the people they serve. They exemplify the best of our profession and set a standard that should be mainstream…

2 min
collective city-making

The subject of this special issue of Architecture Australia, “Population, Cities and Urban Infrastructure,” was inspired by the federal government’s introduction of a Minister for Population, Cities and Urban Infrastructure in 2015 under Malcolm Turnbull’s leadership. In a review of the Parramatta Transport Interchange by Hassell for the January/February 2007 issue of Architecture Australia, Philip Thalis (who has also contributed to this current issue) asserted that “the importance of infrastructure, particularly public transport, in structuring the city over time is not adequately appreciated in Australia.” Now, twelve years later, the intense focus on infrastructure, public space and housing is palpable when moving around any of Australia’s major urban centres. In her discussion of the expanding role played by architects in the organizational structures of our cities (page 32), Kim Crestani notes:…

4 min
population, cities and urban infrastructure

10% of the global population lived in cities in 1900 50% of the global population lived in cities in 2011 75% will be living in cities in 2050 75% of global natural resources are consumed by cities 80% of global greenhouse emissions are produced by cities 25M Australia’s population today 42M Australia’s predicted population in 2056 The nineteenth century was a century of empires, the twentieth century was a century of nation states. The twenty-first century will be a century of cities. — Wellington Webb, former mayor of Denver We are living in a period of rapid urbanization, the likes of which has never been experienced in the history of humanity. In 1900, 10 percent of the global population lived in cities.1 In 2011, for the first time, this number increased to…

6 min
what ever happened to (australian) urbanism?

Endorsing density and crying crocodile tears over sprawl is routine in Australian planning. Infrastructure Australia’s (IA) recent white paper Future Cities: Planning for Growing Population (February 2018) isn’t too different. It models the impact of an additional 2.4 million people in Sydney and an additional 2.7 million in Melbourne by 2046 across three scenarios: 1) expanded low density, 2) centralized high density and 3) rebalanced mid density. To put these scenarios into the vernacular, you could call them the Nimby, the Yuppie and the TOD (transit-oriented development). Taken as a whole, the policy settings for Australian cities average out to around 60 percent infill and 40 percent greenfield. But when you run the population numbers through these infill targets and focus on the designated TODs for each Australian city, you quickly see…

8 min
arm architecture and tcl

Recent post-industrial city expansion has looked to under-utilized land close to central business districts in order to add, extend or modify the city’s program, morphology and identity. Dock areas – historically located close to the network of transport, markets and workers that supported their presence – have been a common target for this kind of renewal. Relocation of industrial activity has left many cities blighted by large tracts of land between the contemporary corporate city and its waterways. These areas are commonly contaminated and often publicly inaccessible; they can present physical and psychological barriers between a city and its water. There is substantial political capital in successfully reconnecting cities to their waterfronts. In the paradigmatic case of Battery Park City in New York, relocation of port activity left a swathe of…

9 min
planning greater sydney

The planning of Australian cities since World War II has been vexed and spasmodic, yielding a disconnect between promised outcomes and the ensuing urban reality. Sydney has suffered particularly; attempts at city plans have been compromised by laissez-faire politics, rival ministries and agencies with more power than planning, disregard for the environment, the self-interest of powerful development forces and post-war planning’s own disciplinary shortcomings. Sydney’s latest strategy, A Metropolis of Three Cities, has been prepared by a new entity, the Greater Sydney Commission (GSC),1 an initiative of the New South Wales Government. Established by an act of Parliament in 2015, the GSC has more recently been moved into the New South Wales Premier’s office. It operates independently of, yet overlaps with, the New South Wales Department of Planning and Environment.2 As a…