Bob Dylan was right on, all those years ago – which sort of tells you the generation I am part of. Call it timely, or serendipitous, or coincidence – whatever! No sooner have we published UDF 100 and the time has come, at last, for UDF to consider going fully electronic.
We have looked to go electronic-only for more than a decade, predating even the plethora of blogs and other online sites relating to urban design. The web site was set up with that in mind. But the punters said, ‘nah, we are modern, but we still want our UDF hard copy each quarter’. So we continued printing hard copy.
As you are aware, the Planning Institute of Australia and the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects have been distributing Urban Design Forum in conjunction with their own hard copy quarterlies as a much-valued service to their members. With the rapid transformations in the publishing world, the AILA publication is now going online-only, so it is timely for UDF to do likewise.
There will be a transition period where UDF will still be printed, in much smaller numbers, to make sure that those regular and casual readers who obtain their copies from universities or government department front counters can still get them. UDF also has a commitment to paid subscribers in Australia and overseas.
The new arrangements start with this edition, UDF 101. If you are reading this in hard copy format, you have somehow managed to get one! If you are reading this online, it is because you have reached www.udf.org.au directly or through links on the PIA or AILA websites.
Ongoing contributions Notwithstanding the many online sites for urban design, there still seems to be a need for an outlet, a forum, for the wide diversity of Australian writers and others – which has been the essence of Urban Design Forum since 1986. Feedback from readers, and contributors, to [email protected] will guide how this evolves. Hard copy subscriptions It is not yet clear how many readers will still want hard copy. If you do, then email ASAP to [email protected] The cost is $Aus90 for eight editions (two years), including packing and postage. This usually includes a ’bonus’ copy because of the postage threshold weights. The printing arrangements will evolve during the transition period, and it is envisaged that the website will be also be further developed during that time.
UDF 100 The Book Needless to say, we rather underestimated the extent of interest in this venture, and the time needed to interact with authors in finalising each contribution. However, we are thrilled with the scope and approach of the 50 authors, and are now putting the book into a printable form. We are very confident that what started out as ‘an interesting idea’ will result in a very worthwhile contribution to urban design knowledge and dialogue – with about 100,000+ words and 180+ well-illustrated pages. Details of how you can get a copy will be on the UDF website as soon as it is available, and in the June edition of UDF.