Urbis Think Tank
Best Practice Revitalisation Programs
As part of a new city revitalisation project in Queensland, Urbis has reviewed three best practice examples across Australia from Brisbane, Ballarat and East Perth. Although urban revitalisation master plans tend to make some grandiose claims, these three success stories provide concrete guidance and great lessons.
1. Identity and heritage
All three cities placed a strong emphasis on their identity. Each city is different, but a successful revitalisation builds on the local cultural and historical roots. Ballarat’s gold mining background and the rejuvenation of East Perth’s heritage listed Power Station building are great examples. Likewise, the upgrade of the Perth Cultural Centre combines some of the State’s most significant cultural and learning institutions.
2. Access and connections
Whether the focus is on pedestrians, cyclists and people with disabilities as in Brisbane, or on motorised connections via the new Perth City Link reconnecting the CBD with Northbridge, access and connections are a critical success factor in successfully revitalising a region.
3. Safety, diversity and inclusion
Cities in need of revitalisation often have safety concerns. These three cities were no exception, and a focus of the master plans were on improving safety. Brisbane placed emphasis on safety in the centre, while Ballarat and East Perth were particularly directed to social inclusion and respect for all, which naturally improves overall safety in the city.
4. Landscapes, parklands and art
Each of the plans emphasised parklands, waterways, landscaping, artworks and street furniture
5. Mixed use
A common theme was the mix of residential and commercial in all of the developments. While it is important to plan appropriately, mixed use zones are obvious elements of these revitalisations. In Ballarat’s case, industrial development was also included – which may be suitable depending on the specific circumstances. Likewise, the new Northbridge in Perth includes a commitment to affordable and social housing.
While the main focus of the plans was on the local community, each had an eye on tourists as well. The destinational draw of Ballarat and waterfront opportunities of Perth and Brisbane are all attractive to visitors as well as locals.