For the last four years, UDAL has sought to grow a spirit of cooperation and collaboration in the way we create and manage our built environment to raise quality. This has not been easy. Professional turf wars and the defence of spheres of influence have not ended. Disinterest and misunderstanding have not yet dissipated but, at the risk of being overly proud parents of our offspring, UDAL in Queensland today can claim to be leading the urban design discourse in this part of Australia.
Our ‘star’ achievement has been the publishing and launching of the document Agenda for Urban Quality for Queensland which has now been either adopted or endorsed by some of our largest local authorities as well as consultancies. An arrangement where UDAL provides the leadership and services for PIA’s urban design chapter in Queensland has been all but formalised. Other institutions are soon to follow this example.
The challenge is for all groups to demonstrate their declarations for the public interest by working together for our cities and towns as a whole, instead of focusing on fragments and looking after sectional benefit. I am reminded of the story of the stone mason who said he was not just carving some column capitals but he was also building a cathedral. UDAL does not lobby for the status of urban designers – whoever they may be. Our primary concern is for the quality of the built environment.
This is the unique role and strength of an alliance like ours. The overlapping purposes are strengthened through the building of personal good will and relationships of trust. Four years of earnest belief in this is bearing fruit. Dare I say, UDAL probably foreshadows the inevitable reshaping and restructuring of built environment professional relationships of the future and the way we create our habitat. We are pleased to have broken the ice and hope that we can assist and encourage others to follow.
For more information contact Juris Greste