Appendix 3: An example of a Better Cities Area Strategy from each State.

Prepared by Pem Gerner


Ultimo Pyrmont. (pp 107–117)

This still rolls on and so continues to mature as continuing works in progress. It has some excellent built and circulation outcomes, but some of the built elements are less than satisfactory, particularly the apartment blocks at the water’s edge. Very USA in design and out of scale. But for its few faults, it is a huge leap forward from what it was. It also tackled the issue of affordable housing and a massive site clean-up.

Ultimo-Pyrmont’s rebirth under BCP cannot not be underestimated as its 300 ha site constituted Sydney’s most significant urban renewal project. It is projected that over a 20 to 30 year period it will receive somewhere in the range of 15,000–17,000 residents and that a possible work force of between 40,000–50,000 will eventually be accommodated there.

Historically, Ultimo-Pyrmont’s wheat handling, wool storage and sugar processing industries were embedded in Sydney’s history, but the area was too close to the heart of Sydney’s CBD, and the land far too valuable, for these industries to perpetuate. They have, in any case, chartered new ways of doing business.

  • The area was identified in the 1988 Central Sydney Planning Strategy as suitable for mixed residential and commercial uses. The study by DEM and COX Richardson, required an examination of Sydney’s regional context to establish the potential for Pyrmont’s future and its role beside Sydney’s CBD. The study produced a framework to allow the above mix to proceed. The recommendations were of assistance to the Property Services Group and the Department of Planning in the formulation of the gazetted Regional Environmental Plan No. 26 for the areas rejuvenation, but it was the Federal BCP funding that brought this project alive and provided the impetus for its realisation.

  • It is a massive rebirth of a worn-out part of the City of Sydney and on the whole a great credit to all those involved.


Inner Melbourne and Rivers — Lynch’s Bridge and Kensington Banks (pp 154–160)

This is essentially a massive medium-density housing redevelopment and handled very well. It contains provision for public housing and elderly people and so met the requirements of the BCP criteria in this regard.

The development is essentially complete and its landscaping is brilliant, integrating as it does with the heritage base of the much earlier use of the site as stockyards. Pedestrian and vehicular traffic separation is superb.

It is claimed to be the largest housing project of its kind in Australia with some 360 residential units at Lynch’s bridge with a further 1200 units at Kensington Banks.


Inner North Eastern Suburbs (pp 176–182)

This Area Strategy was centred on the advancement of inner city living by revitalising the Brisbane suburbs of Fortitude Valley, Teneriffe, New Farm, Newstead and Bowen Hills. All the suburbs are adjacent, bounded by the Brisbane River and Breakfast Creek and close to the CBD. Included in the strategy were improvements in the choice of housing, together with some affordable housing and upgraded traffic management.

The Area Strategy contained a number of components including low cost medium-density housing on the Church Street site; consolidating the Bowen Hills residential area; redevelopment of Newstead as an urban village; the construction of a limited number of public housing units; Fortitude Valley advanced as a mixed-use centre; Teneriffe became an urban centre with residential, retail and institutional facilities; New Farm was consolidated through public consultation and a pedestrian/cycleway between Newstead Park and the city Botanic Gardens.

This Area Strategy was important as the catalyst for the successful resuscitation of this inner city area, and although the individual intrusions were inherently infill, and isolated from each other, they were of sufficient number and design quality to bring a large measure of revitalised coherence to this area.


East Perth (pp 203–212)

The East Perth Area Strategy is an area of 120 ha, approximately two kilometres from the Perth CBD, and centred on the Claisebrook Inlet where its waters merge with those of the Swan River. The site was one of the BCP’s waterfront rebirth Area Strategies, and by any standard it would take its place with any similar project in the world, as an example of best design practice.

Historically, the site was heavily industrialised, containing a gas works, sewage pumping station and electrical pumping station amongst its cluster of polluting industrial activities. These activities meant that much of the land was in government ownership and was also under-utilised. The site required a complete reappraisal in terms of its remediation and establishment of new infrastructure. The core of the strategy was to create an innovative urban village containing a diversity of activities including residential, commercial and recreational.

By any measure whether it be: site decontamination, landscape design, heritage and adaptive re-use, new built form, circulation, public art or any other criteria this project was an absolute winner, and its lessons successfully integrated into the neighbouring Area Strategy of Subiaco (Perth Urban)


ELIZABETH — Munno Para — Rosewood Village (pp 239–243)

Twenty-five kilometres to the north of Adelaide lies the City of Elizabeth originally conceived during the Playford Government era of the 1950s as a satellite city. Given the passage of time, the extensive single storey public housing (SA Trust homes) were aged, appearing decidedly jaded, and demanding serious maintenance.

Rather than demolish the housing stock whose redeeming feature was its solid construction — if little else — the houses were given, what is in contemporary TV language termed as a ‘make-over’ with new carports, internal plumbing and fencing, as well as the street planting being greatly strengthened.

The outcome of these operations was a transformation, but the most important objective of this Area Strategy was to accomplish a reduction in rental housing and an increase in home ownership achieved through the refurbishment of the public housing stock and its sale to tenants in the open market.

The instrument to achieve this was the concept of the ‘HomeStart’ and was accessible to those on incomes as low as $300 per week. A deposit of $1,000 under the bonus HomeStart provided a subsidised loan to $15,000 inflation adjusted, to be repaid when the house was sold or earlier if possible. The loan was later modified to become the Rosewood ‘Advantage Loan’.

The social and economic advantages of this Area Strategy are clearly demonstrable. The one-time tenants could now enjoy both the greatly enhanced physical environment in their home and surrounding public domain and also the dignity of achieving home ownership.


Launceston Inner City (pp 271–277)

The objectives of this Area Strategy included those of consolidated the CBD’s role; the maintaining of industrial activity to designated areas and diminishing effects of industrial pollution along the Tamar River. Urban consolidation opportunities existed on the site of the Inveresk railway workshops, adjacent to the CBD and although contaminated from previous industrial usage contained a large number of buildings, some 70 in total, being almost a surfeit of buildings, available for adaptive re-use.

It is the ingenuity of finding community uses for this staggering stock of buildings that makes this project, within the Launceston Inner City Area Strategy, one of merit.