This paper draws from research undertaken by the authors for the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute (AHURI) that scoped the processes and inputs needed for establishing a new redevelopment model in Australia’s middle suburbs, with a particular focus on Melbourne (Newton et al 2011). The research comprised a series of investigative panels that were designed to facilitate engagement between leading thinkers and practitioners in the fields of urban policy, design and development. Seventy experts from private industry, government, community and research sectors participated in a four-stage process addressing different aspects of higher-density redevelopment and delivery. The iterative mode of investigation enabled the collective development of ideas by the broad cross-section of stakeholders, and the diversity of opinions and expertise resulted in a comprehensive debate about the need and drivers for sustainable regeneration in the middle suburbs. It was found that a new redevelopment model for greyfield residential precincts is both feasible and desirable, although a number of significant shifts would be required to overcome the barriers within current institutional and industry practices. Residential greyfields are defined here as under-utilised property assets located in the middle suburbs of large Australian cities, where housing stock is failing (physically, technologically and environmentally) and energy, water and communications infrastructure is in need of upgrading. Residential greyfields are usually occupied and privately owned sites typical of urban development undertaken from the 1950s to the 1970s (Newton 2010). This paper summarises some of the discussions and findings from the AHURI investigative panel process and provides further detail about the proposed greyfield precinct design model.
The State of Australian Cities (SOAC) national conferences have been held biennially since 2003 to support interdisciplinary policy-related urban research.This paper was presented at SOAC 5held in Melbourne from 29 November – 2 December 2011.SOAC 5 was hosted by the University of Melbourne, RMIT University, Monash University, Swinburne University of Technology and Latrobe University as well as the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute and the Grattan Institute, the Victorian State Government and the City of Melbourne.Three plenary panels brought researchers from across the country to address ‘big issues’: place-based disadvantage, the design and form of Australian cities, and metropolitan governance. Over 175 papers, in 46 themed sessions, cover topics ranging from planning and governance for environmental sustainability, to housing affordability and adequacy in the context of an aging population. Healthy communities, better public transport, high quality open space, participatory planning, and issues affecting the peri-urban fringe are also strong sub-themes within this conference.All published papers have been subject to a peer reviewing process.