NSW's first state-wide design policy to ensure the delivery of high quality urban design and better places for people across NSW was last week launched by the Minister for Planning and Housing, Anthony Roberts.
Called 'Better Placed', the policy was drafted with input from architects, urban designers and planners from across Australia and the world to set out the principles and directions essential to creating great places for new developments in built environments across Sydney and the regions.
"NSW is rapidly growing and changing as more people decide to call our state home, but our cities and towns must remain liveable, healthy and sustainable as they develop and grow," Mr Roberts said.
"Better Placed provides clarity on what the NSW Government means by good design and it's not just how a place looks, but how it works and feels for people. This policy will assist everyone involved from the design phase through to DAs.
"We need to provide more housing for our growing population and to help first home buyers break into the market, but that has to be balanced with open space, trees, parks, connectivity and developments that take advantage of sunlight, fresh air and views. This policy will do that."
Mr Roberts pointed out that for 200 years, the NSW Government Architect's office had shaped some of the most valued buildings and spaces in our State and said he was confident that with Better Placed, they would continue to have a leading influence.
The new design policy was launched at Bankstown Library, one of the Government Architect's best practice case studies of where Better Placed design principles worked best and demonstrate the value of good design.
Other case studies in NSW are Prince Alfred Park Pool in Inner Sydney, Central Park Masterplan in Chippendale, Waterloo Youth Family and Community Centre, Australia Street Infants School Cola in Newtown, Fitzroy Street and Bicentennial Park Upgrade in Tamworth and Restoring the Waters in Fairfield.
"These are stunning examples of where design works well and these were crowdsourced as part of the consultation with industry on the policy," Mr Roberts said.
"Further case studies are being prepared and will include residential, affordable housing mixed-use and commercial, education, health, Green Grid, public art and master planning. Examples will best-inform how good design works."
Mr Roberts said the policy would help councils, developers, architects and designers, engineers, builders, industry groups, local communities and businesses.
"Great places and cities don't happen by chance: they are designed, and continue to be designed as we manage the transformation of our cities," he said.
"We all have a part to play in the look and feel of our neighbourhoods and this simple policy which outlines a new strategic approach, written in clear language, will help.
"The NSW Government recognises the challenges we face as we continue to grow and become a more highly urbanised society. This policy has been developed to manage the challenges ahead and anticipates a series of design guides to help address the opportunities and challenges of the future".
Better Placed is the first in a suite of policies and guidelines to be created by Government Architect NSW (GANSW) that are to be announced by the end of 2018. Supporting documents will include detailed design guides, manuals and case studies.