Melbourne To Host 2015 Urban Design Forum This Month


The Planning Institute of Australia will be holding the 2015 Urban Design Forum on Thursday, September 24 in Melbourne to coincide with the Australia Award for Urban Design, Australia’s premier award for excellence and innovation in urban design.

The Urban Design Forum (UDF) Design is the Answer. What is the Question? brings together experts from a range of professions and communities to discuss challenges facing Australian cities and towns, and the critical roles urban design must play to make them successful.


Victorian President of Planning Institute of Australia James Larmour-Reid said urban design was central to meeting the ongoing challenge of rapid change in Australian cities.

“Urban design must rise to the challenge of rapid change. Maintaining liveability,improving sustainability and building resilience of cities requires the integrated endeavours of urban designers, planners, architects and a wide range of professions, businesses, agencies and government departments," he said.

He said the forum would be "provocative, stimulating and useful for anyone involved in shaping our cities and towns for the decades ahead".

Morning speakers to set the context for urban design challenges:

  • Andrew Holden(Editor in Chief, The Age) will review the historic influence of media on our cities and towns, and expose the future role of both new and old media beyond the headlines
  • Annette Gillespie (CEO Safe Steps, Family Violence Response Service) will explain the practical importance of safe and healthy environments and how urban design can make them better, or worse
  • James Brearley(Director Brearley Architects and Urbanists, Melbourne and Shanghai) on different cultural approaches to the rapid growth of cities, how governance affects what we do and how we do it
  • Leanne Hodyl (Manager Urban Strategy City of Melbourneand Churchill Fellow 2014) will address the intensification of urban areas, and reflect on the strategies which lead to liveable big cities.
  • Michelle Howard(Director Collaborations) the importance of healthy and effective community engagement in assessing what people and communities want and need
  • Caroline Stalker(Director Architectus) design thinking, and where critical regionalism, place and identity are important, to tease out common issues and solution and demonstrate that one size does not fit all.
  • Rob McGauran(Director MGS Architects) built and conceptual projects to demonstrate the importance of creative and innovative design approaches to achieve affordable housing and living
  • Donnell Davis(Director Envirobusiness) Australian and international perspectives to illustrate challenges of climate change and design resilience, governance, and respectful design for a multicultural society.
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