We all know the facts. Australia is one of the most urbanized countries in the world, with nearly 90 percent of the population living in urban areas. On the ground this urbanity has a very low density. Australia’s enduring love affair with suburban living has shaped the landscape – and in turn this landscape has shaped us. There are lots of positive things about suburbia and of course a number of significant issues. Setting aside the bigger questions, the reality is that the bulk of Australia’s urban growth occurs through the development of large-scale greenfield sites on the urban fringe. The design of these masterplanned communities (MPCs) is a staple for landscape architects. And yet informed discussion about this significant contribution to the built environment is largely absent. Kirsten Bauer and Adrian Marshall, the guest editors for this issue of Landscape Architecture Australia, have taken on the formidable task of telling this story. We would like to thank them for the rigour and enthusiasm they have brought to the project. Kirsten Bauer, Victoria President of the AILA and director of Aspect Studios has long been involved in landscape architectural education. Landscape architect, writer and editor Adrian Marshall is currently developing a grasslands guide for the University of Melbourne, and guidelines to promote grasslands health for the Victorian National Parks Association. He has always lived in the inner city. Drawing on their collective experiences and expertise, Kirsten and Adrian have identified exemplars, scoped the challenges and found good reason to celebrate the profession’s contribution to the establishment of new communities.
Projects, articles and interviews include:
- Masterplanned Communities: Exploring what is often the bread and butter of the landscape architecture profession. Article by Adrian Marshall and Kirsten Bauer.
- Anatomy of a Suburb: A photo essay of the structures and landscapes that make up a residential estate.
- Charting a New Landscape for Residential Living in Australia: How Australian residential suburbs have changed since the 1960s and 70s. Article by Andrew Saniga.
- For the Love of Chocolate: How are the roles and functions of MPCs changing? Article by Darren Mew.
- The Expanding Fluoro-Coloured Elephant in the Room: Does Adelaide have the solution to the built idea of suburban living? Article by Jo Russell-Clarke.
- Caroline Springs: Does this estate in Melbourne’s west master open space? Article by Louise C. Johnson.
- Interviewed: Barry Murphy of MDG Landscape Architects
- Aurora: This development in Melbourne by Places Victoria stretches over more than six hundred hectares. Article by Helen Day.
- Saltwater Coast: In Melbourne’s south-west, Tract Consultants has used the landscape as a starting point for the layout of this subdivision. Article by Marcus Baumgart.
- North Lakes and Fitzgibbon Chase: How have these South East Queensland estates provided for their respective communities? Article by Mark Fuller.
- The Ponds: With landscape architecture by Clouston Associates, this Sydney estate has been one of the fastest selling in the last several years. Article by Linda Corkery.
- Williams Landing: This south-west Melbourne estate has faced many planning challenges. Article by Julian Bull.
Cameron Bruhn, editorial director, Landscape Architecture Australia
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