Paddington Reservoir Gardens, joint winner of the 2009 Australia Award for Urban Design. By Tonkin Zulaikha Greer Architects and James Mather Delaney Design. (Image from the report, courtesy of City of Sydney)

It is good to see this in writing though to say anything less in this day and age would be sacrilege.

The design principles about places — productivity and sustainability cover enhancing the economy, environment and community; connecting physical and social elements; diversifying individual ask options and experiences; and enduring sustainability and resilience.

Design principles for people emphasise liveability, a comfortable, welcoming, vibrant environment with people around, and feeling safe in enjoyable surrounds which are easy to walk and cycle in.

Leadership and government principles indicate that design should work within the planning, physical and social context, engaging with relevant stakeholders, considering custodianship, management and maintenance over time.

Think outside the square

Architects and designers are also being asked to think outside the square of buildings alone, and to focus on localities, where “people live, engage with each other and the physical place around them”.

Nowadays they have to consider reaching out to satisfy different outlets. For instance, the new $30 million Cooperative Research Centre for Water Sensitive Design has a design institute where design professionals and architects will collaborate with ecologists and engineers on research into water sensitive design. Questions will include, “How do we secure water supplies to a growing urban population, and will water be a limit to growth?”

And a report by CBRE, Big Wheels Keep on Turning, shows how investment into transport infrastructure improves the growth in new facilities and development of industrial property especially in regional areas. Metropolitan rail investment aims to separate freight movement from passenger services in another attempt to reduce traffic congestion and attract people and better design opportunities.

Click here to download the PDF with key findings of the CBRE report.

Deborah Singerman is a Sydney-based journalist and editor, specialising in architecture and design, including city, community, society, economy, sustainability and culture.