News & Discussion: The 30 Year Plan for Greater Adelaide

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stumpjumper
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Re: 30-year Plan for Greater Adelaide

#61 Post by stumpjumper » Fri Jan 22, 2010 2:36 pm

Nathan Paine's response is a stout defence of the rights of property developers to do what they like. In fact, the rights of a Brookfield Multiplex owning 100 ha of development land are the same and no greater than the rights of the 500sqm landholder next door.

Yet in SA, the present government at least has allowed its development policy to be led by the development industry, whose preferences may not align with public good. I suggest that the government's willingness to follow the dictates of the property industry is partly because of its confusion about the nature of its LMC arm. Is the LMC a mechanism by which the government tries to ensure a steady supply of reasonably priced building land, or is LMC on the developers' side - its role to maximise return to the government in the form of profits on the sale and development or co-development of land?

For example, it's not hard to see that infill redevelopment of the large allotments at Elizabeth by allowing resubdivision would be preferable to the energy and cost intensive development of broadacres at Concordia, 25kms farther out. Moreover, Elizabeth already has urban infrastructure, a local CBD which could be enlarged, zoning and room for industry including vacant buildings, and it has good transport connections to Adelaide. Twice a day, commuters from the dormitory suburb of Concordia will drive past a better, less energy intensive planning solution at Elizabeth, adding the fuel for another 50kms per day to the city's energy use.

But from the property developer's point of view, thinking of profit as the sole criterion, a distant broadacre site is preferable. Piecemeal development of scattered sites is not attractive to the industry compared simultaneously building a few designs on a broadacre site - and the public will pay just as much. The community will provide new transport and infrastructure. The developer's contribution will be kept down by lobbying of MP's and scare tactics about the price of homes and the profitability of building them. On the other hand people have to live somewhere, so the government is happy to keep its stamp duty and land taxes up.

Back to the position of the property industry. It does not have the public interest at heart. It is concerned only with profit, and while it should have an input to policy it should not be making it.

That is where Mr Paine's demands become a bit much to take:

Once again the Adelaide Virus strikes: a chronic case of galloping parochialism.

Hmm. Tar the opponent before you start. Good tactic if your argument doesn't really stand up.

In today’s alarmist article on the 30-Year Plan for Greater Adelaide, rather than discussing the critical aspects of the Plan – the where and the how – The Advertiser and so-called 'experts' takes the view that aiming for high projected growth is wrong.

Set up your opponent as a straw man. Developers are concerned only with where (can we build) and how (soon and how dense). The community (and in good times its elected government) is vitally concerned with the why - what do we want our city to be like in the future? The 'experts' have not argud that to aim for high projected growth is wrong.

The article simply misses the point; planning is not about how many people actually come to South Australia; but rather it’s about how we plan in a cohesive, strategic and environmentally sustainable manner if we achieve the high levels of population growth we project. All of the things that South Australians complain about in our built environment over the last decade stem from the absence of a strategic planning policy; finally we have a single, coherent plan and all the naysayers can do is attack the numbers.

The response to the 30 year plan, driven largely by the government's friends in the property industry and excluding such bodies as the Australian Institute of Architects, the Institute of Landscape Architects and the Planning Institute is not a mere attack on the numbers. Mr Paine is using the tactics he learned in politics - attack personally your opponent, misdescribe their arguments then demolish your misdescription and so on.

When will Adelaide grow up and say, “hey this Plan is great, because even if we do only grow by 100,000 people, we know where they are going to live, just as we would if we got half a million”. We could fall into line with the naysayers and not worry about it, let development occur wherever it likes with no rhyme or reason, no planning, but we’ve seen how that’s turned out in other countries so instead we choose planned growth. At least, that’s what I thought.

A perfect example in italics of Mr Paine's method of deliberately misdescribing an opponent's argument.

And just to finish, digging through the figures presented in the article, it appears to only reference projections for the Adelaide Statistical Division, NOT the Greater Adelaide region, the subject of the 30-Year Plan, a critical error. Taking this into account, the population projections in the Plan for Greater Adelaide appear to be entirely consistent with the ABS high projections.

A valid point at last.

And at least Mr Paine's stirring has got peoplle interested and talking about urban planning - no easy feat.

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Re: 30-year Plan for Greater Adelaide

#62 Post by rubberman » Thu Feb 11, 2010 9:48 am

I have some sympathy for developers in this situation.

They have just as much right to make money as the next person...subject to the rules and constraints that society puts on them.

At the moment, the rules and constraints promote boxes and far flung subdivisions. Often the complaints are made after a building is built.

I note here that I think some monstrosities have been foisted upon Adelaide.

However, some of those monstrosities have been built and designed by Government and not developers. Take for instance, the State Admin Centre and Reserve Bank Building. The Government designers and architects should have been stood up against the wall and shot...after being frog marched down King William St in tar and feathers.

So rather than complain about developers who make their decisions within the constraints that society is putting on them via the various mazes of regulation, perhaps more attention needs to be placed on society deciding what it actually wants of its city.

For example, I don't think there is any discussion of how urban planning might enhance the tourist experience from a high planning level pov in the city (It does address some tourist regions). Does the plan address the question of what do we expect tourists to come to Adelaide for, and how does the cityscape enhance this? Or even do we really want tourists at all? The same could be said for CBD urban amenity. There seem to be some who want more residential in the city, and some who see it as a business centre. Some also would like to see it as a heritage precinct of some sort. Well, what is it?

There are more examples of those conflicts.

So how is any developer going to please anybody if those 'anybodies' have not articulated an agreed vision and purpose for the city?

It has been tried, but with the ACC and the State Government often at cross purposes, there is no real sense of a consensus about 'what Adelaide is' as a city.

Without that consensus, regulation will be fragmented and prescriptive as it is now, and neither developers nor the public at large will be happy.

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Re: 30-year Plan for Greater Adelaide

#63 Post by Will » Thu Feb 11, 2010 10:58 am

The Reserve Ban Building is NOT a monstrosity. It is one of the most beautiful high rise buildings in Australia. So much so that it is has National Heritgae Listing to preserve it forever.

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Re: 30-year Plan for Greater Adelaide

#64 Post by rubberman » Thu Feb 11, 2010 11:13 am

Will wrote:The Reserve Ban Building is NOT a monstrosity. It is one of the most beautiful high rise buildings in Australia. So much so that it is has National Heritgae Listing to preserve it forever.
*snirt*

As an example of sixties ugliness. :lol:

If that is our 'Hertigae' then let's have 'bad taste' as our theme.

All buildings must be high rise boxes, preferably with flying duck motifs.

All clothing stores must stock and sell safari suits...or baggy shorts with long socks...for women.

Music only by the Bay City Rollers, Engelbert Humperdink.

Norman Gunston for TV variety.

Convert North Terrace to a Freeway with the off ramp demolishing the plane trees down Frome Rd.

:evil:

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Re: 30-year Plan for Greater Adelaide

#65 Post by Nathan » Thu Feb 11, 2010 11:38 am

The facade on the lower levels could do with some tarting up, but besides that I'd side with Will. The building is most definitely not "sixties ugliness".

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Re: 30-year Plan for Greater Adelaide

#66 Post by Shuz » Thu Feb 11, 2010 11:46 am

Hear, hear!

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Re: 30-year Plan for Greater Adelaide

#67 Post by AtD » Thu Feb 11, 2010 5:36 pm

I would also like to express my fondness of the ex-Reserve Bank building and its wonderful marble façade.

That being said, it has a few carbon-copy cousins around the country.

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Re: 30-year Plan for Greater Adelaide

#68 Post by Omicron » Thu Feb 11, 2010 11:08 pm

The Reserve Bank Building is marvellous! I'll stand up for the State Administration Centre, too - that's a very fine building in its own right, in part due to the survival of its exterior in its original form.

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Re: 30-year Plan for Greater Adelaide

#69 Post by rubberman » Fri Feb 12, 2010 9:45 am

Well then AtD and Omicron, I guess that makes my point about the need for people in Adelaide to decide exactly what it is they want.

In order to build the Reserve Bank Building and State Admin Centre, several nice old low level buildings had to go.

So does that mean you also would like to see the old Treasury building demolished and replaced with something in the style of the Reserve Bank building?

If so, that is a discussion worth having - and I am sure there are plenty of developers out there who would be interested in making that site something else.

However, do you not think that having buildings like the SAC, Reserve Bank, SGIC (or whatever it is now) Hilton cheek by jowl with the older buildings make it look neither one nor the other? I mean what the heck IS Victoria Square supposed to be? At the moment, the mix of old and modern is a meaningless clash.

Now if that was as a result of a deliberate decision by South Australians because that is they way they like it, fair enough, I will go along with that.

However, I strongly suspect that Victoria Square got that way because of a series of totally unconnected development decisions without any framework for the decision makers to follow. That is reinforced by the lack of any agreed plan for the Square itself.

The same process, or lack of it is seen on North Terrace. What was once parkland, is now a wine museum, art gallery, hospital, university, Government House, Parliament, Casino, railway station, police barracks, botanic gardens, entertainment centre, theatre. I defy anyone to discern a rational pattern there.

However, what would be so difficult in agreeing on a theme for that precinct (be it tourism, recreation, arts, gardens, history, or whatever) and then over the years as buildings come down, they are replaced only with something that is consistent with the theme agreed? eg, if we thought that it would make a good arts/recreation/tourism theme, then we would not put a hospital there in a fit (and that's another argument I don't want to derail this thread over), on the other hand, if we wanted to make it a university/educational precinct, we would not put a stadium there in a fit either. The point is, that if there is an agreed theme for a particular precinct, then it makes the development process much simpler because a large number of incompatible uses/building styles are immediately removed from the mix and the issue becomes much simpler to tackle.

Basically, my point is that Adelaide is suffering from a series of micro decisions in planning. Each of those decisions, viewed by itself might make sense, or look ok, but when placed in context of both the development of individual precincts or the city as a whole make no sense whatever. (witness the crazy mix of uses along our main boulevard of North Terrace).

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Re: 30-year Plan for Greater Adelaide

#70 Post by Will » Fri Feb 12, 2010 11:12 am

rubberman wrote:Well then AtD and Omicron, I guess that makes my point about the need for people in Adelaide to decide exactly what it is they want.

In order to build the Reserve Bank Building and State Admin Centre, several nice old low level buildings had to go.

So does that mean you also would like to see the old Treasury building demolished and replaced with something in the style of the Reserve Bank building?

If so, that is a discussion worth having - and I am sure there are plenty of developers out there who would be interested in making that site something else.

However, do you not think that having buildings like the SAC, Reserve Bank, SGIC (or whatever it is now) Hilton cheek by jowl with the older buildings make it look neither one nor the other? I mean what the heck IS Victoria Square supposed to be? At the moment, the mix of old and modern is a meaningless clash.

Now if that was as a result of a deliberate decision by South Australians because that is they way they like it, fair enough, I will go along with that.

However, I strongly suspect that Victoria Square got that way because of a series of totally unconnected development decisions without any framework for the decision makers to follow. That is reinforced by the lack of any agreed plan for the Square itself.

The same process, or lack of it is seen on North Terrace. What was once parkland, is now a wine museum, art gallery, hospital, university, Government House, Parliament, Casino, railway station, police barracks, botanic gardens, entertainment centre, theatre. I defy anyone to discern a rational pattern there.

However, what would be so difficult in agreeing on a theme for that precinct (be it tourism, recreation, arts, gardens, history, or whatever) and then over the years as buildings come down, they are replaced only with something that is consistent with the theme agreed? eg, if we thought that it would make a good arts/recreation/tourism theme, then we would not put a hospital there in a fit (and that's another argument I don't want to derail this thread over), on the other hand, if we wanted to make it a university/educational precinct, we would not put a stadium there in a fit either. The point is, that if there is an agreed theme for a particular precinct, then it makes the development process much simpler because a large number of incompatible uses/building styles are immediately removed from the mix and the issue becomes much simpler to tackle.

Basically, my point is that Adelaide is suffering from a series of micro decisions in planning. Each of those decisions, viewed by itself might make sense, or look ok, but when placed in context of both the development of individual precincts or the city as a whole make no sense whatever. (witness the crazy mix of uses along our main boulevard of North Terrace).
I think you will find that most cities in the world have streetscapes containing a mixture of old and new buildings and of different uses. Adelaide is no different. Cities are not static entities and likewise cities in free countries cannot be planned with Stalinist zeal.

Plus I also disagree with your opinion that only 19th century architecture is beautiful. The MLC Building and Reserve Bank Building of 1957 and 1966 respectively are not only significant architecturally, they are also beautiful. And I have seen images of the structures that were there previously. Yes, they were old, but they were nothing special. I'll post pictures when I find them.

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Re: 30-year Plan for Greater Adelaide

#71 Post by Prince George » Fri Feb 12, 2010 11:39 am

rubberman wrote:However, what would be so difficult in agreeing on a theme for that precinct (be it tourism, recreation, arts, gardens, history, or whatever) and then over the years as buildings come down, they are replaced only with something that is consistent with the theme agreed? eg, if we thought that it would make a good arts/recreation/tourism theme, then we would not put a hospital there in a fit (and that's another argument I don't want to derail this thread over), on the other hand, if we wanted to make it a university/educational precinct, we would not put a stadium there in a fit either. The point is, that if there is an agreed theme for a particular precinct, then it makes the development process much simpler because a large number of incompatible uses/building styles are immediately removed from the mix and the issue becomes much simpler to tackle.
There are already such things in the Adelaide development plan, and it is not uncommon for those guidelines to be ignored. For example, the area around Light Square has been identified as having certain characteristics that developments are to include. As Clr David Plumridge posted on this thread, the guidelines are quite clear:

Image

But the development at 74-80 Light Square is largely ignoring that requirement, certainly as far as the "brick or masonary" exterior is concerned. So I can appreciate what a lousy time the ACC must have over this sort of thing. They make some straightforward statements on what they want, developer proposes something clearly at odds with that, they say "No, that's not what we want there", and the public rake them over the coals for being NIMBYs.

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Re: 30-year Plan for Greater Adelaide

#72 Post by Aidan » Mon Feb 22, 2010 12:42 am

The 30 year plan has now been officially released by the state government. I got a letter from Paul Holloway MLC thanking me for my submission (and enclosing the plan on CD).

Unfortunately they don't seem to have taken much notice of what I had written.
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Re: 30-year Plan for Greater Adelaide

#73 Post by Will » Tue Feb 23, 2010 2:00 pm

If the Liberals win the upcoming state election, what will happen to the 30-year plan?

I ask, because the liberals have made comments that they are against curtailling Adelaide's sprawl, and thus such comments would seem to go against what the 30-year plan stands for.

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Re: 30-year Plan for Greater Adelaide

#74 Post by Nathan » Tue Feb 23, 2010 3:27 pm

Will wrote:If the Liberals win the upcoming state election, what will happen to the 30-year plan?

I ask, because the liberals have made comments that they are against curtailling Adelaide's sprawl, and thus such comments would seem to go against what the 30-year plan stands for.
What comments were those? I can't think of a single good reason to be against stopping sprawl.

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Re: 30-year Plan for Greater Adelaide

#75 Post by Will » Tue Feb 23, 2010 4:50 pm

Nathan wrote:
Will wrote:If the Liberals win the upcoming state election, what will happen to the 30-year plan?

I ask, because the liberals have made comments that they are against curtailling Adelaide's sprawl, and thus such comments would seem to go against what the 30-year plan stands for.
What comments were those? I can't think of a single good reason to be against stopping sprawl.
So you reckon more places like Bucklands Park are good for Adelaide?

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