Illustration of a pool in the middle of a train station; Illustration of a pool in the middle of a train station;

Shaping our City: Analysing the changing nature of place

Shaping our City is a conversation with leaders from industry, government and the community to inform the future of cities.

At the State Library of NSW on Tuesday, 29 August, more than 100 people from industries relating to the built environment came together to hear from an expert panel on the changing nature of place.

Facilitated by award winning architect, Tim Horton, the discussion went from strength to strength as the panel heated up while addressing some of the big issues in urban design in Australia.

Soft infrastructure and a sense of inclusion were front and centre as the group identified these as two key features that make a place great. Justin Madden explained that the venue itself was a great example of this.

A library is a very inclusive environment. It’s not selective. Anyone can come to a library and do the reading and study they want. That’s what makes it a great place. ”

Justin Madden Justin Madden Australasia Cities Leader

Alison Page rallied for designers to find a fixed home in Australian government, arguing that as trained communicators, problem solvers and lateral thinkers, there is an opportunity for designers to support positive change in placemaking in Australia.

Kylie Legge gave some insight into the community consultation processes influencing placemaking and highlighted the value in educating the community on what is possible. Kylie suggested that there aren’t enough case studies that demonstrate the positive impacts of change in local communities to support the process. Training the community to speak the same language as placemakers was Kylie’s advice to help achieve better outcomes.

Sarah Tasic mirrored this sentiment in her closing remarks, saying that we should look more closely at the value of placemaking as a process rather than an outcome.

The design process itself is a vehicle for discussion, collaboration and consensus building for everyone affected by a place. It supports community building and developing connections so you can initiate action in communities. ”

Sarah Tasic Sarah Tasic
Shaping our City: Place