Brighton going places with its report on future urban design

A DRAFT report of the Brighton Tomorrow project, an urban design study undertaken by architecture students from Monash University and the University of Tasmania and commissioned by the Brighton Council, will go on public display shortly.

It is due to be presented to Council shortly and following Council’s endorsement, will be put on public exhibition.

The study was developed in conjunction with Brighton Council, the Regional Urban Studies Laboratory (RUSL) at the University of Tasmania’s School of Architecture & Design (UTAS) and Monash University Department of Architecture (MADA).

It is the outcome of a research investigation into appropriate and responsive forms of public architecture and spaces in the rapidly growing outer suburban, and semi-regional areas of Brighton.

The study focuses on Pontville, Brighton, Bridgewater, Gagebrook (including Herdsmans Cove) and Old Beach.  The areas of Gagebrook and Herdsmans Cove are discussed as a single suburb of Gagebrook, reflecting how these areas are recorded in ABS statistics.

James Dryburgh who is Council’s manager of development services, oversaw the project.  He said the approach to the study was an educational experience, allowing for community consultation and generating design-based research that has now resulted in a practical design document for the municipality.

“The study has produced some exciting and interesting options that would otherwise have cost Council hundreds of thousands of dollars had it retained commercial consultants.  It has been a win-win giving students very hands-on experience in consulting with and formulating designs for a real community while at the same time, giving our municipality a range of potential ideas for public space planning well into the future.

“The approach showed that a certain energy and momentum could be created from the interaction between students (from both within and outside of Tasmania), members of the local community, design consultants and the ‘event’ of having a larger than usual number of (young) creative people looking at and thinking about the town.

“There’s no doubt the students brought fresh eyes to the region and were able to speculate, relatively free of professional constraints.

The study and consultation process was conducted over a full semester (three months) allowing for a more considered interaction with the community and which therefore brought out a number of particular issues and ideas that may not have come forward in a shorter timespan.

The two university groups collaborated on the background research; the RUSL team focused on generating a series of urban principles that addressed issues of connectivity and urban legibility.

> creating places for people

> strengthening existing social networks

> increasing urban connectivity and legibility

> providing new, innovative and accessible public spaces.

The MADA team expanded and developed these ideas into a number of site-specific design propositions for:

> Pontville Township Trails,

> Brighton Civic Heart,

> Brighton Army Camp Park,

> Brighton School Farm Front-of-House,

> Bridgewater Public Space Network,

> Bridgewater Public WiFi Network, (RUSL)

> Gagebrook + Herdsmen’s Cove Connected Landscape,

> Old Beach Public Waterfront Amenities.

“The report forms the starting point of the next stage of community consultation, working towards the possible implementation of projects that ultimately aim to improve the various urban conditions of the Brighton municipality,” Mr Dryburgh said.