Infill Development and the Distribution of Open Space in Melbourne

Melbourne’s open space system spans property boundaries over public and private lands, and provides key social and ecological services. With significant population growth predicted over the next 50 years, high levels of infill housing will be required. Increasing house sizes and infill development practices are directly modifying the quantity and quality of private open space in inner and middle belt suburbs. The distribution of public open space in Melbourne is uneven, with most inner municipalities, and 6 of 13 middle municipalities, having a shortage of public open space per capita. 

The changing political economy of the compact city and higher density urban renewal in Sydney

The evolution of higher density renewal policy in New South Wales might be described as at first reactive, then passive, and then vigorously proactive. While both Labor and Coalition governments have advocated urban renewal, the methods and mechanisms employed to bring this about have been different. The end result is that the overall policy remains messy and opportunistic, as well as systemic and complex. In order to understand this complexity, it helps to begin with a brief overview of the policy’s historical roots, before turning to examine recent developments in more detail. 

An Urban Development Case Study of Hammarby Sjöstad in Sweden, Stockholm

This case study is a part of China Development Bank Capital’s Green and Smart Urban Development Guidelines. The study is framed around the 12 Green Guidelines, hereafter referred to as the “Green Guidelines.” These 12 Green Guidelines define the foundational sustainability metrics that should be used to evaluate an urban development project. Our study shows that the 12 Green Guidelines are not only the foundation for sustainability, they are also key conditions for economic and social success. 

Tacoma — TacHOMEa: Infill Tools for a Happy City

Tacoma is a city of neighborhoods. These neighborhoods have distinct natural and built environment features that make them unique urban places. Each of these neighborhoods have an instrumental role to play in the collective need to accommodate future growth in the city. Current policies encourage the densification of neighborhoods to manage growth while other policies mandate the protection of the character of single-family residential areas. Some recent residential development in the city has caused backlash from community members and illustrates the difficulty of achieving the goals of density and compatibility simultaneously. The challenge ahead for the City of Tacoma is to meet the needs of its current and future residents in a way that recognizes evolving trends while still preserving the important qualities that lead to unique and cherished neighborhood character.

Nordic Urban Strengths and Challenges

An increasing population and historically unprecedented urbanisation characterise the 21st century. When resource-scarcity, climate change and growing demands for liveability are added into this mix, thinking of innovation and sustainability in the built environment becomes critical. The Nordic countries are in a strong position to address many of these challenges.

Malmö, Sweden

This case study portrait is part of a series of 20 case studies on urban green infrastructure planning and governance in European cities, undertaken in the course of the GREEN SURGE project. GREEN SURGE is a trans-national research project funded through the Eu-ropean Union’s 7th Framework Programme. GREEN SURGE is an acronym for “Green In-frastructure and Urban Biodiversity for Sustainable Urban Development and the Green Economy”. The project is identifying, developing and testing ways of connecting green spaces, biodiversity, people and the green economy, in order to meet the major urban challenges related to, e.g., climate change adaptation, demographic changes, human health and well-being. 

The State of Asian and Pacific Cities 2015

This report on the state of Asian and Pacific cities is the second in the series first published by UN-Habitat (the United Nations Human Settlements Programme) and ESCAP (the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific) in 2010 then 2011. Building on the findings and baseline data provided in the 2010 report, and in capturing both rapid change and new policy opportunities, The State of Asian and Pacific Cities 2015 seeks to further contribute to policy-relevant literature on the region’s urban change. Specifically, as reflected in its subtitle, the report highlights growing gaps between current urbanisation patterns and what is needed to shift to a more inclusive and sustainable urban future, in which the role of the region’s cities is unquestionably tied to national, regional and global development prospects.

Redefinition of Territorial Scales and Spatial Planning in Denmark

 Spatial planning in Denmark has been exposed to important reorientations over the course of the past two decades. The comprehensive character associated with plans and policies and at different administrative levels has notably shifted after the implementation of a structural reform that changed the country’s geopolitical subdivisions since 2007. Based on the principle of framework control, comprehensive spatial planning was based on the idea of achieving a high degree of cohesiveness and synchronisation amongst policy instruments and institutions across different levels of planning administration. Amongst the many implications of such reform, however, the county (regional) and metropolitan levels of planning administration were repealed and their physical (land-use) planning functions and responsibilities re-scaled to municipal and national levels, respectively.

Denver — Infill and Redevelopment

In Colorado, local governments are authorized by state statutes to adopt comprehensive plans outlining goals, strategies, and policies related to local land use, among other topics. Although comprehensive plans are policy documents and are not regulatory, they do provide appointed and elected officials with a basis for decision-making. Most comprehensive plans include a future land use map coupled with a narrative section describing potential growth scenarios and desirable uses in the community throughout the life of the plan. Local comprehensive plans frequently address infill and redevelopment as a major topic and identify areas where infill is most desirable. These plans are not always aligned with local market conditions or supply and demand, or local zoning regulations, leading to difficult decisions by elected officials. Because rezoning for higher development intensities typically associated with infill and redevelopment can be challenging, clearly identifying the community’s desired direction in the comprehensive plan is an essential precursor. 

Intensifying Melbourne: Transit-Oriented Urban Design for Resilient Urban Futures

Australian cities are some of the lowest density and most car-dependent on the planet: intensified urban development and improved public transport to meet the imperatives of population growth and a low-carbon future is a major challenge. Despite decades of compact city policy there has been little change to the practice of ever-expanding suburban fringe development and freeway building that entrenches and exacerbates car-dependency. One of the major blockages to transformational change has been a lack of design vision that can capture the public imagination for more sustainable urban futures. In 2010 we commenced an ARC Linkage research project called 'Intensifying Places: Transit-Oriented Urban Design for Resilient Australian Cities'. This project seeks to analyse the potentials for Australian cities through developing visions for transit-oriented futures that can achieve broad community acceptance in a democratic framework.

Melbourne — A Reality Check: Metropolitan Plans, Progress and Prospects

Despite the frequent production of metropolitan strategies in recent years, there has been little examination of how successful they have been in guiding urban growth and change. This is curious considering there are many common features among these plans in pursuing the orthodoxy of the compact city. An examination of the available evidence on the progress and performance of the plans indicates some messy, inefficient, partial and uneven headway. The response of governments to these signals is to make another long-range plan, although a change of government is also a reason for doing this.

One reason for this disjunction is suggested to be the gap between planning proposals and the reality and dynamics of urban development identified when the first of these plans was produced in Melbourne. There is growing recognition of this gap and the need to bridge it. The paper ends by suggesting a couple of current initiatives that could help to do so. Integrating urban research and planning practice may lead to a change in the metropolitan planning process itself and in the nature of the plans.

Vancouver — Appendix J: West End RM Design Guidelines for Infill Housing

The wider laneways that are typical of the West End present a unique opportunity to develop ground-oriented family housing that will increase the diversity and availability of rental homes in the community while still maintaining integral right of way and utility functions. 

In line with the West End Community Plan, infill development will be encouraged on suitable sites to deliver residential buildings on the lanes. The process of infilling existing under-utilized frontages to the lane with additional buildings requires sensitive and creative design, with a focus not only on creating neighbourly relationships with adjacent development but also on the manner in which lanes are treated and their resultant public realm character. It is important that lanes are treated properly based on their intended role within the neighbourhood’s public realm as smaller and more intimate in scale pedestrian routes with less traffic, while at the same time ensuring that they still support the necessary service functions.

Saskatoon — Neighbourhood Level Infill Development Strategy

The Neighbourhood Level Infill Development Strategy addresses infill development for individual residential lots in established neighbourhoods throughout the City of Saskatoon, including the Pre- and Post-War Neighbourhoods identified in Section 1.1.5 Study Area.

The study recommends design qualities, guidelines and regulations to ensure new infill development complements the character of established neighbourhoods. Consideration is given to development standards such as height, massing, setbacks and site coverage; parking provisions; architectural guidelines; site servicing; and design guidelines specific to garage and garden suites.

Achieving Child-Friendly Infill Development in Austin’s Early Suburbs

This white paper attempts to lay out policy recommendations for preserving the age and income diversity, livability, and strong community of Austin’s early suburbs in the coming 30 years, as new housing is added. It also points out special challenges for managing traffic and congestion in early suburbs. In so doing, it acknowledges the need for environmental, fiscal and transportation sustainability in the age of peak oil and global warming. It respects the need for developers to make a profit.

The paper is intended to support decisions by North Central Austin’s neighborhood plan contact teams. We hope it will also spur conversations with policymakers, developers, businesses, and other stakeholders. 

The Institutional Framework of Land Consolidation – Comparative Analysis Between Slovenia and Norway

The study is aimed to compare the institutional framework of land consolidation in Slovenia and Norway. The traditional meaning of land consolidation is that is a comprehensive reallocation process in a rural area that suffers from fragmentation of agricultural and forest holdings or their parts. Nowadays, land consolidation has to be seen in a much broader sense and could be an integral part of rural as well as urban development projects. Nevertheless, the focus of our study is on land consolidation in rural areas, where the legal background as well as organizational part of land consolidation projects in Slovenia and Norway is introduced and compared. In both countries, rural land consolidation projects are of national importance due to limited areas for advanced agricultural production and problematic land fragmentation of agricultural holdings. Since development of the procedures has been influenced by the historical trends, tradition, legislation, and land administration systems in the countries, a special attention has been given to the historical overview of land consolidation in Slovenia and Norway. All these aspects have to be considered when comparing land consolidation procedures between different countries. The research includes historical background, organization, objectives, procedures and the development prospects of land consolidation in Slovenia and Norway. Based on literature research and knowledge from the practical examples, the objective of this article is to discuss the similarities and differences in the rural land consolidation procedure in Slovenia and Norway.

Portland — Transit-Oriented Development Strategic Plan

This Strategic Plan is designed to guide future investments by the Metro TOD Program, in order to ensure the program maximizes the opportunities for catalyzing transit-oriented development throughout the region and effectively leverages additional resources to comprehensively advance TOD in all station areas and frequent bus corridors.

Netherlands — Summary National Policy Strategy for Infrastructure and Spatial Planning

Making the Netherlands competitive, accessible, liveable and safe. This is what central government wants to achieve, taking a robust approach designed to achieve an outstanding international business climate, allow scope for tailored regional solutions, put users first, clearly prioritise investment and link spatial developments and infrastructure. It will work towards this goal alongside other authorities, taking a European and global view, on the basis of a philosophy based on trust, clearly defined responsibilities, simple rules and selective government involvement, to create scope for tailored solutions and freedom of choice for individuals and companies.

This new approach will require an update of spatial planning and mobility policy. The various policy documents on these two areas have become dated as new political priorities have emerged and circumstances have changed, nationally and internationally, in the face of the economic crisis, climate change and growing differences between regions which are due partly to growth, stagnation and contraction all occurring simultaneously.

Inclusion, Collaboration and Urban Governance: Brazilian and Canadian Experiences

This book of case studies has been prepared to assist the dialogue and support the extension courses. It provides examples of collaborative governance initiatives in Brazil and Canada. Each case examines the particular issue under consideration that requires collaboration among a number of governments and organizations to achieve a solution, such as urban settlement and housing, environmental improvement, or transportation. The case then outlines the collaborative governance structure and process established to enable multiple jurisdictions and interests to work together. Third, each case describes the case outcomes, both the actions taken to address the consortium’s particular problem and the benefits or challenges of the structure. Each case concludes with some possible questions for discussion.

Trends and Spatial Patterns of Infill Development in Melbourne Metropolitan Local Government Areas

Urban consolidation has been featured in Australia for over twenty years as a growth management tool to accommodate an increasing population while reducing urban sprawl and preserving open space on the fringes. Although infill development (also known as dual occupancy) has long been possible, and over the present decade, encouraged under new urban consolidation policy, monitoring of the inevitable changes in residential urban form has not occurred. Thus decision support teams in strategic planning cannot offer detailed advice on the implications of the changed patterns of either changed population densities or changes to access to existing infrastructure and services. We report here the results of applying a data integration framework and tool for systematically detecting infill pattern changes, land parcel by land parcel, first devised and applied to data from the City of Monash. The synthesis presented here refers to infill mapping in different local government areas in the Middle and Outer regions of the Melbourne Metropolitan Area (MMA), including Monash, Knox, Casey, and Whittlesea local government areas. Thus the utility of infill mapping for urban development monitoring and urban planning can be discussed in reference to the MMA as a whole.