Monthly Archives: October 2017

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The NSW government has released a 40-year strategy to divide Sydney into three separate cities by 2056. The plan includes a harbour-side city in the east; a central river city around Parramatta; and a parkland city west of the M7.

Photo: article supplied

Lucy Turnbull, the head of the Greater Sydney Commission, announced the strategy on Sunday. It’s titled Towards Our Greater Sydney 2056 and updates the existing A Plan for Growing Sydney. “Reshaping Greater Sydney as a metropolis of three cities – Eastern, Central and Western – will rebalance it, fostering jobs, improving housing affordability, easing congestion and enhancing our enviable natural environment across the entire region,” she said.

A separate transport plan, delivered by Transport Minister Andrew Constance, promises that two-thirds of locals will have a 30-minute commute between these three cities in 40 years’ time.

“Never before has planning and transport come together to actually map out a 40-year vision to make sure we grow properly in the future,” Constance said. “The three cities will each have improved transport facilities and will be interlinked through a technology-focused plan.”

The website for the plan states: “Walking and cycling will become increasingly important in daily travel arrangements with well-designed and safe paths in popular thoroughfares improving the sustainability of the region and the wellbeing of residents.” The plan flags a train link from Kogarah to Parramatta for future investigation, as well as a link between Parramatta and the north-west.

Turnbull described the commission’s report as a “landmark” blueprint, as Sydney moves towards accommodating six million people in 20 years’ time, and eight million by 2056 (when the three cities will be rolled out). The current population is 4.8 million).

There are 10 “directions” in the plan, including “a city for the people” which lists vague objectives such as “Greater Sydney’s communities are culturally rich with diverse neighbourhoods”. Another direction is about “valuing green spaces and landscape” with objectives of “the coast and waterways are protected and healthier” and “urban tree canopy cover is increased”.

This was originally published by Broadsheet.

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The first stage of the Murdoch Health and Knowledge Precinct has started to take shape as site works commenced, with aged care beds, affordable housing and Western Australia’s first Medihotel planned on the 9.6-hectare site.

Adjacent to Fiona Stanley Hospital, the precinct will be developed in two stages over 10 to 15 years to become a major hub delivering jobs, houses, and leading health and research facilities.

Work Officially Begins On WA’s First Medihotel | Liveable Cities

Photo: article supplied

Developer Fini Group’s plans for the first stage of the precinct includes WA’s first Medihotel, 175 apartments, a 150-bed aged care facility, a 6,480 square metre super-medical clinic, short-stay accommodation, and 6,080 square metres of commercial, retail and amenity space.

Fini Group is seeking medical and commercial tenants for 12,500sq m in its $200 million five-building development.

Health Minister Roger Cook said the Medihotel will become a specialist hotel designed to support patients discharged from hospital but who are still recovering, and will provide them with a comfortable, innovative and family friendly environment in which to receive ongoing care.

“It’s a simple solution to free up expensive hospital beds so more patients can be treated and wait lists shortened,” he said.

It is envisaged the broader Murdoch Activity Centre will eventually be home to 35,000 jobs, 22,000 residents and up to 44,000 students.

The land infrastructure and public spaces will be developed to build diverse, higher density, mixed-use buildings on the created lots in accordance with a project Structure Plan and Design Guidelines.

The precinct will help reduce car dependence by providing excellent access to the nearby Murdoch bus and train interchange, promote walking and cycling, with safe pedestrian links and bicycle pathways incorporated throughout the Murdoch Health & Knowledge Precinct. Excellent bus connections will flow through the project’s “Main Street” Barry Marshall Parade, which is planned to enable upgrading to rapid bus transit or light rail systems in the future.

This was originally published by The Urban Developer.

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Liveable cities mean healthier, happier residents. But policymakers must keep pace with development to make sure good urban planning leads to better overall health and wellbeing, writes Billie Giles-Corti.

The co-benefits of urban liveability for the economy, social inclusion, environmental and social sustainability, and public health are now well recognised by all levels of government in Australia and internationally.What Makes a City More Liveable?

But what does “liveability” really mean? While it may make headlines, this apparently simple question has no easy answer.

For more than 20 years, I and a multi-disciplinary team of researchers have been studying the impact of the built environment on health and wellbeing.

Our research shows that comprehensive city planning is beneficial to community health. The elements many of us look for in our neighbourhood are proving time and again to be good for our wellbeing.

Take walking for example. Whether or not an area is walkable, with access to shops, service and public transport, with trees and parks nearby affects residents in many ways. This includes whether they walk locally, how safe they feel when walking the streets, how mentally well they feel in general and whether they have connections with neighbours.

Our longitudinal study – the Residential Environments Projects (RESIDE) – evaluated the Western Australian government’s Liveable Neighbourhoods (LN) guidelines. This policy aimed to create more pedestrian-friendly neighbourhoods while RESIDE examined the impact of urban design on health factors such as walking, cycling, public transport use and sense of community.

We found that implementing and enforcing the planning rules directly affected the community’s overall health. Importantly, the better compliance with the policy, the better outcomes for the community.

Then University of Western Australia PhD student, Paula Hooper, found that for every 10 per cent increase in overall Liveable Neighbourhoods policy compliance, participants were 53 per cent more likely to walk within their neighbourhood. They were also 40 per cent less likely to feel unsafe from crime and 11 per cent more likely to have better mental health.

This was originally published by Australia and the Pacific Policy Society.

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