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This research project is situated at the interface of planning policy, urban design and planning history. It assesses the contribution of design-led policy in reconciling private ambitions for economic growth with aspirations for quality public outcomes in the planning approval processes for major commercial development in the Sydney Central Business District (CBD). Concentrating on the past decade, it examines the changing economic structure of the CBD, links the changing form of the city to evolving design policies, recovers the experiences of participants in the development approval process, and communicates instructive stories at the interface of powerful market forces and the design regime.
The project’s research findings will inform a new urban design history of Sydney CBD, the epicentre of Australia's most globalised city. The project advances, enhances and enriches both theoretical understandings of, and policy approaches to, the challenges posed for planning systems in securing at once productive and liveable futures for Australian cities. Knowledge gained will lead to better urban design outcomes for Australian cities in an increasingly internationalised world.
The research is supported by an Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery Projects grant, number DP150104054.