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Confrontation stalling urban development

STATE and local governments needed to stamp out the adhoc and confrontational approaches to urban development to improve the livability of Australia’s cities, Delfin Limited managing director Chris Banks told an urban development conference.

In his keynote address to the WA State Conference of the Urban Development Institute of Australia at the weekend, Mr Banks said confrontation between industry, government and the community prevented the type of urban development that will meet the changing lifestyle needs of Australians in the 21st Century.

Mr Banks called on State governments to take a leadership role and ensure that local governments established population targets and local area strategic plans, involving community consultation, to prevent the loss of amenity and quality of life in the inner urban areas.

Although inner urban areas had a good range of housing options with an increasing number of apartments, the urban redevelopment industry had failed to include adequate parks and open spaces.

“Rather than basing our urban development of confrontation between the key players, we need a bipartisan approach, which is led by state and local governments and shared by industry and the community,” Mr Banks said.

“Our lifestyle needs are changing. There is an increasing number of single person households, and we are already seeing some evidence of a renaissance of inner and middle suburbs.”

Mr Banks, who is based in Adelaide, joined Delfin in 1994 from building company AV Jennings.

He said Delfin had built an enviable reputation delivering communities.

He said it became clear during the late 1980s that Australian society was growing out of its obsession with the home and was more conscious of seeking a quality of life and a sense of belonging.

“Community was now on the top of the shopping list of the Australian housing consumer,” he said.

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