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Unlocking the Suburb Aidan Smith

Exploring the potential of fully automated vehicles to shape the suburb of the future Š AUDRC Australian Urban Design Research Centre 2018

I would like to thank Dr. Julian Bolleter and Dr. Anthony Duckworth-Smith for their inspiration, wisdom, guidance, and pragmatism throughout the years work on this thesis. My parents for their unending love and support. My wife Jessica for her love, patience, understanding, and incredible ability to manage the busy times despite my lack of organisation and ability to multi-task. Also for the creation of a sizeable forest of 670 trees for the model. Without you this would not have been possible. I would like to thank God for saving me. For giving me a hope and a joy that is unfailing, and for continually pointing me to Jesus, who loved me and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:20 “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”

“The future is something which everyone reaches at the rate of sixty minutes an hour, whatever he does, whoever he is.” - C.S. Lewis

“Even the smallest person can change the course of the future.” - J.R.R. Tolkien

Unlocking the Suburb Exploring the potential of fully automated vehicles to shape the suburb of the future Aidan Smith

Master of Urban Design Thesis Australian Urban Design Research Centre 2018 University of Western Australia Š AUDRC Australian Urban Design Research Centre 2018

Contents 1. Introduction | 3

1.1 Literature Review 1.2 Research Question 1.3 Definitions 1.4 Conceptual Framework 1.5 Policy Context

|4 | 10 | 11 | 13 | 15

2. Case Study Analysis

| 16

2.1 POS & Pedestrian Network 2.2 Lot Orientation & Surveillance 2.3 Case Study Evaluation

| 28 | 34 | 41

3. Neighbourhood Cell

| 46

4. Design Opportunities

| 59

4.1 Driveway Access | 60 4.2 Dwelling Size | 62 4.3 Shared Streets & Verge Widths | 64 4.4 Parking | 68 4.5 Variable Access Streets | 70 5. Design Process

| 73

| 74 | 81 | 85 | 101 | 114

5.1 Suburban Abstraction 5.2 Design Drivers 5.3 Model Design & Components 5.4 Design Scenarios 5.5 Design Evaluation

6. Conclusion | 124 7. References | 127

Š AUDRC Australian Urban Design Research Centre 2018

1. Introduction

1. Introduction | Unlocking the Suburb | 3

This thesis is presented as part of the requirements for the Master of Urban Design course run by the Australian Urban Design Research Centre. The framing brief for the thesis topics considers the drivers that shape the development of our cities, which are broken down into the categories of climatic, environmental, societal, technological and economic. In seeking to understand these drivers and the way in which they will shape our cities, the goal of the thesis is to envision how urban designers may utilise these forces to yield optimum outcomes from the perspective of liveability and sustainability. The driver considered within this thesis is the technological innovation of autonomous vehicles. Through an analysis of the literature and research by design,

The direction, structure, goals, and context of this research Š AUDRC Australian Urban Design Research Centre 2018

the aim of this thesis is to consider the potential of this driver to shape the urban realm. However as stated above the goal is not merely to understand the potential impact that this force may have, rather it is to put forward how urban design may corral this force to create an optimised scenario. As a research by design thesis, the topic is not just explored through literature and writing, but through a spatial analysis and consideration which culminates in a comprehensive design process. The outcome of this design process is therefore an application which, in light of the body of research, presents an optimised spatial imagining of the potential of autonomous vehicles.


1.1 Literature Review

A survey of the literature surrounding suburban street design and the potential impact fully automated vehicles will have in this realm

Introduction In a global community that is becoming increasingly aware of the impact we have on our planet through ever expanding cities and development, the issues of environmentally sensitive urban design, and the need for greater efficiency are more important than ever. Amid this context Australian cities remain some of the lowest density and most car dependent on the planet.1 With our vast expanses of open land and the attractive option of greenfield development, our cities have sprawled largely unabated, and Perth is no exception to this. Arguably the worst offender, Perth has been Australia’s lowest density and most car dependent city, leading to vast inefficiencies in its metropolitan network as it continues to prioritise vehicle movement above all else.2 Highlighting the significance of this issue, Perth sits within one of only 35 biodiversity hotspots in the world, and yet it’s population is projected to increase from 1.8 million to 6.6 million by 2061. The need for urban consolidation is paramount in order to protect and retain what is left of the vital ecosystem services that the biodiversity hotspot provides, not only

within Perth but on a global scale.3 To this end infill targets have been established to ensure that the suburban sprawl does not continue to destroy greenfield vegetation on the urban fringe. These targets for all Australian capital cities require between 50 and 70 percent of all new housing to be from infill developments in established suburbs. However, to date actual infill housing has been below the listed targets,4 with the majority of new housing continuing to occur in greenfield developments.5 In addition to this, the infill development that is occurring is largely through backyard subdivision, a form that often fails to deliver the desired sustainability and liveability that larger scale densification should offer.6 In light of this context, this research paper seeks to look at the role autonomous vehicles will play in the future of suburban development, and particularly their potential to reimagine the streetscape. As a disruptive emerging technology, autonomous vehicles could provide new opportunities within the public realm which, if treated carefully, could uphold green infrastructure and enhance amenity for residents. In beginning this investigation it is important to consider 3

Bolleter, “On the Verge”, 2.

1 Julian Bolleter, “On the Verge; Re-Thinking Street Reserves in Relation to Suburban Densification,” Journal of Urban Design (2016), 1.

4 Peter W. Newton, “Regenerating Cities: Technological and Design Innovation for Australian Suburbs,” Building Research & Information 41, no. 5 (2013), 577.

2 Carey Curtis and John Punter, “Design-Led Sustainable Development,” Town Planning Review 75, no. 1 (2004), 36.


Newton, “Regenerating Cities”, 577


Bolleter, “On the Verge”, 2.

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the historical development and current context of the suburban street, as well as initiatives that are exploring the potential to reimagine streetscapes in a positive way.

streets have the potential to offer so much more in the battle to maintain biodiversity. And yet despite this, the street verges in suburbs remain largely barren and underutilized, with the streetscape often being overlooked as a public resource.9

The Street Streets have long been the core of suburban life. Not only are they the access ways from housing to highways, but they provide amenity and services, acting as the veins that bring life and control much of what we experience suburban life to be. Their significant role is evident in the amount of land taken up by streetscapes, with a study of a suburban area (Bayswater, Perth) showing that verges comprise around nine times the area of land taken by parks, and as such have great potential for amenity and ecosystem services in the residential realm.7 The potential for verges to be used is also enhanced due to the close proximity to residential dwellings, making it an ideal location to maximise benefits. This is further demonstrated in urban areas with a study on Houston, Texas, and Detroit showing that over 70 percent of space is taken up by streets and parking.8 Recognising this, with Perth being such a sprawling and vehicle dominated city, its 7

One possible reason for this is that up until recently, the majority of suburban residents have had ample private open space in the form of backyards, and so there has been little need for the streetscape to provide amenity and replace functions previously satisfied in backyards.10 However, another consideration is the way in which a car dependant mindset has continued to shape our suburbs, and particularly the use and development of our streets. In 1910 Frederick Law Olmsted addressed the national conference on city planning in New York, stating: “There has been a decided tendency on the part of official street planners to insist with quite needless and undesirable rigidity upon certain fixed standards of width and arrangement in regard to purely local streets, leading inevitably in many cases to the formation of blocks and lots of a size and shape ill adapted to the local uses to which they need to be put. Another instance is that of fixing a minimum width of a street and minimum requirement as to the cross

Bolleter, “On the Verge”, 4.

8 Ben Hamilton-Baillie, “Urban Design: Why Don’t We Do It in the Road?,” Journal of Urban Technology 11, no. 1 (2004), 44.


Bolleter, “On the Verge”, 2.

10 Ibid., 6.

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section and construction there make the cost needlessly high local streets, and thus inflicts needless and wasteful burden cost upon the people”11

of, which for purely a wholly of annual

Over 100 years later, and although some changes have occurred, the rigid design of streets for vehicle use has continued to undermine their utilization as a public space, and by extension its potential to provide residents with significant amenity. This sentiment continues to be relevant, with comments on Perth’s recent Liveable Neighbourhoods policy stating that street widths remain high, varying between 16 metres for access roads and 55 metres for district distributors.12 These vast street cross sections on a city-wide scale add to the issues of sprawl as huge quantities of land are taken up in suburban streetscapes, which are under utilized and largely barren, contributing little to the residential environment. It is clear that within a city such as Perth, the streets have the potential to reshape the way we live and move through the suburbs. But more significantly they may provide the necessary amenity, ecosystem services, and space essential for suburban densification to occur in a productive and sustainable way. Yet 11 Eran Ben-Joseph, “Changing the Residential Street Scene,” Journal of the American Planning Association 61, no. 4 (1995), 504. 12 Curtis and Punter, “Design-Led Sustainable Development”, 41.

a vehicle-heavy mindset continues to plague the use of streetscapes as a public space. An understanding of this attitude, and how to effectively merge it with the need for amenity and density is imperative in moving forward to a more sustainable suburban future. Segregation & Traffic Engineering In 1980 urban designer Donald Appleyard wrote, “Since streets are where most of our children are reared and are where most people live, they are, outside the home, the most important part of our urban environment. Yet today these streets are dangerous, noisy, polluted, and impersonal domains, about which residents feel able to do little.”13 This sentiment is not alone in the literature, with many academics echoing this idea of streets as hostile environments to the pedestrian and resident, far from the initial ideals of streets as a domain for family, community, and play. How did the streets transform into these seemingly unforgiving environments, what has changed to give the resident so little power over the space on their doorstep? In 1963 the Buchanan report, Traffic in Towns, established the framework for 13 Donald Appleyard, “Livable Streets: Protected Neighbourhoods,” in Livable Streets (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1980), 107.


streets in the UK. Its main conclusion was that vehicle traffic and pedestrian activity were incompatible, and that as such the two needed to be segregated.14 Planners and traffic engineers were instructed to spatially separate the streets and roads from where pedestrian and children’s activities would take place.15 This principle of segregation spread internationally and continues to guide development of streetscapes in many areas even today. In order to achieve this divide of realms, extensive infrastructure was required in order to protect both the pedestrian and vehicle spaces. Pedestrian barriers, crossing points, underpasses, bridges, and traffic signals were all employed to separate these spaces16 and are ubiquitous in today’s suburban environment. However, one outcome of this has been a reduced accessibility for the pedestrian as they are forced to navigate around, over, and under, the prioritised traffic realm.17 It is fairly unanimous that this approach largely led to a less attractive streetscape, and this in turn resulted in less social activities, walking, and cycling, and with the lack of activity, perceptions of safety dropped, ending in activity being transferred to the

private realm.18 The downward spiral of street life as a result of segregation is what has led to statements such as Appleyard’s earlier, where the resident is powerless over the street, a place that is largely hostile to their activity. The results of the segregation policy and its widespread implementation today is perhaps best described by Ben Hamilton-Baillie in his article, “Urban Design: Why don’t we do it in the road?”, where he states this: “A change in level at the curb will signal the space set aside from the roadway for pedestrian activity and social interaction. Parallel lines of parked cars will reinforce this separation. The roadway will probably be marked by a central white dividing line, and painted lines will define hierarchies and priorities at intersections. Road lighting will provide a predetermined level of background illumination. Lights and markings will indicate where pedestrians should cross the road. We know where we drive, where we are supposed to walk, and where we cross the road. It is sometimes difficult to imagine that these rules could be different.”19 The Shared Street

14 Ben Hamilton-Baillie, “Towards Shared Space,” Urban Design International 13 (2008), 132.

Yet in recent decades a new movement has sought to undo some of the intentions of the

15 Hamilton-Baillie, “Urban Design”, 47.

segregation policy and revitalise suburban streets with life. Hans Monderman recognised the need for an exclusively traffic realm in urban environments, yet also noted that in much of our movement network, traffic movement is but one of a variety of activities.20 Out of a recognition of the potential of multi-functional street spaces, the shared street idea seeks to bring back together the realm of the vehicle and pedestrian and merge them in a new kind of streetscape that welcomes both.21 The shared street initiative also seeks to make use of the “spare fat” that over designed local streets have, by allocating this abundant space to pedestrian activity such as community gardens and children’s play, rather than to traffic movement.22 To this end shared street pioneers Niek de Boer and Joost Vahl sought to use pedestrian movement and activity, and traffic movement, in a way that they influenced each other within the space to coexist. They used urban design techniques and landscaping to break down the mental separation of the traffic and public realms, so that a new type of space was created.23 This new space relied on cultural signals and human communication rather than traffic regulation. To achieve this, drivers needed

to understand they were in a new realm, one where the pedestrian had equal rights, and thus the transition into this new shared space must be evident.24 One such example of this is a large arch over the entrance to a shared space, and then once beyond the arch all road delineations are removed, the road surface is different, and even lighting is brought down to a more intimate pedestrian level.25 The technique used to bring about this psychological change is known as traffic calming, and it is primarily landscaping and design tactics used to reduce the disparity between the vehicle and pedestrian space, making both parties more aware of the space they inhabit. These principles have been used widely with surprising and even counter intuitive results for safety, efficiency, and traffic. With the changed surface and infrastructure, drivers are more likely to move through the space with caution, as guests, and thus speed is reduced and communication between pedestrian and driver is enhanced.26 This has in turn increased the safety of these streets, something the traffic engineering features were initially implemented to do. This is also highlighted in emerging data that suggests that safety has increased significantly, ironically, with the removal of

20 Hamilton-Baillie, “Urban Design”, 51. 21 Ben-Joseph, “Changing the Residential Street Scene”, 505.

24 Hamilton-Baillie, “Urban Design”, 51.

16 Ibid., 48.

18 Ibid., 130.

22 Appleyard, “Livable Streets”, 115.

25 Ibid., 52.

17 Hamilton-Baillie, “Towards Shared Space”, 133.

19 Hamilton-Baillie, “Urban Design”, 44.

23 Hamilton-Baillie, “Urban Design”, 50.

26 Appleyard, “Livable Streets”, 107.

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many of the features initially installed to improve safety.27 Joost Vahl also reiterates this in his approach to traffic calming, stating that “the only way to make a traffic junction safe, is to make it dangerous!”28 The Woonerf One of the most significant shared street movements has been that of the Dutch “Woonerf” or “residential yard”. Initially pioneered by De Boer, it was a reaction to the segregation policy of Buchanan and utilized traffic calming techniques, transforming cul-de-sac streets into a “garden” setting. Sidewalks and roadways were integrated into one surface, and with resident input, trees, benches and small gardens were introduced, further adding to the garden feel.29 In addition to these changes, one noticeable evolution was the legal changes to traffic movement within the Woonerf area. These changes afforded pedestrians and children greater rights to the streetscape than vehicular traffic, whilst also maintaining that the space must be shared between the two parties.30 The Woonerf concept has since been adopted across Europe as well as internationally, with Japan and Israel being noticeable success stories in the adaptation and implementation of shared 27 Hamilton-Baillie, “Urban Design”, 61.

street ideas on a large scale. The Benefits When considering the impact of shared street principles in the suburban environment, there are several benefits in the way that it reimagines and restructures the typical streetscape. Perhaps the most pertinent is the observation that shared streets can reduce expenses in subdivisions through a couple of ways. Through its emphasis on pedestrian movement it allows for a more flexible layout of designs, meaning buildings can be fit together more efficiently. Also through shared driveways and a narrower street, setbacks can be reduced, increasing backyard space. This allows for greater density without compromising on the typical features in a detached home, making the concept attractive to buyers due to the lower costs and more efficient land use.31 In addition to these significant benefits, shared streets increase the safety and activity of the streetscape, with a study in Germany noting that the redesign of a street into a shared space led to a 20 percent increase in play activity, and that the play shifted from the narrow sidewalks to the entire width of the street.32 Due to these outcomes, shared street residences

28 Ibid., 56. 29 Ben-Joseph, “Changing the Residential Street Scene” 506.

31 Ben-Joseph, “Changing the Residential Street Scene” 510.

30 Appleyard, “Livable Streets” 113.

32 Ibid.

© AUDRC Australian Urban Design Research Centre 2018

have been observed to be more attractive to buyers, and also more attractive to developers as the shared street design is more durable, and with residents taking an active interest in the maintenance of the street, costs remain lower.33 These outcomes all have significant potential benefits in the context of suburban Perth, in particular the land use efficiency and increased amenity of future developments. However, the retention and enhancement of green infrastructure is still a key consideration given the continuing sprawl into greenfield development sites. Green Infrastructure Over the past 40 years in Australia, the average size of a new block of land has halved, whilst the size of a suburban house has more than doubled.34 This has resulted in significantly less private land being available for planting, and the typical backyard with trees, a garden, and lawn is increasingly rare. The loss of trees in redevelopment is also noticeable, with the majority of brownfield sites resulting in cleared level lots, an outcome also common in greenfield development sites.35 It is these tendencies that lead many communities to object to urban infill development in 33 Ben-Joseph, “Changing the Residential Street Scene”, 513. 34 Julie Brunner and Paul Cozens, “’Where Have All the Trees Gone?’ Urban Consolidation and the Demise If Urban Vegetation: A Case Study from Western Australia,” Planning Practice & Research 28, no. 2 (2013), 236. 35 Brunner & Cozens, “Where Have All the Trees Gone?”, 232.

their suburb, with the loss of landscape and amenity featuring prominently.36 Many studies have also highlighted the benefits of green infrastructure, and in particular mature trees, to human health. It is shown that they can increase life expectancies, reduce blood pressure, lower violence and vandalism, and also reduce government expenditure.37 Research also shows that trees can increase the value of land, with mature trees within the area increasing the value by up to 15 percent.38 This leads to the conclusion that what is required is not only a suburban development plan that does not compromise the existing green infrastructure, but rather enhances its potential to provide essential ecosystem services and amenity for residents. The implementation of shared street principles with an emphasis on the green infrastructure provided, and retention of existing trees and infrastructure, could allow for more efficient suburban living, with improved amenity and provision of ecosystem services. The obvious benefits it provides in regard to land value could also be leveraged as incentives to developers to implementing this style of suburban landscape. It is with this context in mind that we begin to look at the development of autonomous 36 Brunner & Cozens, “Where Have All the Trees Gone?”, 231. 37 Ibid., 234. 38 Ibid.


vehicles, and the potential they will offer in reimagining the suburban streetscape. Autonomous Vehicles Although a future technology, the implementation of autonomous vehicles may be sooner than anticipated, as the majority of car manufacturers are currently working on development models, with some claiming they will have them ready by 2020.39 However a more conservative estimate will see autonomous vehicles being implemented across the next couple of decades, with the Institution of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) believing that by 2040, 75% of vehicles on the road will be fully autonomous.40 Regardless of which estimate is proven true, the implementation of autonomous vehicles falls well within the current planning horizon for our cities and regions,41 and so taking the first steps into understanding the impact of this technology on the urban realm is crucial. When considering the future of urban growth, some literature suggests that autonomous vehicles will encourage urban consolidation, making our cities more compact and efficient. However, a large 39 Andrew Somers, Kamal Weeratunga. “Automated Vehicles: Are We Ready?”, 56. Perth: Main Roads Western Australia, 2015. 36

proportion also argue that autonomous vehicles will only further encourage the suburban sprawl of our cities due to the productive travel opportunities they create. Riding in autonomous vehicles would arguably be more comfortable, and can facilitate work activities as well as sleeping and conversation. Due to this increased convenience and comfort, it is suggested that travellers would be willing to accept longer travel times, resulting in fringe suburban developments becoming more attractive.42 The increased speed and reliability of autonomous vehicles could also increase suburban sprawl as distances can be covered quicker due to route efficiency and traffic management. However if suburban sprawl is encouraged through the implementation of autonomous vehicles, a major consideration is the ownership and parking of vehicles. If the current model of private ownership persists, there are a number of factors that could create new issues in the urban realm. Firstly, as vehicles are able to drop off passengers before travelling to a parking location on the periphery of urban centres, this could lead to an increase in traffic as trips are now undertaken without any passenger, adding to the congestion in urban centres. Another alternative is for vehicles to return to private dwellings once dropping off passengers, however

40 Somers & Weeratunga. “Automated Vehicles”, 38 41 Praveen Thakur, Robert Kinghorn, Renan Grace. “Urban Form and Function in the Autonomous Era.” Melbourne: KPMG, 2016. 1

42 Thakur, Kinghorn, & Grace, “Urban Form and Function in the Autonomous Era.”, 3

this would also further compound the traffic problem and could create a second peak hour with vehicles returning to suburban areas without any passengers. Due to these factors, much of the literature suggests a shared model of vehicle use and ownership, allowing a more efficient use of the vehicle as multiple passengers can travel at once.43 This also means that once passengers have been dropped off the vehicle can continue to service patrons, rather than parking and remaining idle for the majority of time.44

moving into public open space, the land allocated to parking can be significantly reduced with a ride sharing model. One survey into the impact of shared car ownership noted that each shared vehicle has the potential to remove nine to 13 privately owned vehicles from the road.47 It is clear that this future technology has the potential to disrupt current dwelling typologies with the removal of vehicle infrastructure, however its potential to restructure the streetscape is arguably more significant.

Shared Vehicles

Autonomous Streetscape

Within the suburban realm this combination of autonomous vehicles and ride-sharing has significant spatial implications. Due to the move away from private ownership, vehicles no longer have to be stored in private dwellings, and thus infrastructure dedicated to this, such as driveways and garages, will become unnecessary.45 This will open up space for yards to be bigger, or for more space to be given over to amenity and recreation in the public realm.46 Although

Autonomous vehicles will allow for a radically different suburban street due to their safety benefits, as well as the infrastructure requirements of the street reserve. The interactions between vehicles will become significantly safer, with the literature suggesting that full automation and connectivity will result in vehicles that cannot crash.48 Not only so, but the interactions with pedestrians and cyclists will also become safer and allow for a much more pedestrianised realm. As the vehicles can be actively managed, speeds can be limited to 30kph or less, which will safely allow for the integration of pedestrians into the space typically

43 Somers & Weeratunga. “Automated Vehicles”, 14 44 Brendan Lyon, Nick Hudson, Michael Twycross. “Automated Vehicles: Do We Know Which Road to Take?”. Sydney: Infrastructure Partnerships Australia, 2017. 28 45 Andrea Riquier, William Davis. “Here’s Where You’ll Live When Self Driving Cars Rule the Roads.” MarketWatch, https://www. 46 Berger, Alan M. “The Suburb of the Future, Almost Here.” The New York Times, September 17 2017.

47 Elliot Martin, Susan Shaheen, Jeffrey Lidicker. “Impact of Carsharing on Household Vehicle Holdings.” Transportation Research Record 2143 (2010). 158 48 Somers & Weeratunga. “Automated Vehicles”, 15

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given solely to the vehicle.49 As a result of this programming, preference can also be given to pedestrian movement, ensuring vehicles will yield to them rather than relying on the awareness of a human driver.50 The combination of all of these factors will allow for the development of a truly shared street space, and one that can be actively managed to ensure the safety and priority of pedestrian movement. Due to the suggestion that autonomous vehicle cannot crash, they will no longer require the same amounts of structural steel, roll cages, and other infrastructure designed to protect the passengers, making them much lighter, more efficient, and potentially smaller. This could allow for the reduction of lane widths, and new surfacing treatments to be explored as vehicles will create less wear and tear.51 Spatially this will result in more space given over to the public realm, with verges either becoming wider, or development increasing in density, potentially freeing up public space in other areas. The question then remains of what this space will be, and how it will be used.

suburban streetscapes and development is largely uncertain. With the introduction of autonomous vehicles the rigid rules and guidelines that have been developed over decades could begin to unlock, affording new possibilities. However this emerging technology could also further encourage suburban sprawl, and with many cities already struggling to contain development it is hard to imagine greater success in the future. Especially given the greater capacity to live further away from the urban centre than ever before, and the opportunity for productive travel time. Given this context, consideration must be given to the impact of autonomous vehicles in greenfield development sites. This is particularly relevant within the context of Perth, where our remnant vegetation is continually being depleted through the suburban sprawl, which could have serious consequences as a global biodiversity hotspot. With this in mind this research seeks to explore the potential of fully automated vehicles to reimagine the public realm in a way that provides amenity for both the resident, and the local environment.

Conclusion We currently sit in a time where the future of 49 Sadik-Khan, Janette. “Blueprint for Autonomous Urbanism.” New York: National Association of City Transport Officials, 2017. 25 50 Sadik-Khan, “Blueprint for Autonomous Urbanism.”, 27 51 Somers & Weeratunga. “Automated Vehicles”, 42

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1.2 Research Question

How can shared fully automated vehicles enable greater public open space amenity in greenfield suburban developments?

The research question is developed coming out of the literature review, and forms the basis of the direction and scope of the research and design process moving forward. From the survey of the literature, the importance of the street space in the suburban setting, and its ability to both welcome and restrict resident activity, is significant. However, the modern guidelines and attitudes surrounding the streetscape have become increasingly vehicle focused, restricting the ability of residents to enjoy and live in the space running right past their dwellings. The entrance of the fully automated vehicle has the potential to unlock the tight regulations and vehicle focused nature that has developed over the years, and allow us to reimagine what these streets could become. The potential for this increases significantly when combined with a ride-sharing model, which the literature suggests as the best way forward. However, much of the current research into the impact that fully automated vehicles will have focuses largely on a more urban setting, or on specific aspects of the technology. Although much of the research suggests fully automated vehicles are developed in a ride-sharing model, little seriously considers the spatial impacts of this combination. There has also been limited discussion about

what impact this future technology will have in the suburban context, and even less considering the spatial impacts it will have on a broad scale. In light of this, this research seeks to focus on the impact that shared fully automated vehicles will have in the suburban context, specifically greenfield developments where arguably there is the greatest freedom to realise the potential of how this will shape future typologies. Within this context the research will focus on the public realm, and the potential of this technology to unlock space previously dedicated for vehicle use. The goal is then to reimagine this space, with the aim of maximising amenity for the residents and neighbourhood.

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1.3 Definitions

Fully Automated Vehicles In the context of smart vehicles, or automated vehicles (AV’s), there are two predominant categories being developed. These two categories are automated only vehicles (AOV’s), and connected vehicles (CV’s)1. AOV’s are vehicles that travel using sensors and technology built into the vehicle, and run independently to other infrastructure or vehicles.2 CV’s operate using a connected network of technology both between vehicles and infrastructure, and also with the possibility of communicating with pedestrian movement via mobile phones or similar devices.3 Both of these categories offer a range of significant benefits to the urban realm and the way we design and use streets. However it is believed that the convergence of both of these autonomous vehicle types will be required to deliver fully autonomous vehicles (FAV’s) and to realise the maximum potential this technology can offer.4 Therefore, in order to explore the full 1 Lyon, Hudson, & Twycross, “Automated Vehicles”, 2 2 Ibid. 3 Somers & Weeratunga. “Automated Vehicles”, 12 4 Ibid., 9

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potential autonomous vehicles can offer, this research will be considering a combination of the two typologies. However, considering the focus of the design process is largely upon the suburban development and not the specific technological requirements of the autonomous vehicle itself, we will define it simply as: A vehicle that operates without any input from a driver, and is able to communicate with surrounding vehicles, pedestrians and infrastructure via sensors and connective technology. Ride-sharing Within the literature there arises two possible directions for the future of vehicle ownership. The first considers the continuation of an ownership model much the same as we currently experience. In this scenario the ownership of autonomous vehicles remains largely private, and so the requirement for the storage and daily use of the vehicles also remains in the private realm. However, the second scenario considers the potential for autonomous vehicles to significantly alter vehicle ownership patterns, and suggests a shift to shared or corporate ownership of vehicles. This would result in a ride-sharing or on-demand model of vehicle use, where people would request an autonomous vehicle via an app or similar technology, which would then


drive to an arranged pick up point. When the trip is completed, rather than parking, the vehicle is free to continue functioning and service other people. There is also the potential within this model for a vehicle to pick up multiple people in the same trip, increasing the efficiency of the vehicle use. This second model offers the most significant potential for the reimagining of the suburban environment, and much of the literature seems to suggest that this is the most feasible way forward for autonomous vehicles. Therefore, we will be considering this shared approach to vehicle use within the research and design, and will define it as such: Corporately owned vehicles that travel on demand, are capable of picking up multiple people along a route, and when not in use are parked within the public realm. Public Open Space Within the scope of this design research there will be significant potential to reimagine both the private and public realms in the suburban context. However we will be focusing our efforts in looking at the public realm, as this is predominantly the realm of the autonomous vehicle. It is also the realm within which urban design is oriented and has the most influence over. Given this we will be defining the public open space as:

Greenfield Suburban Developments Any space intended for public use, whether as a pedestrian or for vehicle use. Such as streets, parks, verges, bushland, and pathways. Amenity Within the context of public open space it is the aim of this research to explore the potential to maximise the amenity provided by this space to the surrounding residents. In an effort to clarify what remains a relatively subjective term, we will define amenity as: The desirable features of a space that has benefits physically, psychologically, socially, economically, or environmentally. Within this definition there is also multiple approaches as to how this is achieved, which largely focus on either quality or quantity. For example an increase in physical amenity of a park could be achieved through an increase in its size, thus allowing for greater physical recreation to take place, or this could also be achieved through an upgrade to the quality of the park, which allows a more diverse range of recreational activities to occur. However we will consider both of these approaches further in the design and research process.

The application of the design is focusing on the realm of suburban development, as the literature review suggests that this may be a gap in the current research on autonomous vehicles. More specifically we are considering the development of greenfield suburban developments for a number of reasons. Firstly, the literature suggests that the adoption of autonomous vehicles will further encourage suburban sprawl, and so it is important that we consider the form this will take and how we can shape it. Secondly, these suburban developments typically occur in places less serviced by public transport routes and so are generally more vehicle dependant. Lastly, these new greenfield developments afford us the greatest flexibility in shaping the suburb of the future, rather than focusing on retrofitting current infrastructure to future use. In clearly defining the suburb, it is considered to be an area which is an outer development in relation to the urban centre, of primarily low density residential which has a distinctive lifestyle and community.5 In light of this, and for the purposes of this research, greenfield suburban development will be defined as: 5 Johnson, Louise. “Style Wars: Revolution in the Suburbs?�. Australian Geographer 37, no. 2 (2006). 260

An area of distinct residential development on previously undeveloped land in the urban fringe, that is characterised by low density and a community lifestyle not offered in the urban centre.

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1.4 Conceptual Framework

The conceptual framework seeks to outline the research and design process in a logical and clear manner, such that each body of work contributes to the larger picture. The ultimate goal is for a considered design approach and outcome founded within the research and analysis. As a result the process is roughly broken down into the four phases of: 1. Research 2. Analysis 3. Design 4. Outcomes Each phase is then broken down into smaller bodies of work that feed into one another and the following steps of the process. These phases can be summarised as follows. 1. Research In this initial research phase the literature review is undertaken to develop a comprehensive understanding of the current research surrounding the given topic being considered. From this review a research question is established which, in light of the literature, considers the most relevant and applicable direction for the research, as well as clarifying the scope. Given the design nature of this project, consideration is also given to the policy context within which the specific design interventions will be applied.

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2. Analysis Flowing from the research phase, the analysis phase seeks to methodically assess a range of case study scenarios, to establish a number of distilled design principles that will be applied in the design process. It also considers current design contexts in order to create specific drivers that will guide the design process, and set clear goals. 3. Design From the distilled analysis of case studies and literature, a number of design principles are spatially quantified in order to establish the components and opportunities in the design scenarios. These components are then, guided by the design drivers, formed into a range of scenarios that begin to quantify and detail the potential implications of the research in a spatial representation. 4. Outcomes The design scenarios are then evaluated in this final phase to determine the level at which each contributes to the goal of the research established in the research phase. Through this evaluation a combined scenario is considered which seeks to deliver an optimised outcome in light of the entire body of research.

Literature Review Understanding the current research and ideas surrounding the topic to inform the scope, direction, and opportunities of the design process.

Design Outcomes

Research Question Defining the focus and goal of the research and design process, as well as outlining the scope and assumptions.

Policy Context Understanding the policy context within which the research lies, and particularly the guidelines that inform current design outcomes.

Case Studies




Analysing a range of suburban contexts to understand the potential and opportunities of various typologies.

Design Drivers Evaluating and combining a range of design drivers to establish clear guidelines for desired design outcomes.

Design Opportunities

Design Scenarios

Outlining and quantifying the spatial impacts of the research, and defining the components that will comprise the design scenarios.

Combining the design opportunities and drivers to create a range of suburban scenarios that detail the potential impact of the research.

Design Evaluation Evaluating the design scenarios to create a combined approach that delivers a comprehensive and optimised outcome.

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1.5 Policy Context Literature Review

Research Question

Case Studies

Design Opportunities

Policy Context

Design Drivers

Design Scenarios

The design development of scenarios must be considered within the current policy context for a number of reasons. Firstly, in order to present a realistic and applicable outcome, the design scenarios offered must align with current design practice. Secondly, where autonomous vehicles provide the potential for an alternative solution, it is important to understand the guidelines within which it sits, and how it compares to current standards. Given the focus of this thesis on suburban residential layout and design, there are two key policy documents to be considered throughout the process, both developed by the Western Australian Planning Commission (WAPC): 1. Liveable Neighbourhoods1 2. Residential Design Codes2 Liveable Neighbourhoods

Design Evaluation

This planning document is the WAPC’s operational policy on the design and assessment of residential development plans for the Perth region. It details comprehensive guidelines for the elements of community, movement network, lot design, as well as for public open space. As such it is the primary reference document for our exploration 1 WAPC. “Liveable Neighbourhoods.” edited by Department of Planning, 141. Perth, 2015. 2 WAPC. “State Planning Policy 3.1 Residential Design Codes.” edited by Department of Planning. Perth, 2015.

© AUDRC Australian Urban Design Research Centre 2018

of the potential of autonomous vehicles within the suburban realm, and will be considered in further detail during the design development phase. Residential Design Codes This document, also know as the R-Codes, details the requirements and process for all residential development throughout Western Australia. It sets out specific design principles for a range of residential densities, including specific requirements for setback distances, surveillance, and sight lines amongst others. It is the key document in terms of the detailed design of residential dwellings and will be referred to during the design phase, as well as to develop a foundation from which the impact of autonomous vehicles can be quantified.

2. Case Study Analysis

Literature Review

Research Question

Case Studies

Design Opportunities

Policy Context

Design Drivers

Design Scenarios

Design Evaluation

Exploring and analysing the fundamental and historical principles surrounding suburban design

The aim of the case study analysis is to critically explore a range of scenarios in order to understand the current and potential design principles relevant to the research topic. The literature review indicates a strong historical connection between the design and use of the street and the way that impacts the layout of the public realm. In light of this, the case studies will seek to cover a range of typologies which each consider a different relationship between the street, the built form, and the public realm. Due to the nature of autonomous vehicles as an emerging technology, the existence of current case studies which have considered its impact is very limited. As such the selection of scenarios to be explored has sought more to consider suburban typologies that offer an alternative form to current methods. The hope is that the analysis of these may develop a foundation from which we can free ourselves from the existing paradigm and legitimately reimagine a suburban typology considering autonomous vehicles. Given the research is focused on an Australian application, preference has been given to case studies that sit within this context, to prevent the research from straying too far from the cultural context being considered. To complement this analysis a standard case study was also analysed as a benchmark from which to compare the more alternative methods.

The five case studies being considered in this research are: 1. Cartwright, NSW 2. North Pinjarra, WA 3. Traumhaus Funari, Germany 4. Shay Gap, WA 5. Ellenbrook, WA Cartwright, NSW Cartwright is a suburb in south-western Sydney that has been developed around Radburn principles. Although controversial, the Radburn typology remains an interesting scenario for this research, due to the way it treats the relationship between the vehicle movement, and the public realm. One of the most significant aspects of the layout is the deliberate separation of vehicles from pedestrians, with the aim of reducing the conflict that inevitably occurs when they occupy the same space.1 The way this separation is achieved is generally through a series of culs-de-sac that penetrate from an exterior vehicle network towards an internal public open space. The dwellings are then intended to have two fronts, with an entrance off the street, and another off the pedestrian paths within the open space.2 The ultimate goal 1 Chang-Moo Lee, Barbara Stabin-Nesmith. “The Continuing Value of a Planned Community: Radburn in the Evolution of Suburban Development.” Journal of Urban Design 6, no. 2 (2001). 152 2 Lee & Stabin-Nesmith, “The Continuing Value of a Planned Community”, 157

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of this process was to design a network that would mitigate the impact of the car, creating a lifestyle more centred on family and outdoor recreation.3 This intention, whether successful or not, is why the Radburn typologies have been selected as a scenario to critically explore. Cartwright is a fairly typical example of this layout, however there is a greater tendency for the dwellings to address the internal public space rather than the street. North Pinjarra, WA In light of the Radburn typology of Cartwright, North Pinjarra has been selected as a counterpoint to this. A suburb South-East of Mandurah, it is also developed around Radburn principles. However, within the development of North Pinjarra, amongst other differences, the tendency is for the dwellings to address the street and not the central public open space, resulting in a very different suburban feel than that of Cartwright. As such it has been selected as an alternative Radburn arrangement, in the hope that through the analysis of these two scenarios a more comprehensive understanding of the potential of the Radburn typology may be explored.

3 Lee & Stabin-Nesmith, “The Continuing Value of a Planned Community”, 160

Traumhaus Funari, Germany A conceptual suburban development by MVRDV which, although not built, offers a bold and alternative suburban typology. The focus is very much placed on community and the pedestrian realm, with the vehicle movement network pushed to the exterior and underground where necessary. This allows us to consider Traumhaus Funari as a relatively vehicle free suburban development, and thus take precedent from it in terms of how it explores that potential. In also considering a scenario outside the design context of Australia, it considers a cultural context which may offer an alternative perspective to the other Australian suburban scenarios. Shay Gap, WA A more historical example, Shay Gap was a mining town developed in the 1960’s in northern Western Australia by Goldsworthy Mining. Designed by Lawrence Howroyd, the layout of the town was encircled by a ring road in an effort to keep cars out of the town, allowing pedestrians to move freely within the development without the impediment of vehicular traffic.4 As a result of this aim, as well as the relatively remote location of the town, an alternative suburban typology developed which offered a very different lifestyle to that of typical suburbia. As a scenario for analysis, 4 Stickels, Lee. “Designing Way Out.” UWA Publishing. 247

© AUDRC Australian Urban Design Research Centre 2018

Shay Gap again offers a relatively vehicle free scenario, and explores the potential of a more community and pedestrian focused suburban development. Ellenbrook, WA As a recent greenfield suburban development, Ellenbrook provides a benchmark case study from which the other scenarios can be viewed. It also provides a good example of the outcomes of the current policy context. Its isolated context in regard to the urban centre also presents it as a vehicle dominated suburban typology, and therefore also affords the greatest potential to understand the impact autonomous vehicles may have.


Cartwright | NSW ▶▶ 300 Dwellings ▶▶ Radburn Style ▶▶ Cul-de-sac layout ▶▶ Connected pathways run central to the development ▶▶ Pathways connect to external surrounding street ▶▶ Open space is linear and connected

Figure 2.1: Cartwright Context

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Figure 2.2: Cartwright 1:5000 Š AUDRC Australian Urban Design Research Centre 2018


North Pinjarra | WA ▶▶ 355 Dwellings ▶▶ Radburn style ▶▶ Cul-de-sac layout ▶▶ Connected pathways run central to the development ▶▶ Pathways connect to internal cul-de-sac ▶▶ Open space is linear and connected

Figure 2.3: North Pinjarra Context

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Figure 2.4: North Pinjarra 1:5000 Š AUDRC Australian Urban Design Research Centre 2018


Traumhaus Funari | Germany ▶▶ 138 Dwellings ▶▶ Car free development ▶▶ Network of connected parks and open spaces ▶▶ Walkable pathways run through the site from all sides ▶▶ Blocks of private space surround the dwellings

Figure 2.5: Traumhaus Funari Context

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Figure 2.6: Traumhaus Funari 1:1250 Š AUDRC Australian Urban Design Research Centre 2018


Shay Gap | WA ▶▶ 125 Dwellings ▶▶ Walkable oriented design ▶▶ Vehicles are restricted to outer ring road ▶▶ Site is predominantly open space, with amenities within walking distance ▶▶ No rigid street form as houses are placed in a non-linear pattern

Figure 2.7: Shay Gap Context

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Figure 2.8: Shay Gap 1:5000 © AUDRC Australian Urban Design Research Centre 2018


Ellenbrook | WA ▶▶ 543 Dwellings ▶▶ Greenfield suburb ▶▶ Tight network of interconnected streets ▶▶ Public open space is disconnected ▶▶ Pedestrian pathways regularly cross streets ▶▶ Amenity is centrally located within the development

Figure 2.9: Ellenbrook Context

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Figure 2.10: Ellenbrook 1:6250 Š AUDRC Australian Urban Design Research Centre 2018


2.1 POS & Pedestrian Network

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Cartwright | NSW Given the Radburn style layout of this section of Cartwright, the public open space (POS) is understandably highly connected and separate to the vehicle movement network. Due to the POS being linear and centralised, with pathways regularly extending to the street, each dwelling has equal and immediate access to the POS network. However, despite the advantages that this layout affords, the POS offered is largely too narrow to facilitate a range of recreational activities beyond walking or running. As such the POS still functionally acts as a space for movement and, other than the area surrounding the school, it does not welcome residents to occupy the space for any considerable length of time. The pedestrian network within Cartwright largely follows the linear POS, which again highlights its significance as a transitory space. The preference for the pedestrian realm is also clearly seen through the network layout, as the movement through the space as a pedestrian is more permeable and direct in comparison to the vehicular network. Overall, despite the segregation of the pedestrian and vehicular realms, the majority of the POS remains a transitional space, and there is little amenity to offer the resident despite the highly connected and permeable network.

Figure 2.11: Cartwright Public Open Space 1:10 000

Figure 2.12: Cartwright Pedestrian Network 1:10 000

Figure 2.13: Cartwright Public Open Space

Figure 2.14: Cartwright Pedestrian Network

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North Pinjarra | WA Similar to Cartwright, the Radburn style of this suburban development has resulted in a highly connected and centralised POS. However, more space has been given to the central spine, resulting in a less equal but more spacious POS distribution. Despite this, the area still lacks the amenity to encourage residents to utilise the space for more than just movement, particularly in the linear sections to the North and South of the central park. The POS is also largely framed by backyard fences, which contributes to an inactive space that lacks the perceived surveillance to be safely used at all times. The pedestrian network also, similarly to the Cartwright example, follows the central linear POS as is typical of a Radburn development. However, this network only connects through to the internal culs-de-sac rather than the external perimeter street. As the majority of dwellings only front the street, this design allows for the retention of the typical Australian backyard space.

Figure 2.15: North Pinjarra Public Open Space 1:10 000

Figure 2.16: North Pinjarra Pedestrian Network 1:10 000

Figure 2.17: North Pinjarra Public Open Space

Figure 2.18: North Pinjarra Pedestrian Network

Despite a slightly more generous linear open space, the majority of the POS still lacks the amenity to invite residents to occupy the space. The pedestrian network is also missing key destinations at the North and South of the suburb which would encourage the use of this linear space.

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Traumhaus Funari | Germany The POS within the Traumhaus Funari development is highly interconnected and culminates in more open areas surrounded by the residential development. Although fairly small in size, these central POS areas are designed to be high in amenity and facilitate a diverse range of recreational and social activities. Due to the tight arrangement of the development these communal and social areas are highly active and have good surveillance, however there lacks sufficient space for naturally vegetated bushland. Within the Australian suburban context this would have to be considered in order to mitigate the complete removal of the already depleted remnant vegetation. The pedestrian network within Traumhaus Funari is highly connected and clearly represents the permeability of the site. Key consideration has been given to the active central POS locations, with much of the network stemming off these areas. The intense connection within the development results in a lack of clear hierarchy which, although not an issue at this scale, would need to be resolved if the typology were to be applied on a larger scale.

Figure 2.19: Traumhaus Funari Public Open Space 1:4000

Figure 2.20: Traumhaus Funari Pedestrian Network 1:4000

Figure 2.21: Traumhaus Funari Public Open Space

Figure 2.22: Traumhaus Funari Pedestrian Network

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Shay Gap | WA Proportionally Shay Gap has the highest allocation of POS out of all the case studies being considered. This is due to a number of factors. Firstly, the focus on community and pedestrian movement means that the POS is not broken down by the vehicle network, and secondly the small residential dwellings used in the relatively sparse development leaves plenty of remaining space which the POS occupies. Despite the seemingly oversupply of POS, the layout of residential and service dwellings creates a hierarchy of space. This encourages more intimate community interactions to occur within the small spaces, whilst still allocating sufficient area for significant recreational activity and natural bushland. However, the layouts inefficiency would make it difficult to translate to the context of Perth. The pedestrian network within Shay Gap runs from the parking areas through the individual community neighbourhoods, and connects each of these to the recreation spaces and service buildings on the Eastern side of the development. It also acts as a spine from which the dwellings and POS hang off, helping to define the space and develop more intimate spaces despite the sparse nature of the town. Figure 2.23: Shay Gap Public Open Space 1:10 000

Figure 2.24: Shay Gap Pedestrian Network 1:10 000

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Ellenbrook | WA As an example of current suburban typologies, Ellenbrook is designed with the POS being disconnected but central to the residential development. The intention is to, in comparison to the Radburn ideal, create POS that is used as a space rather than for movement, encouraging pedestrian transit along the paths that line the streets. The result of this is POS that is generally able to facilitate a range of social and recreational activities but, despite being central to residential areas, its accessibility is compromised by the network of streets that surround it. There is also no consideration of POS as a context to move in, and this lack of connection also means a lack of biodiversity network. The extensive landscaping of the POS also means that remnant bushland is rarely retained. Unlike much of the other case studies, the pedestrian network within Ellenbrook exists largely along the street network. Dedicated pathways are considered in some other locations within the POS, and connecting between the movement network, however the intention is clearly for the street verges to be used as the primary means of pedestrian movement. This highlights the preference for vehicle movement as pedestrian connections are rarely given their own space or offer a more direct route.

Figure 2.25: Ellenbrook Public Open Space 1:10 000

Figure 2.26: Ellenbrook Pedestrian Network 1:10 000

Figure 2.27: Ellenbrook Public Open Space

Figure 2.28: Ellenbrook Pedestrian Network

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2.3 Lot Orientation & Surveillance

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Cartwright | NSW Despite the Radburn ideal of having dwellings that face both the street and the central POS, within Cartwright the lots predominantly only address the interior POS. The rear of the lots face the culs-desac, which often have high fences and are dominated by garage frontages. The result of this orientation is a significant lack of passive surveillance along these culsde-sac areas. Although this encourages pedestrian movement along the POS rather than within the vehicle network, it leads to backyards surrounded by garages and opening to an inactive street. There is however, good surveillance along the interior pedestrian routes and spaces within the linear POS. The lot frontages often have low or no fences, and directly address onto the central space, creating a more active and welcoming environment.

Figure 2.29: Cartwright Lot Orientation 1:5000

Figure 2.30: Cartwright Surveillance Issue Areas 1:5000

Figure 2.31: Cartwright Lot Orientation

Figure 2.32: Cartwright Surveillance Issue Areas

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North Pinjarra | WA In contrast to the style of Cartwright, North Pinjarra has an inverse lot orientation structure. Rather than fronting the internal POS, the lots address the streets and culde-sac areas. The pedestrian network also rarely penetrates through to the exterior vehicle circuit, meaning that the traditional Australian backyard is preserved for most lots. However, due to the internal POS, many of the lots also have exposed rear fence lines, which has been compensated for by high fences. The resultant passive surveillance of this layout is almost the inverse of the Cartwright structure. The external streets and culs-de-sac have consistent active frontage and good surveillance, encouraging the utilisation of these spaces. However the internal linear POS and park space lacks any real frontage other than where it connects to the street. It is consistently bounded by high backyard fences, leaving it lacking any surveillance, perceived or otherwise. This creates a large issue area throughout the POS, which discourages the use of the area as it remains unwelcoming and potentially unsafe.

Figure 2.33: North Pinjarra Lot Orientation 1:5000

Figure 2.34: North Pinjarra Surveillance Issue Areas 1:5000

Figure 2.35: North Pinjarra Lot Orientation

Figure 2.36: North Pinjarra Surveillance Issue Areas

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Traumhaus Funari | Germany The seemingly random lot orientation of Traumhaus Funari imagines a very alternative typology to what is typically developed. The lots are arranged in an almost interlocking grid pattern, with most lots either fronting into the key POS or towards the side of another dwelling group. This ensures that almost every pathway has some form of frontage and activation. The orientation of the lots is also predominantly internal, with few lots addressing the external vehicle movement network or surrounding open space. The passive surveillance of the site is, understandably, relatively even throughout the development, with very few issue areas internally. However, due to the inward focused nature of the orientation, this leaves the peripheral boundary relatively low in surveillance, which is also true of the perimeter pathways and connections.

Figure 2.37: Traumhaus Funari Lot Orientation 1:2000 Š AUDRC Australian Urban Design Research Centre 2018

Figure 2.38: Traumhaus Funari Surveillance Issue Areas 1:2000


Shay Gap | WA The orientation of lots within Shay Gap is largely focused around the circular neighbourhood structure. Each dwelling is predominantly oriented internally towards this central space, creating active and intimate community spaces shared by a handful of dwellings. The pedestrian network also runs through these spaces and so almost every dwelling inevitably fronts onto this network. This layout creates good internal surveillance on the neighbourhood areas, and along the pedestrian network. However, in a similar style to Traumhaus Funari, it leaves the peripheral and external areas relatively low in surveillance. This may not be as much of an issue given the context of Shay Gap and the perimeter vehicular circuit which would offer some passive surveillance on these areas. Within the suburban context of Perth however, if this typology were to be replicated, the orientation of dwellings would have to be altered to ensure external areas were not left without active frontage.

Figure 2.39: Shay Gap Lot Orientation 1:2500

Figure 2.40: Shay Gap Surveillance Issue Areas 1:2500

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Ellenbrook | WA The orientation of lots within Ellenbrook is structured towards the vehicle movement network. Every lot and dwelling has frontage onto the street, and the double loading of blocks results in most lots only having one exposed lot boundary, which is the street frontage. There are however some minor laneways in the higher density areas, which leads to single lots fronting onto two streets. Due to the narrow street frontage, the intention is for the laneway to be used for rear vehicle access, with the other side able to address the street more directly. This regular layout results in consistent passive surveillance throughout the development, as in general only the active frontage of the lots are exposed. The laneways create the only potential issue areas, as these spaces are predominantly fronted by garages and there is little activation along this edge. Even the central POS areas have sufficient surveillance as the surrounding dwellings are all oriented towards it, and the surrounding street provides some passive surveillance.

Figure 2.41: Ellenbrook Lot Orientation 1:5000

Figure 2.42: Ellenbrook Surveillance Issue Areas 1:5000

Figure 2.43: Ellenbrook Lot Orientation

Figure 2.44: Ellenbrook Surveillance Issue Areas

Š AUDRC Australian Urban Design Research Centre 2018


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2.5 Case Study Evaluation

The case study evaluation seeks to assess and rate each of the case study scenarios according to a range of criteria. By breaking it down into set criteria this will allow us to further understand the particular aspects of each scenario that are advantageous for suburban design. The basic principles arising from these can then be used in the design process to generate a final scenario that performs well across all the criteria. The different aspects the case studies are being ranked on are:

distributed equally within the case study area, and if so, whether they are easily accessible by the majority of residential areas.

1. POS Amenity 2. POS Distribution 3. Surveillance 4. Biodiversity Network 5. Pedestrian Walkability 6. Pedestrian Priority

4. Biodiversity Network

3. Surveillance Previously in analysis the surveillance issue areas for each case study were identified, and so each will be rated according to whether these issue areas exist in significant public locations such as POS or other key amenity areas.

This rates the allowance each case study has made for the preservation and connection of natural vegetation, and the integration of local ecology into the suburban form.

1. POS Amenity 5. Pedestrian Walkability Amenity has been previously defined as: the desirable features of a space that has benefits physically, psychologically, socially, economically, or environmentally. Thus the rating of each case study will be based on the level at which their public open space contains features that provide these benefits. 2. POS Distribution The distribution of public open space is focused specifically around recreational areas such as parks, and whether they are Š AUDRC Australian Urban Design Research Centre 2018

The walkability of each case study assesses the permeability of the movement networks, and the extent to which pedestrian routes connect various destinations across the neighbourhood. 6. Pedestrian Priority Pedestrian priority looks at the preference given to the vehicle over the pedestrian within the suburban environment, or whether consideration is given to pedestrians and active transit.


Cartwright | NSW

North Pinjarra | WA

Figure 2.45: Cartwright 1:20 000

Figure 2.46: North Pinjarra 1:20 000

Category POS Amenity

POS Distribution


Biodiversity Network

Pedestrian Walkability

Pedestrian Priority


Notes ▶▶ Central walkways are too narrow to facilitate a range of recreational activities. ▶▶ The only significant POS sits at the end of the residential development. ▶▶ The lack of active frontage to the culsde-sac results in poor surveillance. ▶▶ Limited space for significant preservation of vegetation and biodiversity connections. ▶▶ Highly permeable pedestrian network encourages walking. ▶▶ Pedestrian links are centralised, with vehicle movement restricted to the perimeter circuit.

Category POS Amenity

POS Distribution


Biodiversity Network

Pedestrian Walkability

Pedestrian Priority


Notes ▶▶ Central POS lacks features to promote engagement and activity. ▶▶ Linear POS is distributed evenly throughout the neighbourhood ▶▶ Consistent rear fence line along the key POS areas results in poor surveillance. ▶▶ Some consideration has been given to maintaining the local environment. ▶▶ Highly connected pedestrian pathways allow for unobstructed travel. ▶▶ Some preference given to pedestrian movement, however there are no key destinations for the pedestrian network.

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Traumhaus Funari | Germany

Shay Gap | WA

Figure 2.47: Traumhaus Funari 1:4000

Figure 2.48: Shay Gap 1:10 000

Category POS Amenity

POS Distribution


Biodiversity Network

Pedestrian Walkability


Notes ▶▶ Highly active central POS offers a range of amenity. ▶▶ A range of POS areas is within close proximity to all dwellings. ▶▶ Alternating lot orientation and tight development results in sufficient surveillance on all key areas. ▶▶ Although there is significant vegetation, there is little space for remnant vegetation. ▶▶ Highly permeable pedestrian pathways connect all dwellings to key destinations. ▶▶ Vehicle movement is pushed underground and to the exterior, prioritising pedestrian movement and active transport.

Pedestrian Priority

Category POS Amenity

POS Distribution


Biodiversity Network

Pedestrian Walkability

Pedestrian Priority © AUDRC Australian Urban Design Research Centre 2018


Notes ▶▶ Central POS contains few attractive features for residents. ▶▶ Large amount of POS is distributed around and within the residential development. ▶▶ Community clusters ensure good surveillance within residential areas however it is lacking in surrounding POS. ▶▶ Significant proportion of land allows remnant vegetation and biodiversity connection. ▶▶ Pedestrian pathways connect all key areas within the neighbourhood. ▶▶ Vehicle movement is limited to exterior circuit, prioritising pedestrian movement within the development.


Ellenbrook | WA

Basic Principles POS Amenity In order to provide sufficient POS amenity, it seems that a number of factors are typically involved. Firstly, across a neighbourhood there should be a hierarchy of POS provision, ranging from large recreational spaces to more intimate local POS areas. This allows for a range of recreational activity and can provide a mix of amenity features.

Figure 2.49: Ellenbrook 1:20 000

Category POS Amenity

POS Distribution


Biodiversity Network

Pedestrian Walkability

Pedestrian Priority


Notes ▶▶ Central POS parcels provide for a range of recreational activities. ▶▶ POS is placed equally within development, however lacks connection to many residential areas. ▶▶ Tight development with single frontage ensures good surveillance on all areas. ▶▶ Dense landscaped development removes most remnant vegetation and there is little biodiversity connection. ▶▶ Pedestrian pathways are predominantly on street verges and regularly cross the vehicle network. ▶▶ Permeable vehicle movement limits pedestrian movement, and preference is given to vehicular connections.

Secondly these spaces need to be developed beyond just a grassed open area, and be able to facilitate a diverse option of activity. This can be done through landscaped features which may encourage walking and the occupation of certain spaces, or through the development of dedicated recreational spaces such as sports fields and courts that encourage more specialised activity. ▶▶ Hierarchy of POS ▶▶ Diverse recreational spaces POS Distribution The distribution of the POS is just as crucial as the amenity it provides when considering the benefit to the surrounding neighbourhood. High amenity POS areas that are poorly distributed may only be beneficial to a small number of residents.

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Well distributed neighbourhoods are typically characterised by an equal spacing of POS across the development, ensuring the majority of residents have relatively equal access to a variety of POS areas. The connection of these spaces through linear walkways can also be beneficial to increase access to areas that may otherwise lack amenity. ▶▶ Equal POS spacing ▶▶ Connection of POS through walkways

alternation of lot orientation, ensuring each section of public space has some form of active frontage overlooking it. However this is difficult to replicate on a larger scale where vehicle movement networks and larger open spaces are integrated. ▶▶ Double-loaded residential blocks ▶▶ Active frontage to all key spaces ▶▶ Alternating orientation where possible Biodiversity Network

Surveillance To ensure the safety and activity of key spaces, it is important to have sufficient surveillance overlooking these areas. Typically this is done by developing dwellings and lots to maximise the active frontage onto areas such as streets and POS, and minimising rear fences being presented to these key spaces. It is difficult for dwellings to have truly active frontages on two sides, and so to manage this residential blocks are often doubleloaded, with lots backing onto each other and facing the street. This method removes the inactive frontage and creates a consistent active frontage onto the public areas.

In the context of suburban development, the significance of connected biodiversity is often overlooked in the shadow of residential yields and efficient vehicle movement. However, the biodiversity network is crucial to the health of the existing ecological systems and creating sustainable development. Typically suburban layouts that encourage a healthy biodiversity network are those that allocate large amounts of open space to heavily vegetated areas, and allow for the connection and integration of these spaces within the suburban development. ▶▶ Large highly vegetated areas ▶▶ Integration of nature within development

Another method which proves somewhat successful in tight developments is the © AUDRC Australian Urban Design Research Centre 2018

Pedestrian Walkability The scenarios that allow a high level of pedestrian walkability are typically those with permeable development blocks. This creates walking routes which are generally shorter in distance, encouraging pedestrian movement. The location of key spaces and destinations along these routes is also significant in not only developing a walkable neighbourhood, but ensuring the pedestrian routes have purpose and provide alternative means of transport. The continuity of the walkways should also be considered in developing walkability, as regular obstructions can discourage active transport options. ▶▶ Permeable block design ▶▶ Pedestrian routes to key destinations ▶▶ Continuous walkways Pedestrian Priority In many suburban developments in the Australian context, vehicle movement is given priority over the pedestrian realm, and this is evident through the layout of movement networks and the structure of street reserves. However, with the development of autonomous vehicles, there is the potential for priority to be given back to pedestrian movement within the suburban realm.

Typically developments which give priority to pedestrians are characterised by creating efficient and centralised walkways that connect key destinations. This often results in vehicle movement networks being pushed to the periphery and becoming less efficient. In a similar manner to developing walkability, the priority of pedestrian movement is also displayed in the continuity of their movement network, and reducing the obstruction created by vehicle movement. ▶▶ Efficient and centralised walkways ▶▶ Minimising vehicle obstruction of routes

3. Neighbourhood Cell

Developing a logical scale at which the design process will occur, through the analysis of a suburban neighbourhood cell typology

Moving from the case study analysis into the design phase, the scale and application of design scenario development becomes increasingly important. Thus, the focus of this section of analysis is to establish a structure within which the design will occur that ensures the design outcomes are at a scale appropriate in the real world context. Through looking at the Liveable Neighbourhoods guidelines and existing suburban development, the working hypothesis is that suburban development typically occurs at a scale of roughly 400m across, which we will refer to as the neighbourhood cell. This idea of a neighbourhood cell is referred to a number of times in the Liveable Neighbourhoods document,1 and forms part of a larger suburban development generally containing a primary school and general service facilities. In understanding the appropriate context for the design development, it is also crucial to analyse the boundary conditions of the development site, and not just the scale. Each neighbourhood layout is different depending on the surrounding elements and conditions, whether that be a major roadway or regional bushland. Thus, understanding the typical boundary conditions, as well as how that impacts the layout of the neighbourhood cell is crucial for the design development.

1 WAPC, “Liveable Neighbourhoods�, 14

Once the criteria for each neighbourhood cell is established, these are then applied across the different case study sites to establish a consistent foundation from which spatial analysis and comparison can occur. Each of these spatial precedents can then be compared with the final design scenarios to benchmark the spatial impact of autonomous vehicles. The understanding developed through this analysis will inform the design approaches later, and specifically the development of a typical suburban form, within which the design process will be applied.

| Unlocking the Suburb | 47

Suburban Development 1. Formation of 400m Catchment Areas

2. Connection by Movement Network

Initially neighbourhoods are generally created as regions of 400m radius, which is the theoretical distance a pedestrian will walk in five minutes from the centre to the edge. Most people will consider walking up to 400m to access amenity.1

Once a series of catchments have been identified they are connected through a movement network. Integrator arterials and neighbourhood connectors cut through each neighbourhood such that the intersection of these major roads becomes potential activity centres.2

2 WAPC, “Liveable Neighbourhoods”, 14 1 WAPC, “Liveable Neighbourhoods”, 14

Figure 3.1: 400m Catchments

Figure 3.2: Movement Networks

3. Placement of POS

4. Creation of Neighbourhood Cells

Public open space is then designed throughout the neighbourhoods, with district and regional open spaces developed on the edge of development, and smaller POS parks and amenity located in parcels within.3

As a result of this process, distinct neighbourhood cells become evident, generally bounded by major roads, bushland, or POS. These cells are generally 400m across and therefore about a five minute walk from side to side. This concept of the neighbourhood cell forms the basis of further analysis and is considered in the context of existing suburban development sites.

3 WAPC, “Liveable Neighbourhoods”, 19

Figure 3.3: POS Development

© AUDRC Australian Urban Design Research Centre 2018

Figure 3.4: Neighbourhood Cells


The selected site for the neighbourhood cell analysis is the Ellenbrook and Aveley region North-East of Perth’s urban centre. This region is a relatively new greenfield development with much of the development occurring after the initial Liveable Neighbourhoods document was released. In light of the research into neighbourhood and suburban development, the region was analysed and broken up into 67 distinct neighbourhood cells. The location of the surrounding land uses was also considered and mapped alongside the neighbourhoods. The neighbourhood cells were then analysed based on their boundary conditions, as well as an indicative size (small, medium, or large), and whether there was any public open space found within the cell (shown in column two). The boundary for each neighbourhood can somewhat be defined as the point at which a condition or barrier is located, where further residential development beyond this point could not be considered well connected to the rest of the residential area, thus by definition belonging in a separate neighbourhood cell. The different boundary condition typologies can be defined as:

Major Road: A major transport route, generally with double lanes or a median that carries traffic between neighbourhoods and connects to destinations more regionally. Minor Road: A transport route that, although not major, still carries more traffic than a local access street, and generally connects directly to major transport routes or more distant destinations than within the neighbourhood itself. Bushland: Predominantly remnant bushland, either situated between neighbourhoods (potentially with streets as a buffer), or on the edge of development more broadly. POS: Public open space of any type, generally of a scale large enough to significantly detach residential development from one another. Schools: Educational facilities, generally situated at the edge of several neighbourhood cells and often co-located with public open space. Other: Non-residential land uses at a scale that breaks apart residential development and generally service a number of neighbourhoods.

Figure 3.5: Ellenbrook-Aveley Region

| Unlocking the Suburb | 49

Figure 3.6: Neighbourhood Cells

Figure 3.7: Land Use Š AUDRC Australian Urban Design Research Centre 2018


Figure 3.8: Neighbourhood Cell Numbering

Figure 3.9: Cell 1-33 Boundary Conditions

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Figure 3.10: Cell 34-67 Boundary Conditions Š AUDRC Australian Urban Design Research Centre 2018


Boundary Condition Analysis

Figure 3.11: Boundary Condition Analysis

Further analysis of the neighbourhood cell boundary conditions revealed that the following percentage of cells had these boundary conditions on one or more edges.

Figure 3.12: Grouped Boundary Analysis

Major Road: 73% Minor Road: 82% Bushland: 51% POS: 48% School: 33% Other: 13%

Combining these different boundary conditions into three distinct typology groups revealed that the following percentage of cells had that boundary condition typology on one or more edges.

Major or Minor Road: 100% Bushland or POS: 81% School or Other: 40%

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Boundary Connection Analysis The edge conditions of a neighbourhood cell have a significant impact on the layout of the suburb, and in particular the vehicle movement network. In order to gain an understanding of how each of the different boundary conditions impacted the layout, a number of cells within the Ellenbrook and Aveley region were selected for analysis. A rough diagram was drawn of the movement network of these cells, as shown on the right, with particular attention being given to the connections with the boundary network, shown by the nodes. Through the analysis of several standard cells, observations were made about the typical number of connections for each of the four main boundary types, and how the boundary affected the layout of the movement network. These observations are:

Minor Road: 2 - 3 Connections









Major Road: 0 - 1 Connections





If there is any connection to a major road, it is typically central to the neighbourhood edge. Residential lots generally avoid fronting a major road to avoid disruption to traffic flow and prevent noise disturbance to residents. Often there will be a significant verge boundary between a major road and residential development.

Figure 3.13: Selected Cell Layout Diagrams

Movement network connections to minor roads are typically evenly spaced across the length of the neighbourhood. Lots generally front onto these roads as they have less significant traffic flows, and the lots provide surveillance for pedestrian activity. Bushland & POS: 0 Connections On this edge there is generally a street running alongside the boundary to create a buffer zone, preventing dwellings from facing or backing directly onto bushland or POS. Streets will regularly break off this edge, cutting into the neighbourhood development.

Š AUDRC Australian Urban Design Research Centre 2018


Cartwright | NSW Cell Size: 103059 m2 Hectares: 10.3 Dwellings: 124 Dwellings per Ha: 12 Dwelling Size: 146 m2 Lot Size: 605m2

Roads & Verges:




POS: 5%

Figure 3.14: Cartwright Cell 1:5000

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North Pinjarra | WA Cell Size: Hectares: Dwellings: Dwellings per Ha: Dwelling Size: Lot Size:

163512 m2 16.3 140 9 179 m2 799 m2

Roads & Verges:




POS: 7%

Figure 3.15: North Pinjarra Cell 1:5000 Š AUDRC Australian Urban Design Research Centre 2018


Traumhaus Funari | Germany Cell Size: Hectares: Dwellings: Dwellings per Ha: Dwelling Size: Lot Size:

12354 m2 1.2 67 54 57 m2 134 m2

Roads & Verges:




POS: 26%

Figure 3.16: Traumhaus Funari Cell 1:2000

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Shay Gap | WA Cell Size: Hectares: Dwellings: Dwellings per Ha: Dwelling Size:

35788 m2 3.6 57 16 93 m2

Roads & Verges:




POS: 77%

Figure 3.17: Shay Gap Cell 1:5000 Š AUDRC Australian Urban Design Research Centre 2018


Ellenbrook | WA Cell Size: Hectares: Dwellings: Dwellings per Ha: Dwelling Size: Lot Size:

165611 m2 16.6 187 11 247 m2 576 m2

Roads & Verges:




POS: 6%

Figure 3.18: Ellenbrook Cell 1:6250

4. Design Opportunities

Literature Review

Research Question

Case Studies

Design Opportunities

Moving from the case study analysis into the design phase, the design opportunities outline the specific impacts that ridesharing autonomous vehicle will have on the suburban realm. Primarily informed by the literature, the design opportunities will be combined with the analysis and evaluation of the case studies to then develop the components for the design scenarios. The major design opportunities that have been identified and will be discussed further are:

Policy Context

Design Drivers

Design Scenarios

Design Evaluation

Quantifying the spatial impacts fully automated vehicles will have on the suburban realm Š AUDRC Australian Urban Design Research Centre 2018

1. Driveway Access 2. Dwelling Size 3. Shared Streets & Verge Widths 4. Parking 5. Variable Access Streets

| Unlocking the Suburb | 59


4.1 Driveway Access

If you wander through any typical Australian suburb, you will notice that driveways are some of the most ubiquitous infrastructure that occupy part of the public realm. Taking up much of the front yard space, constantly crossing over pedestrian paths and into the street, it can be hard to imagine this space as anything different. Likewise if you consider the residential dwelling, half of the frontage is often given over to a garage, with many new homes today offering at least a double garage. These two components have become so ingrained in the pattern of suburban development that the removal of them could offer an entirely different experience of street life. Within the literature surrounding autonomous vehicles, a number of sources suggest the complete removal of driveways and garages could be possible, allowing significantly more space to be given over to ecological amenity or recreation.1 This is particularly true given the ride-sharing model of vehicle ownership being considered in this research. With the combination of autonomous vehicles and ride-sharing, the daily transport cost would fall below that of owning a private vehicle, creating the potential for private car ownership to be completely phased out.2 This would 1 Berger, “The Suburb of the Future” 2 Thakur, Kinghorn, & Grace, “Urban Form and Function in the Autonomous Era”, 4

result in vehicles existing solely in the public domain, with no need for them to be stored on private lots. Thus garages and driveways would become redundant as residents simply order a vehicle as required which then picks them up from their location. This opens up the potential for uninterrupted footpaths and verges, as well as a significant amount of space reclaimed for front yard vegetation. Without the constant crossing of driveways there is now flexibility within the public realm for linear parks and recreational features to exist in the verge, as well as the opportunity for drainage swales and other environmental amenity, all of which will be explored through the design process.

| Unlocking the Suburb | 61

The current streetscape is constantly interrupted by driveway access from the street to private garages.

With shared autonomous vehicles private driveway access can be removed, allowing for a continuous verge.

Figure 4.1: Current Driveway Access

Figure 4.2: Autonomous Vehicle Streetscape Š AUDRC Australian Urban Design Research Centre 2018


4.2 Dwelling Size

Over the past forty years within Australia, the size of the average new block of land has halved, while that of the suburban house has more than doubled.1 This may have been caused in part by the increase in demand for smaller lot sizes, with the average fringe lot reducing from 750m2 to 550m2, and lots of 300m2 also proving popular.2 The continuation of this trend for smaller lots and bigger houses has resulted in a growing lack of vegetation, particularly mature trees, within private space in the suburban environment. Autonomous vehicles have the potential to somewhat undo the effects of this trend, by allowing for reduced dwelling sizes, and the preservation of significant vegetation on private lots. As discussed earlier AV’s, particularly when combined with a ride-sharing model, could lead to the removal of garages and driveways as vehicles are no longer privately owned. Based on an analysis of Ellenbrook as a case study, the average lot size was around 580m2, and the average dwelling size was around 250m2. Based on the assumption of predominantly double garages in existing home, the average dwelling size could be reduced by up to 20%, down to a 200m2. With this reduction and the removal of driveways the overall lot size could again be reduced by up to 1 Brunner & Cozens, “Where Have All the Trees Gone?”, 238 2 Curtis & Punter, “Design-Led Sustainable Development”, 49

20%, down to a 480m2 average, without reducing the quantity of vegetated open space on a lot. These gains, although minor on an individual lot scale, have the potential to greatly increase the efficiency and flexibility of our suburban neighbourhoods on a large scale. The spatial gains by removing driveways and garages could be redistributed throughout the public realm of a development, allowing space for greater amenity and environmental conservation. However, there is also for the potential for this increase in efficiency to result in greater suburban densities which, although not inherently an issue, could mitigate the potential we have just unlocked through autonomous vehicles to reimagine the suburban typology.

| Unlocking the Suburb | 63

The average size of a current dwelling is around 250 m2, which includes a private double garage.

250 m2

200 m2

With shared autonomous vehicles there is no longer a need for vehicles to be privately stored, allowing a reduction in dwelling size to 200 m2 after the removal of garages.

Figure 4.3: Current Average Dwelling Size

Figure 4.4: Proposed Reduced Dwelling Size Š AUDRC Australian Urban Design Research Centre 2018


4.3 Shared Streets & Verge Widths

The history of traffic segregation and engineering, has resulted in an intensely vehicle focused movement network with rigid guidelines for the built dimensions of streets and roads. They are designed with a high margin of safety to compensate for the imprecise and potentially unpredictable nature of human drivers. This has resulted in wide lanes and verges, as well as numerous signs and safety features.1 Within this realm of the street and verge the autonomous vehicle has the greatest potential to impact typical spatial arrangements. Much of the literature suggests that autonomous vehicles will be smaller and lighter, as they will be safer and thus there is a reduced need for substantial structural safety features.2 Within planning documents such as Liveable Neighbourhoods there is also the requirement for on-street parking allocation in some suburban streets. However, the ride-sharing model will make this requirement redundant as vehicles will simply pick-up and drop-off rather than parking for extended periods of time. Combined with increased accuracy in lane positioning and movement, these factors will allow a significant reduction in lane widths for our typical suburban streets. This leads to the potential of a reversal of traffic engineering and segregation, 1 Somers & Weeratunga, “Automated Vehicles”, 17 2 Ibid., 15

as preference can now be given back to pedestrians and cyclists, and the reduction of lane widths can allow for the implementation of cycle lanes and pathways.3 With vehicles becoming lighter and smaller there also arises the opportunity for more sustainable and environmentally friendly surfacing treatments. As vehicles will have less physical impact on the street, options such as paving become viable as a surfacing treatment. More permeable surfaces can also be integrated at the same level as the verge, creating a consistent landscape without the typical kerb markings and traffic engineering. The idea of a shared street also becomes a possibility with autonomous vehicles. Not only can the lane width be reduced, but due to the programmable nature of the vehicles, they can be actively managed and limited to 30kph or less.4 This can allow for the integration of bicycle and pedestrian traffic into a shared realm, which can be monitored and controlled, ensuring preference is given to pedestrian movement. With pathways integrated into shared streets, there is now also the potential to rethink setback and verge width 3 Heinrichs, Dirk. “Autonomous Driving and Urban Land Use.” In Autonomous Driving. Berlin: German Aerospace Centre, 2016. 224 4 Sadik-Khan, “Blueprint for Autonomous Urbanism.”, 25

| Unlocking the Suburb | 65

requirements. Within the Australian context verges tend to be barren and are often overlooked as a public resource that can provide amenity, however spatially they comprise around nine times the amount of land taken up by parks.5 According to the Liveable Neighbourhoods requirements, verges are to be a minimum of five metres wide, which allows room for street trees and landscaping, as well as utilities servicing and parking embayments.6 Freed from the restrictions of driveways and parking requirements, there is the opportunity to either significantly reduce verge widths, allowing room for amenity in other locations, or to increase verge widths, creating active verges that provide amenity and encourage recreation. The potential of verges to sustain street trees, swales, and other environmental amenity is also increased with the removal of driveways. Without the continual disruption there is the opportunity for more continuous landscaping treatments and biodiversity corridors throughout the suburban development.

service lines will continue to run along these verges. However, given the forward looking nature of this research exploration, the consideration of service lines has not been dominant and some assumptions have been made about the ability of the servicing infrastructure to adapt. Similarly, service vehicles such as garbage trucks are a serious consideration in the design of the streetscape to ensure this servicing can continue to occur. Alternative vehicles do exist for these services in areas such as city centres where access areas are narrow. The assumption has been made that these types of vehicles could be utilised within the suburban realm if necessary, or that an alternative form of servicing will arise in the future.

5 Bolleter, “On the Verge”, 2

Figure 4.6: Proposed One-Way Laneway © AUDRC Australian Urban Design Research Centre 2018

9m 6m 1.5m No No

Total Width: Lane Width: Verge : Minimum Setback: Lot Frontage: Shared Use:

8m 2m 1m 2m Yes Yes

Figure 4.5: Current Laneway

Traditionally street verges have been the conduit for service lines and utilities, allowing easy access and maintenance when required. This has been considered in the reduction of minimum verge widths and setbacks, and it is assumed that

6 WAPC, “Liveable Neighbourhoods”, 60

Total Width: Lane Width: Verge: Minimum Setback: Lot Frontage: Shared Use:


Total Width: Lane Width: Verge : Minimum Setback: Lot Frontage: Shared Use:

28m 6m 5m 6m Yes No

Total Width: Lane Width: Verge : Minimum Setback: Lot Frontage: Shared Use:

11-12m 3-4m 2m 2m Yes Yes

Figure 4.7: Current Suburban Street Reserve 1:200

Figure 4.8: Proposed Shared Street 1:200

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The current minimum width from dwelling to dwelling across a suburban street is around 28m.



With the size, accuracy, and management of autonomous vehicles, this can be safely reduced to a width of around 11m in minor residential streets.

Figure 4.9: Current Street Reserve & Setback

Figure 4.10: Reduced Street Reserve & Setback Š AUDRC Australian Urban Design Research Centre 2018


4.4 Parking

The impact of vehicle parking on the urban environment is tremendously significant. In a study of Houston, Texas and Detroit, over 70% of urban space was taken up by streets, parking, and garages.1 We allocate so much of our key urban land to parking, however it remains an issue in so many locations, with a survey of 20 cities worldwide reporting that drivers typically spend 20 minutes on average to find parking.2 The impact of autonomous vehicles, and particularly ride-sharing, will have significant implications in this area in terms of land use and vehicle efficiency. So much so that in a study on the impact of automated vehicle technology, 43.5% of respondents said that the biggest benefit of autonomous technology is the self parking ability.3 A typical privately owned vehicle spends around 95% of its lifetime sitting in a parking spot,4 however, with ride-sharing autonomous vehicles, once the passenger has been dropped off, the vehicle can continue to service other passengers and remain in use, or travel elsewhere to a peripheral parking location. This will result in a greatly reduced parking demand, and the allocation of each parking space itself 1 Hamilton-Baillie, “Urban Design”, 44 2 Mehdi Nourinejad, Sina Bahrami, Matthew Roorda. “Designing Parking Facilities for Autonomous Vehicles.” Transportation Research Part B 109 (2017). 112 3 Nourinejad, Bahrami, & Roorda, “Designing Parking Facilities for Autonomous Vehicles”, 112 4 Ibid., 110

can also be reduced. Given that when the vehicle is parked there will be no passengers, no spatial allocation needs to be given to the opening of doors or movement between vehicles, and so it is estimated that each parking space could be reduced by 2m2. A model of automated parking space estimates that the total space required could be reduced by up to 85%,5 however this is for a privately owned vehicle scenario, and so the benefits would likely increase significantly given the ride-sharing model. Studies have shown that a single ridesharing vehicle can replace around ten privately owned vehicles,6 which would greatly reduce the amount of land required for parking facilities. In a neighbourhood of 200 dwellings, each with two cars, with the impact of ride-sharing only 40 autonomous vehicles would be required to service the neighbourhood. Considering the reduction in vehicle bay size down to around 10m2 (5m x 2m),7 this would result in an area of only 400m2 being required for parking facilities, an area the size of a small lot. These spatial reductions have significant 5 Nourinejad, Bahrami, & Roorda, “Designing Parking Facilities for Autonomous Vehicles”, 125 6 Martin, Shaheen, & Lidicker, “Impact of Carsharing on Household Vehicle Holdings”, 158 7 Nourinejad, Bahrami, & Roorda, “Designing Parking Facilities for Autonomous Vehicles”, 121

| Unlocking the Suburb | 69

implications for suburban design, however there is little research to suggest where this parking could be allocated within the public realm. Ideally to maintain speed and efficiency each neighbourhood cell would have its own allocation of parking, to prevent vehicles being required to travel large distances to pick up passengers. Within these neighbourhoods it would also increase activity and efficiency to locate the parking alongside central POS areas or retail and community facilities. This would minimise extensive wait times and could encourage the use of these areas due to convenience.

40 Cars

Shared vehicle parking for a neighbourhood of around 200 dwellings can be allocated within a single lot. It is placed near major traffic routes and close to public open spaces for efficiency and convenience.

Figure 4.11: Proposed Parking Allocation Š AUDRC Australian Urban Design Research Centre 2018


4.5 Variable Access Streets

One radically different impact of autonomous vehicles which is often overlooked in the literature is the ability for vehicle use and street access to be programmed. Suburban streets particularly could benefit from this, being actively managed during different peak periods to restrict or allow vehicle movement.1 The opportunity of this is to shift some selected shared street spaces into pedestrian only areas during the day when there is limited vehicular traffic required. This would mean that rather than dropping off passengers directly outside their house, they would have to walk a short distance along this restricted access space to get to their dwelling. However, there are many variables surrounding the implementation and practicality of this which would have to be considered. Firstly, access to the street would have to be dependant on weather conditions to prevent the situation of people being forced to walk through heavy rain or extreme conditions. Secondly, the demographic of the neighbourhood would also play a role in the suitability of this, as an older demographic may still require transport directly to their dwelling, and so vehicular access would have to be allowed at all times. The potential of this in suitable conditions could result in a completely new type of 1 Sadik-Khan, “Blueprint for Autonomous Urbanism�, 25

suburban street than offers a high level of amenity and encourages a range of recreational uses. In transitioning to a pedestrian only space, a new type of park is created, allowing play and social activities to occur on residents doorsteps without the interruption and safety hazard of passing vehicles. Young children and families particularly could benefit from this, as they do not have to wander far during the day for a significant area of outdoor recreation space, allowing social activities and play to occur within the vicinity of their dwelling. It also has the potential to encourage community events and interaction as sporting events and street parties become possible, once again developing the street and neighbourhood as a social construct. The movement-place diagram describes a range of spaces and movement network types based on how they operate as a transitional or static space. Those areas high on the movement axis tend to focus more on the efficient movement of vehicular traffic. The areas high on the place axis tend to focus more on encouraging people to occupy the space and are inevitably more pedestrian oriented. Typically movement network types were fixed within this diagram, as those that tended to be more movement focused were inevitably less capable of being able to facilitate the occupation and experience of a space, and vice versa. However

| Unlocking the Suburb | 71

through autonomous vehicles and active street management, suburban streets have the ability to shift within the diagram, moving from movement to place oriented when suitable. In this sense an entirely new type of street is developed, as the variable access street has the capacity to become truly place oriented, despite also being heavily movement focused when required. The question of when this shift could happen still remains, and to this end analysis has been done to understand the daily trip types and their frequency. The diagram below describes the peak times for which trips occur under each of the purposes. Plotted across 24 hours this reveals both an AM and PM peak, with the

frequency of trips dropping off significantly between these times for the suburban realm. Therefore, a suggestive period has been indicted between these two peaks as a potential window within which restricted vehicle access could be viable. Within this time the need for vehicle trips is reduced, and in a suitable neighbourhood, with appropriate weather, the shift of suburban streets to a pedestrian park space would yield the most benefits with the least inconvenience.



Main Street Neighbourhood Connector


Local Access

Woonerf/ Shared Street

Variable Access Street

Low Low



Figure 4.12: Movement Place Diagram AM Peak 6 AM - 9:30 AM

No Vehicle Access 9:30 AM - 2:30 PM

PM Peak 2:30 PM - 6:30 PM

Work | Commute Pick-up | Drop-off Personal | Recreation | Shopping Business | Delivery Servicing Emergency 1












Š AUDRC Australian Urban Design Research Centre 2018






6 PM

Peak Traffic

Figure 4.13: 24 Hour Vehicle Trip Purpose Diagram


Significant Traffic









Off Peak During peak times all shared streets are open to vehicle movement.

In off peak periods during the day vehicle movement can be restricted to major routes only, creating local linear park spaces.

Figure 4.14: Peak Traffic Street Access

Figure 4.15: Off Peak Traffic Street Access

5. Design Process

Literature Review

Research Question

Policy Context

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The design process is the culmination of the research completed in a number of spatial scenarios. The intention is to apply the design opportunities, as well as the principles from the case study evaluation to a selected site. The design drivers are also established as part of this process to guide each scenario to increase the amenity of the public realm in a logical way. For the purposes of this research this design process is done in the following way:

Case Studies

Design Opportunities

Design Drivers

Design Scenarios

Design Evaluation

Developing and evaluating a range of design scenarios based on the culmination of research Š AUDRC Australian Urban Design Research Centre 2018

1. Suburban Abstraction & Development 2. Design Drivers 3. Model Design & Construction 4. Design Scenarios 5. Design Evaluation


5.1 Suburban Abstraction

The suburban abstraction aims to replicate a typical suburban scenario, based on the neighbourhood cell analysis and spatial ratios. This will then be used as a base throughout the design process to apply the design interventions described in the design opportunities. The abstraction developed was based of the lot, dwelling, and street sizes of the Ellenbrook cell analysis, as well as the typical setback and width requirements of Liveable Neighbourhoods and the R-Codes. The boundary condition of the abstraction was also determined through the neighbourhood cell analysis process, with the most common boundary condition being one major road, two minor roads, and bushland or public open

space. This external condition was initially set up, with the movement network being developed based upon the analysis of typical boundary connections. The movement network was also designed to be aligned with Liveable Neighbourhoods guidelines to be consistent with current developments. The central POS was also developed in a similar fashion to the typical layout of the Ellenbrook region analysis, and again sought to be consistent with current guidelines. The resulting abstraction was proportionally very similar to the original Ellenbrook cell, and contains the same density of dwellings, with the final abstraction containing 204.

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1. Original Abstracted Suburb


Figure 5.1: Initial Suburban Abstraction Š AUDRC Australian Urban Design Research Centre 2018

Public Open Space


Built Form


Movement Network




Private Open Space


2. Driveway Access Removed As described in section 1 of the design opportunities, driveway access is no longer required under the ride-sharing model of autonomous vehicles as cars are not privately owned. Passengers are picked up and dropped off in the roadside outside their dwelling.

Figure 5.2: Driveway Access Removed

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3. Reduced Street Widths Due to the increased accuracy and smaller size of autonomous vehicles, the lane width can be significantly reduced. The higher volume access roads that were previously 7.2m across are now reduced to 4.2m across. The minor local access streets that were previously 6m across are now reduced to around 3m. The higher volume roads still allow for two vehicles to pass easily, and the minor access roads would primarily become one-way streets dependant on demand, but two vehicles could still pass if required. The surface treatment of the streets could also be altered due to the lighter and smaller autonomous vehicles. This allows for paving and other more environmental surfaces to be utilised.

Figure 5.3: Reduced Street Widths Š AUDRC Australian Urban Design Research Centre 2018


4. Shared Streets As vehicle movement and speed can be actively managed, preference can be given to pedestrians and cyclists, with vehicles restricted to 30kph or less within the suburban development. This allows for pathways to be integrated into the street width.

Figure 5.4: Shared Streets

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5. Reduced Dwelling Size With the removal of garages, the average dwelling can be reduced by up to 20%, down to an average of 200m2, without impacting on the remaining floorplan dimensions.

Figure 5.5: Reduced Dwelling Size Š AUDRC Australian Urban Design Research Centre 2018


6. Reduced Lots & Verges With the reduction in dwelling size and the removal of driveways, the average lot size has been reduced by around 20% to 480m2. The verge width has also been reduced from the Liveable Neighbourhoods requirement of 5m down to 3m. This is as a result of the integration of pathways within the shared street, with the reduced verge width still allowing for street trees and utilities servicing.

6% 29%

Public Open Space

26% 21%

Built Form



Movement Network




38% 31%

Private Open Space Figure 5.6: Reduced Lots & Verges

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5.2 Design Drivers

The design drivers are established to link the design process back to the goal of the research question, which is to explore the potential of autonomous vehicles to increase the amenity of public open space for the suburban realm. In exploring the spatial impact autonomous vehicles may have on the suburb, we have unlocked a large proportion of space within the public realm. There are an infinite number of ways we could redistribute and utilise this space, and so the design drivers help to guide this scenario creation process to ensure each scenario is targeted at increasing the amenity of the public realm. With this in mind five design drivers have been identified which are formed from literature and inspiration from real life design processes.1 These drivers are focused around a number of aspects of the amenity definition prescribed earlier: 1. Health & Happiness 2. Equity & Local Economy 3. Culture & Community 4. Biodiversity 5. Sustainable Food & Water 1. Health & Happiness This scenario focuses on the physical and psychological amenity that can be provided within the public realm, through 1 Kildsgaard, Ivana. “The Caring City: Norra Kymlinge.� Stockholm: Link Arkitektur.

Š AUDRC Australian Urban Design Research Centre 2018

encouraging activity and allowing for a range of diverse recreational spaces. 2. Equity & Local Economy Focusing on the social and economic amenity that can be provided through public realm interventions, this scenario looks at employment opportunities and collaborative spaces. 3. Culture & Community Seeking to provide psychological and social amenity, this scenario focuses on the development of local identity and culture through spaces for engagement and community interaction. 4. Biodiversity This scenario looks at environmental and physical amenity through the integration of the biodiversity network through the suburb, and enhancing the engagement of these nature spaces for residents. 5. Sustainable Food & Water Focusing on economic and environmental amenity, this scenario considers the development of climate sensitive design features, as well as local farming and water management systems.


Health & Happiness ▶▶ Active living ▶▶ Social environments ▶▶ Diverse recreational spaces ▶▶ Walkable district ▶▶ Reduced travel requirements ▶▶ Encouraging low carbon transport modes

Creating high amenity parks, pathways, and connections that encourage recreation and non-vehicular movement. Allowing space and opportunity for a diverse range of social interactions in the public realm. Having a broad range of spaces that allow for and encourage recreation. Enhancing links within the neighbourhood through walkways and minimising distance to key public spaces.

Equity & Local Economy ▶▶ Local employment ▶▶ Diverse opportunities ▶▶ Sharing economy ▶▶ Mobility for all

Creating local and diverse opportunities for employment, through interventions such as co-working spaces, and local business and retail opportunities. Enhancing the shared economy through the connection and integration of these employment spaces, as well as through collaborative interventions such as community gardens and shared workshop spaces that encourage the local economy and interaction within the neighbourhood.

Culture & Community ▶▶ Local identity ▶▶ Community engagement opportunities ▶▶ Social linkages ▶▶ Dedicated spaces for engaging residents

Developing a local identity through high amenity community spaces that encourage social connection, engagement, and interaction at a broad range of levels. For example through flexible community buildings that allow for inclusive community events, as well as the expression of local cultures, religions, and social groups. Within the neighbourhood also dedicating space that creatively engages the community and encourages hobbies and recreational activities in a social environment.

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Biodiversity ▶▶ Integrating natural habitats ▶▶ Connections to nature from built form ▶▶ Restoring and enhancing biodiversity areas

Minimising the impact on the local biodiversity network by integrating it into and through the neighbourhood in a way that protects and enhances the natural habitats. Creating connections to nature from the built form to enhance its visibility and to raise awareness within the community. Allowing significant space for biodiversity within the neighbourhood that enhances both the local flora and fauna and the amenity of the public realm for residents.

Sustainable Food & Water ▶▶ Efficient water usage ▶▶ Climate sensitive design ▶▶ Enhance local water systems ▶▶ Sustainable farming ▶▶ Local sources

© AUDRC Australian Urban Design Research Centre 2018

Implementing climate and water sensitive design to decrease energy and water consumption within the neighbourhood. Enhancing the local water systems through the implementation of swales and living streams that move and manage water effectively within the neighbourhood and create opportunities for sustainable farming from local sources.


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5.3 Model Design & Components

With the suburban abstraction established, and the design drivers outlined, the process now is the combination of these in a range of design scenarios. In seeking to communicate these ideas clearly whilst still allowing for flexibility, efficiency, and exploration, this process is done through a physical model. The model has taken the suburban abstraction and aligned it to a nine metre grid, as this is an indicative width of a road reserve for autonomous vehicles. From this base, a range of regular components were created in order to replicate the final abstracted model, and to allow for reconfiguration in the following scenarios. For each of the design drivers three key components were also created which reflected the intended amenity goal, and these would then be implemented into the model layout. Although primarily exploring the public realm, a number of alternative dwelling types were created to reflect the growing demand for affordable housing options. The boundary context of the model is also consistent with the suburban abstraction and neighbourhood cell analysis. A major road to the west, minor roads to the north and east, and bushland or large open space to the south. This configuration reflects one of the most common edge conditions from the neighbourhood cell analysis, and so should provide some realism to the scenarios.

Š AUDRC Australian Urban Design Research Centre 2018

The model was developed at a scale of 1:500, which allows for a level of detail that allows the space to be clearly understood, whilst also covering a large enough space to comprehensively explore layout options. Considering the 400m neighbourhood cell being explored this means that the entire model is around a 90cm square. This opens the potential for the model to be used beyond this thesis as a collaborative co-design tool, and allows for the further development and exploration of suburban form with the implementation of autonomous vehicles. The following pages detail the specific components produced for the model according to each design driver and the amenity targets.


Standard Components Lot & Dwelling

Shared Street

Tile Dimensions: Area: Vegetation Level: Dwellings: Dwelling Size:

Tile Dimensions:

18m x 27m 486 m2 Low 1 200 m2

Vegetation Level: Street Width:

Figure 5.7: Lot & Dwelling Tile

Figure 5.9: Shared Street Tile

Figure 5.8: Lot & Dwelling Section 1:400

Figure 5.10: Shared Street Section 1:400

54m x 9m 45m x 9m 27m x 9m Low 3 - 4m

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Public Open Space


Tile Dimensions:

Vegetation Level: Amenity Level:

Tile Dimensions: Area: Vegetation Level: Parking Spaces:

63m x 54m 45m x 27m 18m x 27m Low Low

Figure 5.11: POS Tile

Figure 5.13: Parking Tile

Figure 5.12: POS Section 1:400

Figure 5.14: Parking Section 1:400

Š AUDRC Australian Urban Design Research Centre 2018

27m x 18m 486 m2 Low 40


Health & Happiness Looking to increase the physical and psychological amenity that can be provided within the public realm, the following three interventions are created for the model scenarios.

Diverse Recreation Space

1. Diverse Recreation Space Tile Dimensions: Area: Vegetation Level: Amenity Level: Amenity Target:

This space is designed to provide the area and facilities to encourage physical activity and recreation. It does this through the provision of sporting surfaces, as well as creating vegetated areas that allow for walking and running, and can be used as a central node to focus higher density housing and activity. 2. Picnic & Play Area Figure 5.15: Diverse Recreation Space Tile

Within a highly vegetated setting, this space creates opportunities for outdoor play and relaxation. The more intimate clearings allow for a range of physical and social activities to occur. 3. Active Verge & Walkway The active verge can either be used to widen the street reserve and allow space for greater recreation, or it can be used between dwellings to increase the walkability of the suburb and encourage pedestrian movement.

Figure 5.16: Recreation Space Section 1:400

54m x 63m 3402 m2 Medium High Physical Psychological

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Picnic & Play Area

Active Verge & Walkway

Tile Dimensions: Area: Vegetation Level: Amenity Level: Amenity Target:

Tile Dimensions: Area: Vegetation Level: Amenity Level: Amenity Target:

36m x 27m 972 m2 High High Physical Psychological

Figure 5.17: Picnic & Play Area Tile

Figure 5.19: Active Verge Tile

Figure 5.18: Picnic & Play Area Section 1:400

Figure 5.20: Active Verge Section 1:400

Š AUDRC Australian Urban Design Research Centre 2018

54m x 9m 486 m2 Medium Medium Physical


Equity & Local Economy Focusing on the social and economic amenity that can be provided through the public realm, the following three design interventions are suggested.

Co-Working & Office Building

1. Co-Working & Office Building Tile Dimensions: Area: Vegetation Level: Amenity Level: Amenity Target:

Considering the attractive option of working close to home and the innovations in communication technology, this intervention seeks to bring work opportunities into the suburban setting. It also provides the space for collaborative ventures and business interaction. 2. Local Business & Retail Designed as a local activity hub, this building could support small businesses and grocer/deli style retail to service the neighbourhood. It also creates the opportunity for local cafe activity, and encourages social interaction to occur in the open space.

Figure 5.21: Co-Working Tile

3. Market Square As a space for more informal economic and social interactions to occur, the market space encourages local activity. It also creates a flexible and dynamic space that can facilitate a range of local initiatives.

Figure 5.22: Co-Working Section 1:400

36m x 27m 972 m2 Low High Economic Social

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Local Business & Retail

Tile Dimensions: Area: Vegetation Level: Amenity Level: Amenity Target:

Market Square

Tile Dimensions: Area: Vegetation Level: Amenity Level: Amenity Target:

63m x 54m 3402 m2 Medium High Economic Social

Figure 5.23: Local Business Tile

Figure 5.25: Market Square Tile

Figure 5.24: Local Business Section 1:400

Figure 5.26: Market Square Section 1:400

Š AUDRC Australian Urban Design Research Centre 2018

36m x 27m 972 m2 Medium Medium Economic Social


Culture & Community Seeking to provide psychological and social amenity, this scenario focuses on the development of local identity and culture, and proposes the following three interventions.

Cultural Building & Community Hall

1. Cultural Building & Community Hall Tile Dimensions: Area: Vegetation Level: Amenity Level: Amenity Target:

Culture and community are often created around significant meeting points, and this building is designed to facilitate this. With the potential of being used as a church or other significant cultural meeting point, this building seeks to enhance the local community identity and interaction. 2. Community Garden On a smaller scale, community gardens offer a range of amenity, and encourage social interaction within the neighbourhood. They also contribute to a shared identity as multiple households contribute to a shared space within the public realm.

Figure 5.27: Cultural Building Tile

3. Local Workshop & Engagement As a flexible building space, the local workshop can be used as an addition to a community centre or as a stand alone area. It seeks to provide the facilities for local collaboration projects and to engage residents in a variety of hobbies.

Figure 5.28: Cultural Building Section 1:400

63m x 54m 3402 m2 Medium High Social Psychological

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Community Garden

Local Workshop & Engagement

Tile Dimensions: Area: Vegetation Level: Amenity Level: Amenity Target:

Tile Dimensions: Area: Vegetation Level: Amenity Level: Amenity Target:

27m x 18m 486 m2 High Medium Social Psychological

Figure 5.29: Community Garden Tile

Figure 5.31: Workshop Tile

Figure 5.30: Community Garden Section 1:400

Figure 5.32: Workshop Section 1:400

Š AUDRC Australian Urban Design Research Centre 2018

36m x 27m 972 m2 Low High Social Psychological


Biodiversity Focusing on increasing environmental and physical amenity through the enhancement of the biodiversity network in the suburb, the following three interventions are proposed.

Biodiversity Connection Verge

1. Biodiversity Connection Verge Tile Dimensions: Area: Vegetation Level: Amenity Level: Amenity Target:

The connection of biodiversity is significant for local flora and fauna populations, and as such this biodiversity verge seeks to connect larger vegetated areas through a dense vegetation corridor. 2. Habitat Conservation Area This area seeks to conserve the existing ecology by preserving large spaces of vegetation within the suburban realm.

Figure 5.33: Biodiversity Verge Tile

3. Nature Play & Recreation Space Aiming to integrate the suburban and bushland areas, the nature play space encourages residents to interact with the surrounding environment by creating engaging spaces for play and recreation. It also seeks to increase psychological amenity through providing relief from the typical urban form and lifestyle in a more intimate and quiet natural setting. Figure 5.34: Biodiversity Verge Section 1:400

54m x 9m 486 m2 High Medium Environmental Physical

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Habitat Conservation Area

Tile Dimensions: Area: Vegetation Level: Amenity Level: Amenity Target:

Nature Play & Recreation Space

Tile Dimensions: Area: Vegetation Level: Amenity Level: Amenity Target:

63m x 54m 3402 m2 High High Environmental

Figure 5.35: Habitat Tile

Figure 5.37: Nature Play Tile

Figure 5.36: Habitat Section 1:400

Figure 5.38: Nature Play Section 1:400

Š AUDRC Australian Urban Design Research Centre 2018

45m x 27m 1215 m2 High High Environmental Physical


Sustainable Food & Water Looking at increasing economic and environmental amenity, this scenario considers the development of climate sensitive design features, as well as local farming and water management systems. The following three interventions are proposed as examples of this.

Swale Verge

Tile Dimensions: Area: Vegetation Level: Amenity Level: Amenity Target:

1. Swale Verge This space seeks to integrate storm water management into the suburban environment through high amenity living streams that move and purify the water. 2. Wetland Area As a larger space for water management and purification, the wetland area also enhances the local ecology by increasing amenity for existing flora and fauna. As a destination point for swales and storm water, it also allows for the sustainable management of this within the neighbourhood.

Figure 5.39: Swale Verge Tile

3. Local Farm Production Farming within the neighbourhood seeks to make the most of efficient water management by utilising it in local food production. It also creates opportunity for local employment and small business within the suburb.

Figure 5.40: Swale Verge Section 1:400

54m x 9m 486 m2 High Medium Environmental

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Wetland Area

Local Farm Production

Tile Dimensions: Area: Vegetation Level: Amenity Level: Amenity Target:

Tile Dimensions: Area: Vegetation Level: Amenity Level: Amenity Target:

45m x 27m 1215 m2 High High Environmental

Figure 5.41: Wetland Area Tile

Figure 5.43: Local Farm Tile

Figure 5.42: Wetland Area Section 1:400

Figure 5.44: Local Farm Section 1:400

Š AUDRC Australian Urban Design Research Centre 2018

63m x 54m 3402 m2 High High Environmental Economic


Affordable Housing Recognising the growing demand for affordable housing options within suburban development, two representative affordable typologies are developed as part of the model. Both typologies seek to at least double the typical suburban density and offer an alternative layout.

Cluster Block

Tile Dimensions: Area: Vegetation Level: Dwellings:

1. Cluster Block As a centralised layout typology, the cluster block focuses development around an internal courtyard. This allows for semiprivate space around the complex where amenity and facilities can be shared. 2. Townhouse Units Stretching across three standard lots, the townhouse typology develops a row of higher density dwelling options. By increasing to two floors and a narrower street frontage, this form can offer double the typical density, with potentially more if each dwelling is broken up into smaller units across floors. However, it still preserves a limited backyard space and a more individual ownership structure than the cluster model.

Figure 5.45: Cluster Block Tile

Figure 5.46: Cluster Block Section 1:400

54m x 36m 1944 m2 Low 10

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Townhouse Units

Tile Dimensions: Area: Vegetation Level: Dwellings:

54m x 27m 1458 m2 Low 6 (or 12)

Figure 5.47: Townhouse Units Tile

Figure 5.48: Townhouse Units Section 1:400

Š AUDRC Australian Urban Design Research Centre 2018


Figure 5.49: Initial Model Layout

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5.4 Design Scenarios The following design scenarios are developed according to the drivers that have been outlined earlier. It is also at this point that the basic principles outlined in the case study analysis are implemented in the development of a range of layout typologies. In terms of model development, each scenario takes the specific components for the driver being explored, and adds them to the standard components to create a new set of pieces from which to develop the suburban realm. The scenarios are not intended to be the best or only way in which these drivers can

Š AUDRC Australian Urban Design Research Centre 2018

be resolved in a suburban layout, rather through exploration of the model they intend to present an alternative typology, which is merely one of an endless number of potential resolutions. Each scenario is specifically targeted at developing only a couple of amenity goals, and therefore are not intended to be a completely resolved urban form. However, through the spatial exploration of each of the different drivers, each scenario will result in a form that can be analysed through the scenario evaluation, which will then seek to combine the drivers in a methodical way to present an optimised typology of the future suburb.


Health & Happiness Scenario Modelling Process 1. High amenity diverse recreation spaces are used as focus points within the neighbourhood and so initially these were placed equally on the model. The desire was for each dwelling to be within around 100m of a large recreation space. 2. These recreation areas were then connected by a network of active verges and walkways to encourage pedestrian movement between them. This also created a relatively continuous pedestrian circuit around the neighbourhood, which can act as a spine to develop around further. 3. In order to ensure correct spacing and scale the perimeter dwelling blocks were developed. This also meant that the neighbourhood is largely inwardly focused around the central recreation and amenity network. A shared street network was then established around these residential blocks, seeking to create permeability to encourage and allow for pedestrian movement. 4. At this point additional public open spaces and the picnic and play areas were placed equally throughout the neighbourhood as minor recreation spaces. These were largely developed in

close proximity to the active pedestrian network in order to maximise the connectivity for pedestrians and to link into the larger recreation spaces. 5. The residential blocks were further established around the amenity areas, and additional active walkways were placed to connect through to the surrounding context. This ensured that not only were there consistent pedestrian linkages within the neighbourhood but that allowances were made for connection out to external pedestrian networks and amenity areas. 6. Parking spaces were created in close proximity to the central recreation spaces to ensure the efficiency and convenience of these locations. They also link closely to the active pedestrian network to further encourage active transport and the priority of pedestrians over vehicle movement. Finally, the central block was also resolved with the final buildings and additional public open space.

Figure 5.50: Model Images

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Dwellings: 200

Figure 5.51: Health & Happiness Layout Š AUDRC Australian Urban Design Research Centre 2018


Public Open Space


Built Form


Movement Network




Private Open Space


Equity & Local Economy Scenario Modelling Process 1. A hierarchy of local activity centres was established, with one major centre and two minor centres within the neighbourhood. These centres were also co-located with public open space, to allow for recreational activity and a mix of uses within these central areas.

5. Parking areas were placed in close proximity to the activity centres and central public open space for convenience. This also encourages the use of these spaces and the possibility of pick up and drop off at these centres. They were also placed alongside streets that connect directly out to the surrounding roadways.

2. The peripheral residential blocks were established, seeking to focus around these activity areas and allow for relatively equal access. 3. Generate a large central public open space network that connects these activity areas to encourage pedestrian movement and social interaction along these connections. It also allows for local events to occur to further enhance the local activity and market areas. 4. A permeable shared street network was developed through and around the retail and business areas, seeking to encourage walking to these areas. It also sought to connect the co-working and office buildings to encourage interaction between these and allow residents to walk to work where possible. Each of the activity centres was also connected directly through to the external context to increase their convenience.

Figure 5.52: Model Images

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Dwellings: 200

Figure 5.53: Equity & Local Economy Layout Š AUDRC Australian Urban Design Research Centre 2018


Public Open Space


Built Form


Movement Network




Private Open Space


Culture & Community Scenario Modelling Process 1. In order to develop small community blocks, a shared street network is developed that divides the neighbourhood into smaller sections. These sections then form the basis of community and amenity areas.

develop a hierarchy of social groups and community interaction. 5. Parking facilities were then allocated close to the two major community facilities and with fairly direct linkages to the external context.

2. Within each of the four community blocks community facilities were placed alongside central public open space areas. On the eastern edge a large community facility was placed alongside the external minor road in order to facilitate larger community and cultural events without disturbing the neighbourhood activity. 3. Residential blocks were then developed, focusing around these central community hubs, seeking to enclose these areas somewhat to establish local communities. 4. Small community gardens were placed equally throughout the neighbourhood, with a couple being placed within each of the community areas. Many of them were co-located with the existing public open space and community facilities, however a number were also scattered throughout the residential blocks. These gardens could form the basis of micro communities within each local group and neighbourhood as the whole, and thus

Figure 5.54: Model Images

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Dwellings: 200

Figure 5.55: Culture & Community Layout Š AUDRC Australian Urban Design Research Centre 2018


Public Open Space


Built Form


Movement Network




Private Open Space


Biodiversity Scenario Modelling Process 1. Initially natural habitat areas were placed along the southern edge of the site. This extended the bushland into the neighbourhood, and created a base from which to develop biodiversity connection verges. 2. More large habitat areas were placed within the suburb, gradually moving out towards the opposite edge to the bushland. This further integrated the natural vegetation in the site and developed clear nodes to extend the network through. Nature play sites were also placed evenly throughout to allow equal access to nature and high amenity spaces.

possibility of further development of the network beyond the scope of the neighbourhood. 5. The remaining residential blocks were then established, with additional public open space tiles being placed alongside the biodiverse areas to create high amenity central parks spaces. 6. Allocation for parking was then given in close proximity to the habitat and play areas, as well as focusing on well connected traffic routes.

3. Permeable residential blocks were developed around these central biodiverse locations, and a movement network was established seeking to connect these areas. 4. The nature areas were then connected with biodiversity connection verges. This created a network that allowed for consistent lines of vegetation and could encourage residents to interact with the natural environment. The biodiversity connections were also extended to the northern edge of the site, creating the

Figure 5.56: Model Images

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Figure 5.57: Biodiversity Layout Š AUDRC Australian Urban Design Research Centre 2018


Public Open Space


Built Form


Movement Network




Private Open Space


Sustainable Food & Water Scenario Modelling Process 1. A few farming areas were placed alongside the bushland edge to the south. This can then act as a transition between nature and the more active residential development. This bushland edge then forms the basis for a network of sustainability features. 2. A farming area was also placed in a central location, along with a wetland area, in order to provide a central anchor point to connect to, and to bring the sustainability features into the suburban realm. The other wetland areas were also spaced around the site, creating small pockets of amenity for residential development.

5. The movement network was then established, seeking to connect the key amenity locations and break down the residential areas into small permeable blocks. The division of the shared streets combined with the swales created small intimate residential areas of only a few lots. Additional public open space was also developed alongside the natural wetland areas, creating small parks within the neighbourhood and along the southern edge. 6. Parking tiles were placed in close proximity to the active farming areas and on more direct traffic routes.

3. These key areas were then connected via swales, seeking to develop a relatively continuous network of water movement and purification that runs to the wetland areas and farming tiles. 4. Residential blocks were then developed, ensuring that the active frontage of the dwellings was not blocked by the swale verges. As a result, many of the swales either ran through public open spaces, or cut through residential blocks, providing the opportunity for pedestrian connection through these areas. Figure 5.58: Model Images

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Figure 5.59: Sustainable Food & Water Layout Š AUDRC Australian Urban Design Research Centre 2018


Public Open Space


Built Form


Movement Network




Private Open Space


Affordable Housing Scenario Modelling Process 1. A large central public open space area was created as an anchor point around which to develop the higher density housing types.

6. Parking tiles were placed in close proximity to the higher density development areas, and along the direct traffic routes to ensure efficiency and convenience.

2. Rows of townhouse development blocks were then arranged around this central open space, ensuring good surveillance of the open space from all sides. Some cluster developments were then arranged alongside the southern bushland edge to act as a transitional development from suburban living to the natural environment. 3. A number of smaller public open spaces were then established evenly throughout the neighbourhood, to act as anchor points for lower density residential development. 4. Individual lots were then placed around these minor park areas, creating smaller neighbourhood clusters around the central higher density. 5. An efficient movement network was then created, seeking to directly connect the higher density development with the exterior movement network. This would ensure shorter travel times, and keep higher levels of traffic away from the lower density residential areas.

Figure 5.60: Model Images

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Figure 5.61: Affordable Housing Layout Š AUDRC Australian Urban Design Research Centre 2018


Public Open Space


Built Form


Movement Network




Private Open Space


5.5 Design Evaluation The impact of autonomous vehicles within the suburban realm has allowed us to unlock a significant proportion of the space for public use. Each of the design scenarios created has sought to redistribute this public space in various ways, depending on the specific amenity goals being focused on. This has resulted in vastly different suburban layouts for each of the scenarios, with some developing centralised or clustered layouts, and some tending towards distributed space within the public realm. The design evaluation stage seeks to develop an understanding of the different layouts for each design scenario. This is done through an analysis of the spatial configuration of the key areas within each case. The aim of this is to develop underlying principles for the layout of each aspect of public realm amenity that has been explored, which will form the basis of a spatial framework. This framework creates the opportunity for the logical integration of multiple design drivers within a single scenario, to provide a more diverse range of amenity features within the public realm. Initially this evaluation is done through diagramming the key amenity areas for

each design driver, and noting the spacing, layout and development patterns that they create. Each of the amenity targets are delivered in the public realm in a different way, and thus result in a suburban form that reflects that intention. Through the deconstruction and analysis of each model scenario, this may give an insight into advantageous layout typologies depending on the desired amenity goal.

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Health & Happiness

Equity & Local Economy

Culture & Community

Figure 5.62: Key Amenity Areas

Figure 5.63: Key Amenity Areas

Figure 5.64: Key Amenity Areas

▶▶ Large recreation areas evenly spaced to create central high amenity open space areas. ▶▶ Active verges and walkways connect the clustered anchor points to create a continuous recreation circuit. ▶▶ Residential dwellings are developed in regular blocks around these areas to create equal access to recreational amenity.

▶▶ Clustered facilities create activity centres within the suburb. ▶▶ The focus is on an efficient and direct movement network for these centres. ▶▶ The amenity is co-located with public open space areas, however no clear connection between the activity areas is required. ▶▶ Residential blocks are regular and form around these central amenity areas.

▶▶ Neighbourhood blocks are focused around clustered community facilities ▶▶ Activity is centralised within the residential development to ensure equal access. ▶▶ A hierarchy of shared streets develops more intimate community areas within the site, as well as creating efficient routes to large facilities. ▶▶ Smaller amenity parcels are distributed throughout residential areas to create smaller engagement areas.

© AUDRC Australian Urban Design Research Centre 2018



Sustainable Food & Water

Affordable Housing

Figure 5.65: Key Amenity Areas

Figure 5.66: Key Amenity Areas

Figure 5.67: Key Amenity Areas

▶▶ Biodiversity centres are distributed throughout the site, seeking to integrate into the residential development. ▶▶ A highly connected biodiversity network connects the larger hotspot areas through the neighbourhood. ▶▶ As a result of the integration and connected network, the residential development forms more irregular blocks around the biodiversity areas. ▶▶ The amenity areas focus around the southern bushland region, and gradually reduce as the network extends upwards into the site.

▶▶ Sustainable amenity is formed in distributed clusters throughout the site. ▶▶ The major area is to the south, colocated with the bushland edge to create a transitional area. ▶▶ A connected circuit of water movement and purification runs from wetlands towards the suburban farming areas and bushland. ▶▶ Residential development is more irregular due to the integration of sustainability features and the requirement of a connected water network.

▶▶ The affordable housing typologies are clustered around a central development. ▶▶ The remaining low density residential blocks are developed in a regular pattern across the rest of the site, focusing around central public open space areas. ▶▶ A direct and efficient movement network connects the areas of higher density to the exterior movement network to prevent excessive traffic flow.

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Evaluation Diagrams From the spatial analysis of the key amenity areas of each scenario, we now move towards the logical combination of these layout typologies to create a scenario that addresses a range of amenity targets within the public realm. Each of the scenarios is assessed according to a number of categories, with the intention of these evaluations informing more specific principles for each amenity criteria. The scales used to categorise each of the scenario typologies are: Distributed vs Clustered This rates the extent to which each of the design drivers is more focused on an even distribution of amenity features, or if the amenity is provided through centralised clusters that act as anchors for development.

Nature vs Residential


Each of the drivers tends to be either more focused on the connection to the natural environment and its amenity provision, or being in close proximity to residential developments and creating features for the engagement of people. Movement vs Community This assesses the extent to which each of the scenarios focus on creating efficient movement network links, or the development of more intimate community environments.


Connected vs Isolated



Connected scenarios are those that seek links between amenity facilities to create a network, as opposed to isolated scenarios that provide distinct activity areas.

Figure 5.68: Spatial Types Diagram Š AUDRC Australian Urban Design Research Centre 2018

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The combination of these diagrams lead to an understanding of typical spatial forms for each design driver, and thus for each of the amenity targets they are seeking to address. Now focusing on the delivery of each specific amenity goal, the two scenarios that focus on addressing that within the public realm are both considered to produce basic principles. These basic principles outline what sort of suburban layout is advantageous in the development of the specific amenity, in light of the various categories we have assessed each scenario by.




Psychological Amenity Health & Happiness Culture & Community From the analysis of the design scenarios, psychological amenity within the suburban realm should be predominantly delivered through the connected development of amenity focus points. These areas should focus on the engagement of community and thus sit within the residential development.


Social Amenity Equity & Local Economy Culture & Community

Figure 5.69: Amenity Focus Diagram

The layout of social amenity requires highly active centres, which should be integrated in the residential development and well connected to both community areas and efficient movement networks.

Economic Amenity Equity & Local Economy Sustainable Food & Water Economic amenity in neighbourhood development should focus on clustered activity, ensuring that the facilities are connected to an efficient movement network. Environmental Amenity Biodiversity Sustainable Food & Water Environmental amenity requires a distributed and highly connected layout that focuses the key amenity areas around a natural context rather than sitting within the neighbourhood development. Physical Amenity Health & Happiness Biodiversity The development of physical amenity features requires a highly connected network of features, which sits as a transitional space from the natural areas to the residential development.

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These principles from the evaluation are now utilised in developing a combined scenario that delivers all aspects of amenity within the public realm. As each aspect of amenity is developed through a different layout typology, the final scenario integrates and combines each of these spatial types according to where they are best suited within the urban form. Arising from this is a process that develops the public realm in such a way to enhance the amenity provision for both residents and the local biodiversity. The final combined scenario is again explored and produced in the scale model.

Figure 5.70: Scenario Comparison Š AUDRC Australian Urban Design Research Centre 2018

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Combined Scenario Scenario Modelling Process 1. Establish a major activity centre towards the northern edge, and a number of minor activity areas within the neighbourhood. Establish amenity spaces focusing on biodiversity and sustainability towards the south, transitioning towards community and economic activity in the northern activity areas. This creates a relatively even distribution of amenity and activity, which is contextually suitable as it transitions from the southern bushland edge to the northern road connection. 2. Integrate the biodiversity into the site through a network of swales and natural corridors that extend upwards. Connect these areas to a northern wetland space, creating a circuit of water movement and biodiversity. 3. Develop an active recreation circuit across the northern half of the site, creating a network that connects high amenity recreation areas. Link this through residential areas to ensure surveillance and to encourage walking and recreational activities. 4. Create higher density affordable housing blocks around the major activity areas to make the most of the higher amenity spaces. Also develop cluster blocks to the

south to serve as a transitional typology from the bushland to the residential development. Ensure all of these blocks are well connected to direct traffic routes to maximise movement efficiency and to reduce traffic volumes on quieter residential streets. 5. Develop the remaining residential blocks around a permeable movement network. Ensure there is active frontage onto key areas to maintain good surveillance and create safe and welcoming spaces. 6. Place smaller amenity areas throughout the neighbourhood to ensure all dwellings are in close proximity to amenity provision. This creates smaller community areas and encourages engagement with residents and the opportunity for social interactions to occur. 7. Allocate parking areas close to the major activity area and higher density dwellings. Ensure they are placed on direct traffic routes to maximise the convenience of these areas and reduce waiting times.

Figure 5.71: Model Images

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Dwellings: 232

Figure 5.72: Combined Scenario Layout Š AUDRC Australian Urban Design Research Centre 2018


Public Open Space


Built Form


Movement Network




Private Open Space


Figure 5.73: Model Montages

Figure 5.74: Model Section 1:200

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Figure 5.75: Model Section 1:200

Figure 5.76: Model Montages Š AUDRC Australian Urban Design Research Centre 2018

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6. Conclusion

This research began with the consideration of autonomous vehicles as a driver of transformation for the future of cities both within Australia and globally. As an emerging technology that is expected to integrate into everyday life within the next couple of decades, the significance of planning for this disruption should not be underestimated. In recent history our streets and roads have increasingly been solely the domain of vehicles, leaving a large portion of our public realm hostile to pedestrian activity. Consideration of the streetscape has been prioritised by the needs of the driver, with every aspect being developed around the goal of efficient and safe movement of vehicles. However with the implementation of autonomous vehicles, and particularly fully autonomous and connected vehicles as considered in this research, there is great potential for many of our underlying assumptions in the streetscape to be reimagined. As the human driver is replaced by an accurate, predictable, safe, and manageable system, we have sought to explore what this might mean for the design of our future cities, which areas will be impacted most, and where the greatest potential lies for positive change. This exploration began through the surrounding literature, in seeking to understand the context and opportunities of the implementation of autonomous vehicles.

Through an analysis of the literature it became clear that the future of autonomous vehicles should be closely linked to a shift in vehicle ownership from private to a more corporately owned ride sharing model. It was also evident that the possibility of productive travel time and an increased efficiency of movement could result in an increased suburban sprawl. Within the context of Perth this is a particularly relevant issue, as even without autonomous vehicles we already struggle to contain suburban development and continually sprawl in greenfield developments that destroy significant areas of remnant vegetation. As a global biodiversity hotspot this damage to our ecology is not without consequence, and needs to be addressed in the planning and design of our future suburbs. Thus with the need to mitigate our ecological impact in suburban sprawl, and the competing force of autonomous vehicles which threaten to increase this sprawl, the research question formed. How can shared fully automated vehicles enable greater public open space amenity in greenfield suburban developments? The goal of the research was then focused around the potential of autonomous vehicles in developing a new kind of suburban development that enhanced the public realm to provide amenity, not only for residents but the local environment and biodiversity. This would involve a shift

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in suburban design from prioritising the vehicle and its needs, to establishing a more ecological and pedestrian focused realm in future development. To understand the current suburban context, as well as a range of alternative design options, case studies were selected to analyse the potentials and pitfalls of each scenario. Through this analysis a number of principles were distilled for layouts across a range of categories to develop a more pedestrian focused suburban design, which would form the basis of the later design scenarios. From the breakdown of neighbourhood design within the Liveable Neighbourhoods document, a typical element emerged of the neighbourhood cell. Roughly a five minute walk in diameter, this element forms the basis of larger suburban areas, and was a logical scale at which to develop a standardised suburban scenario. Within this scenario the varying design opportunities that autonomous vehicles would afford could be explored, applied, and quantified consistently to present a clear outcome. Moving from the analysis to the design phase, the focus shifted to the specific opportunities provided by autonomous vehicles. Whilst spatial in nature, the impact of the disruptive changes explored may have far reaching implications for the typical suburban lifestyle in Australia.

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Over time a growth in vehicle movement and efficiency has allowed residents to be less involved in their local community, as travelling for social activities and recreational amenity have become increasingly convenient. Whilst this will continue to be true with autonomous vehicles, there is also the possibility for some of this social and recreational amenity to be provided within the streetscape due to a more flexible and managed movement network, and continuous unobstructed verges. This allows for activities to occur on residents doorsteps, as street parties, cricket games, social gatherings, and children’s play can all occur safely along the suburban street.

recreation and activity areas, this would serve to encourage the use of these spaces, as well as residents walking short distances to these pick up locations.

where the unlocked space is distributed within the public realm to a range of amenity features for both residents and the local ecology.

All of these opportunities largely focused around the suburban streetscape, and resulted in significant spatial gains being made through increased land use efficiency and reduced streetscape requirements. Across the suburban context being considered, this unlocked around 20% of the total land in a typical greenfield development. The question then arose of how this space could be distributed and allocated to provide greater amenity both for residents and the local biodiversity.

This is particularly true with the possibility of variable access streets. Although not explored in the scale model, this design opportunity provides a radical new form of street that allows sections of the vehicle movement network to become purely place oriented for periods of time. This transient nature allows for a more efficient use of space, as shared streets can become local park spaces during appropriate daytime hours, whereas these spaces would historically need to be separated to function properly.

In considering this question, it is appropriate to recognise that although a significant proportion of space has been unlocked through the design interventions explored, there is the potential for this space to be allocated to further residential development to increase dwelling yields. Whilst there is benefits in an increased revenue, this business as usual approach will only further compound the current issues of suburban sprawl in the Perth context, and continue to damage the essential ecosystem services and biodiversity areas. This approach will also lack many of the amenity features explored in the design process, resulting in a less desirable and less healthy suburban environment. As such this research sought to propose an alternative approach to this,

To guide this next phase of the design development a number of drivers were established, each focusing on specific desirable features of suburban neighbourhoods. Rather than leave the unlocked space for increased yields or as an unknown extra, the goal now was to reimagine the typical suburb in light of these drivers, and generate a range of scenarios that explored the full potential of the future suburb. These drivers also tied back into the goal of the research question to increase the amenity provision of the public realm, with a number of drivers looking at the increase of amenity for residents, and a few looking at increasing environmental amenity.

The removal of garages and a shift to shared transport may also have significant implications in developing more active and walkable suburbs. With vehicles being parked at a central location near

Š AUDRC Australian Urban Design Research Centre 2018

Through the development of a scale model, each design driver was able to be iteratively explored to generate a range of suburban typologies. These scenarios also culminated the research done through the literature and case study analysis to present a comprehensive autonomous suburban scenario focusing on the increase of amenity within the public realm. Through the spatial evaluation of these scenarios a final combined scenario was also presented. This scenario seeks to portray on a neighbourhood scale the full potential of autonomous vehicles in

shaping the future suburb. The integration and provision of high amenity facilities, not only for the environment but also for pedestrian activity, seeks to redress the imbalance of priority between vehicles and pedestrians in the public realm, historically brought about by vehicle movement. It offers a reimagined suburbia free from many of the previous constraints of traffic engineering, movement efficiency, and safety and allows the exploration of a greenfield sprawl alternative that seeks to enhance local biodiversity and minimise the impact of vehicles. If implemented in the manner proposed, the design implications of autonomous vehicles in this research would require significant changes to both the current Liveable Neighbourhoods guidelines, and the R-Code regulations that dictate many of the spatial features we have looked at. Much of the content surrounding the suburban streetscape needs to be reconsidered in light of an autonomous future, and also how this will impact neighbourhood and community design on a larger scale. Although autonomous vehicles in the way we have envisioned it may not be a reality for a couple of decades, it is appropriate to now consider how we might make steps towards this goal. In order to ensure a smooth transition from our current vehicle network, the consideration of future planning guidelines now will allow us

greater opportunity to realise the potential of this technological shift in the future Whilst the future of our cities remains largely uncertain, we are now beginning to realise the implications of autonomous vehicles as a disruptive technology in shaping this future. The decisions and steps we make now will be crucial in allowing us to reimagine the spaces that have for so long been held captive by the dominance of vehicle movement. We must decide now which road we will take.

7. References

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Bosselmann, Peter. “Redesigning American Residential Streets.” Built Environment 12, no. 1 (1986). Brendan Lyon, Nick Hudson, Michael Twycross. “Automated Vehicles: Do We Know Which Road to Take?”. Sydney: Infrastructure Partnerships Australia, 2017. Brown, Sarah. “Imagining ‘Environment’ in Australian Suburbia: An Environmental History of the Suburban Landscapes of Canberra and Perth, 1946-1996.” University of Western Australia, 2008. Brunner, Julie, and Paul Cozens. “’Where Have All the Trees Gone?’ Urban Consolidation and the Demise If Urban Vegetation: A Case Study from Western Australia.” Planning Practice & Research 28, no. 2 (2013): 25. Chang-Moo Lee, Barbara Stabin-Nesmith. “The Continuing Value of a Planned Community: Radburn in the Evolution of Suburban Development.” Journal of Urban Design 6, no. 2 (2001). Curtis, Carey. “The Windscreen World of Land Use Transport Integration.” The Town Planning Review 76, no. 4 (2005): 31. Curtis, Carey, and John Punter. “Design-Led Sustainable Development.” Town Planning Review 75, no. 1 (2004): 36. Davison, Graeme. “The Past & Future of the Australian Suburb.” Australian Planner 31, no. 2 (1993). Duckworth-Smith, Anthony. Delivering Transit Oriented Development. Perth: Australian Urban Design Research Centre, 2017. Elliot Martin, Susan Shaheen, Jeffrey Lidicker. “Impact of Carsharing on Household Vehicle Holdings.” Transportation Research Record 2143 (2010).

Fisher, Thomas. “Do the Suburbs Have a Future?”. Progressive Architecture 74, no. 12 (1993): 6. Forsyth, Ann. “Global Suburbia and the Transition Century: Physical Suburbs in the Long Term.” Urban Design International 19, no. 4 (2014): 16. Graus, Philip. “Australia’s Unintended Cities: The Impact of Housing on Urban Development.” Australian Planner 51, no. 1 (2014). Hamilton-Baillie, Ben. “Towards Shared Space.” Urban Design International 13 (2008): 10. Hamilton-Baillie, Ben. “Urban Design: Why Don’t We Do It in the Road?”. Journal of Urban Technology 11, no. 1 (2004): 20. Heinrichs, Dirk. “Autonomous Driving and Urban Land Use.” In Autonomous Driving. Berlin: German Aerospace Centre, 2016. Hooper, Paula. “Combating Suburban Sprawl through State Government Planning Policy: Evaluating the Implementation of the ‘Liveable Neighbourhoods Design Guidelines’ and Associations with Walking Behaviour.” University of Western Australia, 2013. Hooper, Paula, Matthew Knuiman, Fiona Bull, Evan Jones, and Billie Giles-Corti. “Are We Developing Walkable Suburbs through Urban Planning Policy? Identifying the Mix of Design Requirements to Optimise Walking Outcomes from the ‘Liveable Neighbourhoods’ Planning Policy in Perth, Western Australia.” International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity 12, no. 63 (2015): 11. Household Travel in Townsville. Townsville: State of Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads, 2012. Household Travel Survey Report: Sydney 2012/13. Chippendale: Bureau of Transport Statistics, 2014.

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Iwanicki, Iris. “Learning from Arid Planning and Design History and Practice.” In Planning Institute of Australia 2012 National Congress. Adelaide, 2012. Johnson, Louise. “Style Wars: Revolution in the Suburbs?”. Australian Geographer 37, no. 2 (2006). Jones, Peter, Marion Roberts, and Linda Morris. Rediscovering Mixed-Use Streets. Bristol: The Policy Press, 2007. Jordi Honey-Roses, Daniel Schneider, Nicholas Brozovic. “Changing Ecosystem Service Values Following Technological Change.” Environmental Management 53 (2014). Julian Bolleter, Cristina Ramalho. “The Potential of Ecologically Enhanced Urban Parks to Encourage and Catalyze Densification in Greyfield Suburbs.” Journal of Landscape Architecture 9, no. 3 (2014).

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Mehdi Nourinejad, Sina Bahrami, Matthew Roorda. “Designing Parking Facilities for Autonomous Vehicles.” Transportation Research Part B 109 (2017). Newman, Peter. “Density, the Sustainability Multiplier.” Sustainability 6 (2014). Newton, P. W. “Planning New Towns for Harsh Arid Environments.” Ekistics 52, no. 311 (1985). Newton, Peter. “Urban Australia 2001.” Australian Planner 39, no. 1 (2002). Newton, Peter W. “Regenerating Cities: Technological and Design Innovation for Australian Suburbs.” Building Research & Information 41, no. 5 (2013): 14. Praveen Thakur, Robert Kinghorn, Renan Grace. “Urban Form and Function in the Autonomous Era.” Melbourne: KPMG, 2016. Rosenthal, Elisabeth. “In German Suburb, Life Goes on without Cars.” The New York Times, 2009.

Karndacharuk, Auttapone, Douglas J. Wilson, and Roger Dunn. “A Review of the Evolution of Shared (Street) Space Concepts in Urban Environments.” Transport Reviews 34, no. 2 (2014): 190-220.

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Image References All images have been produced by the author unless stated otherwise. Figure 2.1 Aerial image from Figure 2.3 Aerial Image from Figure 2.5 Aerial Image from Figure 2.7 Aerial Image from Figure 2.9 Aerial Image from Figure 2.13 & 2.14 Streetview Image from Figure 2.17 & 2.18 Streetview Image from Figure 2.21 & 2.22 Figure 2.27 & 2.28 Streetview Image from Figure 2.31 & 2.32 Streetview Image from Figure 2.35 & 2.36 Streetview Image from Figure 2.43 & 2.44 Streetview Image from Figure 3.5 Aerial Image from

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As an emerging technology there is a lot of uncertainty regarding the impact of autonomous vehicles. The potential shift from private vehicle ownership to a shared model, combined with increased vehicle accuracy, safety, and efficiency provides the opportunity for us to reimagine the way we design and use streets. Through implementing a range of design principles based on these factors, this research proposes that autonomous vehicle could unlock up to 20% of our suburban land use. However, how and where this space will be distributed is the key question in planning for the future of our streets and neighbourhoods. Through the exploration of a number of design drivers focused on specific amenity targets, a range of suburban scenarios are proposed and analysed as alternative future typologies. The goal is to develop an optimised suburban model that provides key amenity features to enhance the public realm for both residents and the local environment.


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Unlocking the Suburb  

As an emerging technology there is a lot of uncertainty regarding the impact of autonomous vehicles. The potential shift from private vehicl...

Unlocking the Suburb  

As an emerging technology there is a lot of uncertainty regarding the impact of autonomous vehicles. The potential shift from private vehicl...