“Australia is in the midst of a huge push towards urban renewal. And every day there are more enlightened developers trying to create developments that will bring greater economic benefits and liveability to Australian communities. Yet when they try to plug these new ideas into an outdated regulatory system, everything effectively grinds to a halt,” says RobertsDay partner and planner Stephen Moore.
Moore says outdated parking ratios and an over-reliance on arbitrary measures like floor space ratio are among the standards that are delaying projects.
“Right now we are working with grossly outdated software that is delaying projects for years. Until it changes, people are effectively trying to reboot a computer that’s running on an outdated program,” he says.
In the latest issue of Great Places magazine, which shares 28 stories or urban renewal innovation from around the country, Moore suggests that one useful alternative is form-based coding.
“Form-based codes are a form of new software that, combined with community consultation, can help councils rewrite legislation for everyone’s benefit – developers, current communities and future communities,” he says.
Instead of focusing on land use, process and statistics, form-based codes concentrate on desired physical outcome, with key characteristics including a focus on building types and streetscapes, a mix of uses and the promotion of tangible public benefits.
This is just one of the innovations detailed in Great Places magazine. The free, rich-media magazine also shares the ways that 6 councils have found ways to bring about small changes to legislation which allow radical improvements for developers and their communities.
Great Places Renew is one of a series of rich-media, digital magazines that uses words, images and video to tell the stories of great places around the country.
Access the free Great Places Renew magazine at
RobertsDay is a townplanning and urban design firm with 20 years global experience. With branches in Perth, Sydney and Melbourne, it works with councils, developers, designers and builders to create great places. Using the RobertsDay Great Places process, it also helps councils and local authorities reassemble their vision for a place, develop their internal skills and reframe their regulatory environment to get better place outcomes.
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