Since the 1950s, the world has experienced a sixfold increase in the number of people living in cities.
City dwellers now outnumber rural residents globally and in many individual countries. But the Covid-19 pandemic has begun to disrupt the trajectory, scale and form of urbanisation.
Cities, by virtue of their size, have recorded more deaths than surrounding rural areas, though this may not be linked to density.
In the US, small cities and towns have been hit hard. And social and economic disruption appears worse in cities in the developing world.
The pandemic is refocusing planners’ attention on the vulnerability of cities to natural hazards and other threats.
Securing food, water and energy, sustaining health services and maintaining critical supply chains are seen as more important than ever. Planners are also concerned about rising social inequality.
The pandemic has fast-tracked some trends
In developed nations such as Australia, more city dwellers are moving to the suburbs and beyond, believing they offer better security and quality of life.
Australian Bureau of Statistics data from 2020 show our capital cities experienced a net loss of 11,200 people from outward migration. This is also happening in less developed countries, where rural-urban migration patterns have in some cases reversed.
It’s too early, though, to tell if these shifts are permanent.
The impacts of Covid-19 have heightened de-growth and counter-urbanisation trends. Reduced public transport use (down by as much as 52 per cent nationally in 2020) and lower demand for commercial space (occupancy rates fell to as low as 24 per cent in some cities), are changing the look and feel of many central business districts. Business profits and government revenue have been reduced.
The opposite is occurring in some suburbs and towns. These areas are experiencing a squeeze on rental availability, rising property prices and more traffic congestion.
Some commentators are suggesting the future of cities will be radically different. So what does this mean for urban planning?
Cities require co-ordination to function properly
Cities are complex entities. They require a high degree of co-ordination in providing services (such as water supply, waste management), housing and infrastructure (for example, energy generation and distribution). Regional planning often performs that role.
Regional planning was developed following the second world war to co-ordinate decision-making across jurisdictions within metropolitan areas.
To achieve desired city planning objectives, planners needed a way to better manage rapid population growth and the many interactions of landowners, property developers, businesses and local governments.
Regional plans developed by Australian states from the 1940s to 1970s, for example, sought to contain and focus urban growth pressures.
This was done by managing land use, designating urban growth corridors and boundaries and protecting key resources (forests, water catchments, farmland) from incompatible development.
Most regional plans were based on a central core surrounded by suburbs, with radiating transport lines (railways and freeways) connecting the two.
Beware quick fixes that ignore new trends
As countries recover from the pandemic’s impacts, the temptation is to use quick fixes to stimulate economic activity — such as unlocking large areas of land for housing.
But planning urban areas to meet the needs of present and future generations requires strategic decision-making.
Will we need all those new houses or large infrastructure projects if our urban populations grow more slowly than expected?
The forces currently driving people away from cities and the impacts this is having on built environments and urban populations cannot be ignored. We need to ask if they are temporary, or if they signal a long-term change to our cities.
We also need to recognise that huge investments in urban infrastructure have been made since the 1950s. It is unlikely we will simply abandon our cities.
Even with larger numbers of people moving to suburbs and the countryside, we will still need to supply infrastructure such as new roads, powerlines, water pipes, sewers and waste management facilities.
But regional planning must adapt to the “new normal”, as the current approaches might no longer be fit for purpose.
What does the future hold?
Trends in working from home, online shopping, peer-to-peer transport such as Uber, distributed energy generation (from rooftop solar and other local sources), waste recycling (such as circular metabolism) and new models of finance and funding (such as modern monetary theory) are all affecting the complex systems needed to keep urban areas functioning.
Although vaccines may help life return to some level of normality in the coming years, many of the drivers of counter-urbanisation will continue. Some people will want to keep working from home. Other will want more opportunities to interact with nature. Many will want to live in what planners are calling 20-minute neighbourhoods.
Changing supply chains may result in a rise in new types of local manufacturing. Hydrogen-based energy could make new modes of transport viable — such as smaller, on-demand buses for suburban public transport. We may see the rise of more polycentric cities, like Los Angeles, where suburban centres of employment include local manufacturing.
Regional planning must adjust to these trends. Some large-scale infrastructure projects might need to be rethought. Transit systems will likely need to include autonomous vehicles. Large-scale greening of cities will be necessary to reduce higher temperatures accompanying climate change, if we are to prevent avoidable deaths among older populations.
We will probably also experience new ways of involving citizens in decision-making, such as co-design.
Regional planning has the capacity to stimulate innovation in housing provision, alternative forms of employment and co-ordinating new systems of transport and energy distribution. But planners must catch up fast if they are to play a role in shaping the future of our cities.
Article Source: www.theurbandeveloper.com
Southport, Gold Coast apartment development site sells for $6 million
Sales activity for high-density-zoned development sites in Southport had been relatively subdued compared to the rest of the Gold Coast market
A Southport, Gold Coast development site – once planned for a 47-level tower – has sold at auction for $6 million.
It was bought by an undisclosed Gold Coast investor.
The 2430sq m site is at 114 Scarborough St, on the corner of Hicks St.
The receivers listing was sold by Colliers International who had five bidders compete.
It fetched above price expectations.
“Sales activity for high-density-zoned development sites in Southport has been relatively subdued this year compared to the rest of the Gold Coast market,” agent Steven King said.
“While sites in southern beachside markets continue to attract record prices, this sale demonstrates that Southport has begun its development site rebound,” he told the local paper.
The vacant site is within Southport’s designated Priority Development Area.
It was reported that a NSW-based company and Chinese investors had previously planned a 47-level apartment/hotel tower.
The DA approval was for a 47 level tower comprising of a 225 bed hotel and 264 (1, 2 and 3 bed) apartments
The site had cost $7.65 million, The Gold Coast Bulletin reported.
The site borders the Gold Coast City Council’s recently proposed “Towers Of Power” government and court precinct, a proposed $300 million development.
Article Source: www.urban.com.au
Mosaic Property Group lodge next Gold Coast apartment development after double Mermaid Beach sell-out
Mosaic Property boss Brook Monahan says the development will set a new benchmark of luxury living for an upmarket boutique building
The South East Queensland developer Mosaic Property Group are set for their next development on the Gold Coast.
It’s going to be their most boutique offering yet, with just nine whole floor apartments planned for the Burleigh Heads dress circle The Esplanade.
It will be located just up the road from their successful 47 apartment development Grace by Mosaic, which sold out in just a few months late last year.
The new apartments at 42 The Esplanade, dubbed The Heads in the submission to the Gold Coast City Council, will be designed by the architecture firm bureau^proberts and will replace the current brick apartment block built over five decades ago.
Mosaic Property boss Brook Monahan says the development will set a new benchmark of luxury living for an upmarket boutique building in Burleigh Heads.
“This is a genuinely world-class, one-of-a-kind address,” Monahan told Urban.
“We are pleased to have the opportunity to create another outstanding address in Burleigh Heads, following the success of our first Burleigh project, Grace by Mosaic, which sold out in a matter of months.
“Our primary goal with 42 The Esplanade is to make it the most desirable, exclusive, and in-demand place to live on the entire beachfront in Burleigh.
Monahan says the the design draws on the areas’ natural beauty.
“The composition boasts honest materiality and elegant form,” Monahan says. It is singular in its execution while remaining authentic within the local context.”
In the design statement, bureau^proberts say the architectural design has a strong focus on subtropical building form, with a lightweight and breathable façade, lush green landscaping that continues from the ground level up and around the building, and an organic floor plate that pays homage to the undulating Burleigh headland.
Mosaic are already fielding enquiry from their VIP, pre-launch access list.
The Heads will feature a ground level pool, dining and lounge area. The apartments start on the ground level, the first complete with a large 130 sqm terrace with outdoor kitchen and landscaping.
Each apartment above will have balconies over 35 sqm.
Mosaic double-down in areas where they’ve seen great success. They had the same idea in the exclusive Mermaid Beach area, further north on the Gold Coast
After seeing success at Bela, Mosaic bought a site a few doors down on Peerless Avenue and created Dawn, which secured 95 per cent of its sales within its first two weeks of its pre-release to their database.
9 storey built form;
• 9 x 3-bedroom dwelling units;
• Two (2) levels of basement car parking with 29 resident spaces and 3 visitor spaces;
• Ample on-site landscaping and deep planting areas sufficient to contain large shade trees and balance the built form elements;
• Generous communal open space on the ground level and large private balconies for each apartment oriented to the beach;
• Pedestrian access directly off The Esplanade frontage; • Vehicle access to First Avenue via the adjoining development site, 4 First Avenue;
• Highly articulated building envelope with large boundary setbacks and separation to maintain residential amenity and privacy;
• Subtropical architectural design focused on enhancing the character of Burleigh Heads
The site at 42 The Esplanade gives new opportunity to acknowledge Burleigh’s beachfront appeal. The tower’s form is sensitive to its site and neighbourhood by responding to the existing Norfolk Pine trees, key aspect views and privacy requirements from its neighbours. The 9, single floor, vertically stacked coastal homes achieve stunning beachfront and headland views by opening the living areas out to the east, with the master bedroom placed prominently to give the residents an unrivalled northern aspect. The glazed envelope is protected down each side with horizontal batten screens which rhythmically move in and out as they rise up the building.
The slab edges move and fold around the building, reaching out to connect its inhabitants with the Esplanades’ parkland, then cutting in to open up views and angle breezes through the interior spaces. The movement of the floor plate is an homage to the undulating outcrops of the nearby headland.
Landscape is employed at the ground level to interact with the street and give space to the existing Norfolk Pine which has been previous been constrained on all edges. This allowance of space is replicated up the building with the southeast corners being cut back to give the tree its breathing space. Vegetation is continued up and around the building, creeping through the screens and with time, will drape and soften the building edges and contribute to the visual and micro-climatic coolth around the tower. As response to the beachfront climate, large outdoor living areas reduce the reliance on indoor conditioning. Breezes are mapped such that openings across and through the plan allow for effective cross ventilation of the interior
Article Source: www.urban.com.au
Rare Gold Coast Development Site on Offer
A masterplan development opportunity on the Gold Coast has become available through a joint marketing campaign with Colliers and CBRE.
The Seaview Avenue, Mermaid Beach property represents a 1.13ha development opportunity.
Colliers residential director Brendan Hogan said the site was “an unmatched opportunity to create a staged, mixed-use lifestyle precinct—with concept plans for 735 apartments across four towers”.
“Sites of this scale with wide-ranging potential are increasingly rare and we expect it will be highly sought after by residential and commercial developers alike,” he said.
With the serious lack of high-quality development opportunities south of Broadbeach, Seaview Avenue represented a fantastic opportunity for a developer to lock in their forward pipeline in one of the Gold Coasts most desirable suburbs, the agents said.
“This property represents a fantastic opportunity for a developer to deliver a staged lifestyle precinct commensurate with James Street and Gasworks in Brisbane supported by heightened demand from people to live, eat work and play within their own neighbourhood,” CBRE Gold Coast managing director Mark Witheriff said.
“The block sits prominently at the entrance to the Pacific Fair Shopping Centre, features three street frontages and provides flexible planning provisions.
“The scarcity of the land available in Mermaid Beach presents developers with a remarkable opportunity to create a destination precinct in one of the Gold Coast’s premium suburbs.
“The property is within a 1km radius of the five major lifestyle and transport facilities in Broadbeach—The Star Casino, Pacific Fair Shopping Centre, The Oasis Shopping Centre, Gold Coast Convention Centre, and Broadbeach South G-Link Station.”
Colliers and CBRE will market the site via expressions of interest campaign that closes on September 1, 2021.
Article Source: www.theurbandeveloper.com
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