Due to the unsustainable nature of urban sprawl, Australian metropolitan strategies have increasing been pushing for increased levels of infill: the redevelopment of existing urban (typically residential) land. However, the current infill models of Brownfield and lot-by-lot redevelopment are largely incapable of generating the volume or range of future housing needs. This issue has led to increased attention being placed on greyfield redevelopment, and in particular regeneration precincts, as a way to encourage more efficient reuse of land. However, due to a number of issues, namely the complexity of amalgamating individually owned land, statutory limitations and community concern regarding the redevelopment of existing residential land, this has to date been seen as too difficult to strategically engage with. This paper presents a worked example that aimed to address these issues. Covering the development of 2D spatial tools, 3D visualisation and assessment tools, new statutory responses and community/stakeholder engagement techniques, the paper illustrates how a range of approaches have been used to show the viability of this model to all relevant stakeholders, and how the interdisciplinary approach is beginning to have effect in the policy arena.
The papers presented at the 2015 State of Australian Cities National Conference (SOAC 7) were organised into seven broad themes but all shared, to varying degrees, a common focus on the ways in which high quality academic research can be used in the development and implementation of policy. The relationship between empirical evidence and theoretical developments that are presented as part of our scholarly endeavours and policy processes is rarely clear and straightforward. Sometimes, perhaps because of the fortuitous alignment of various factors, our research has a direct and positive impact on policy. Sometimes it takes longer to be noticed and have influence and, sometimes, there is no little or no evidence of impact beyond or even with the academy. And while there are things we can do to promote the existence of our work and to present it in more accessible formats to people we believe to be influential, ultimately the appreciation and application of our work lies in the hands of others.
This paper is one of 164 papers that have each been reviewed and refereed by our peers and revised accordingly. While they each will have been presented briefly at the SOAC conference, they can now be read or re-read at your leisure. We hope they will stimulate further debate and discussion and form a platform for further research.
Adapted from the SOAC 7 conference proceedings introduction by Paul Burton and Heather Shearer
The State of Australian Cities (SOAC) national conferences have been held biennially since 2003 to support interdisciplinary policy-related urban research.
SOAC 7 was held in the City of Gold Coast from 9-11 December 2015. The conference featured leading national and local politicians and policy makers who shared their views on some of the current challenges facing cities and how these might be overcome in the future.