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Viv Straw Featured in Canberra Times Article Series_____

Tract Consultants - Canberra Times Article Series - Viv Straw

Viv Straw Featured in Canberra Times Article Series

In a recent series of articles, Tony Trobe (a Canberra based Architect) talks to Viv Straw (Planning Institute Australia (ACT Division) President and Tract Consultants Town Planner) exploring themes on the development of place and cities and an Australian Ecological Democracy Framework outcome.

Please click the links below to read the first two articles in the series featured in the Canberra Times.

Avoiding Urban Apocalypse By Planning Sensibly For The Future
By Tony Trobe

Planners Need To Successfully Win Over City Residents' Hearts And Minds
By Tony Trobe
Article extract

Avoiding Urban Apocalypse By Planning Sensibly For The Future

TT: Viv, you have some radical ideas about the future of planning in Canberra and our cities in general would you like to explain them to us?

VS: Tony, globally four major trends characterise changes in metropolitan typology. The first of these is urban resurgence, which is a function of people moving back to cities. It is common for urban centres to be seen as attractive, lively places to live and work, and as centres of intellectual and creative capacity.

The second is the high-tech, global economy, which has been a driver of recent economic expansion and new opportunities in cities. The third is recognition that there is a need to diversify land uses and build solid revenue basis, and the need to create liveable urban centres. And the fourth is a trend towards an increased investment in mass transit or urban transit opportunities and to orient development toward urban transit rather than private commuting options.

The convergence of these trends leads to the realisation that a substantial market exists for new forms of walkable, mixed use urban development around new light rail, rail or rapid bus interchanges. More than 100 American cities are looking at introducing trams at the moment. Our cities are defined by congestion, growing obesity problems and other community health issues and the rising cost of running individual transport systems as well as isolation from our neighbours to name a few. Canberra is not immune to this and while we are a long way ahead in terms of being a beautiful city set in a beautiful landscape we are not immune to the need to provide for those that will want to live car free lives in the centre.
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