In Victoria, the Urban Design Forum group is looking at ways to engage with the new State Government, and ways to support the adoption of the National Urban Design Protocol and the implementation of other Federal programs. There are also preliminary discussions taking place around how to support the design of regional cities (see above article).
The Board of the Queensland Urban Design Alliance has recently approved a strategic plan for the next two years. Their vision is for QUDAL to be a catalyst for the creation, design and management of quality and sustainable places for people throughout the State. Key initiatives include: monthly forums on urban design; annual dinner in a unique ‘place’; 3rd annual UDAL conference; people-nominated place awards, annual Sunshine and Gold Coast events, regional participation, and an upgraded internet site.
The Australian Institute of Landscape Architects is exploring ways in which urban design agendas can be given more strength, and in particular how better cooperation between the various organisations involved in urban design might reinforce their individual agendas. The next edition of Urban Design Forum will include further updates on progress with a range of initiatives. If you have something to promote, send it to [email protected] by 5 May.
Meanwhile UK’s CABE (or a portion of it) has been merged into the UK Design Council, but with a much reduced remit – and budget to match. More than 80% of CABE’s 125 staff have left or are leaving. Continuing Chair of CABE Paul Finch said: “This very positive move will place architecture at the heart of the economy as a driver for competitive businesses and places. I am very much looking forward to the combined expertise of our two organisations coming together to achieve that.” The new arrangements begin on 1 April (an auspicious day?), and will focus on the new UK Government’s ‘localism’ agenda. It will be interesting to see how the Design Council now evolves, and to what degree it picks up the CABE challenges and successes.