Recent initiatives of the South Australian State Government, along with the increasing demand for waterfront living, has provided a unique opportunity for the rejuvenation of the Port Adelaide waterfront and adjacent city centre. Planning SA and Port Adelaide Enfield Council engaged HASSELL, with a team of specialist consultants including internationally respected urban design specialist Jan Gehl, to formulate a vision and urban design framework for the Port Adelaide Centre. The project also involved significant community consultation to ensure that the local community was informed and involved in the formulation of the new direction for ‘the Port’.
Key urban design principles
The Port Adelaide Centre project proposes seven fundamental urban design principles which support the vision for the Centre. Importantly, these principles were developed with the community during the consultation phase of the project. The Urban Design Principles for the Port Adelaide Centre are:
- Celebrate the waterfront – the Port Adelaide’s Regional Centre actively connects with the Port River.
- Enhance city streets – the city streets are improved with green space, trees and new street furniture.
- Support a diverse community – the city celebrates a diverse and rich community and respects its indigenous heritage.
- Promote the port’s history – the Port’s history comes alive to frame a modern, progressive city.
- Provide a welcome for visitors – create a family friendly destination and a range of experiences.
- Facilitate coming and going – the Port is an easily accessible centre and a tourist destination.
- Ensure a city for people – promenades and streets for people to stroll, pause and enjoy.
Outcomes and implementation
The Vision and Framework was completed in July 2006, with the success of the project likely to be measured in future years when State, Local Government, the private sector and the community of Port Adelaide work together to achieve the vision. Statutory planning policy controls are currently being drafted to help guide private sector development to achieve the new vision for the Port Adelaide Centre.
The key lessons learnt from this major urban revitalisation project are:
- identify a ‘champion’ to promote/support the project.
- develop and communicate a sound vision for the future.
- establish key urban design principles that underpin the project.
- undertake immediate achievable projects – show that planned change is happening.
- seek ongoing commitment from the key players (State, Local Government and the private sector).
- invest in ‘quality’ public infrastructure.
- utilise planning policy changes to achieve long term outcomes.
- celebrate success!