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MUDD 21 - City Visions II

Wynyard Axis Central Sydney Studio, 2015 Convenor: Dr Scott Hawken, with Sharon Wright & Glyn Richards

Sydney’s peninsular CBD naturally creates movement along a north-south axis, and the city’s current large-scale interventions - the pedestrianisation of George Street and new light rail - will align with this direction of movement. What is needed is greater attention to the east-west axis of the city. The studio explored this possibility, using methodologies involving a number of different analytical approaches in order to gain an understanding of urban design for experiential, spatial and financial outcomes. The studio’s intent was to create a stronger east-west axis in Sydney’s CBD, to complement improved northsouth transport connections and pedestrian amenity. The two main deliverables of the studio involved a landscape structure plan and financial feasibility studies of buildings with development potential. This exemplifies the various roles that urban designers are typically involved in on any given project: the city, the consultant and the developer. The landscape structure plan involved public domain, open space design, urban landscape design, public infrastructure design and Development Control Plan preparation. Buildings with potential for redevelopment were selected along the eastwest axis, students suggested building programs for each and financial feasibility assessments were conducted in order to determine their viability in regards to market variables and the product offered.

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An important lesson taken away from the structureplan project was the understanding of how small-scale interventions along streetscapes can transform a city. The students’ structure plans, although large in site area, proposed small-scale interventions such as widening footpaths, increasing street seating, and improving aesthetics on a walkable east-west route. This showed the amazing breadth of urban design interventions; designers must understand how a city operates at the regional and global level, but design to affect change at the experiential level. Designing at this scale, in turn, can revitalise an area and provide financial returns from the increased appeal to both developers and residents.

Mudd folio final 02 mar 2016  
Mudd folio final 02 mar 2016  

City Visions: Method & Design Chicago | Berlin | Sydney International Studio workshops from the Masters of Urban Development & Design degree...