Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Australian Planning Question 1

In 100 words describe the benefits and limitations of master planning compared with inner-city bars-and-lane development in Sydney.


  1. chanel hargrave char215August 4, 2011 at 7:50 PM

    I have been to Sydney olympic park but have not been to any lane-way bars. When I visited Olympic Park I found that it was very large and open and everything was designed on a mass scale which was part of the master plan to cope for the large capacity of people. I found the place to lack character and it was generally 'dead' lacking people and vibe. I think this is a result of the master plan, where the design may have suited the function of a mass scale event but has failed to become useful beyond this purpose. It is interesting to note that according to the Sydney Olympic Park Authority it was not recognised by the NSW government as a suburb till 2009 (http://www.sopa.nsw.gov.au/planning_and_development/urban_design_vision). There is now a new master plan make the park a liveable area which was developed in 2009 and is valid till 2032 which aims to redevlop the park to a more pedestrian scale. The lane-ways bars seem to have developed in a more ad-hoc way. They seem more personal and suit a creative class culture where people want gather. Although the development may not be structure like a master plan it is reactionary to what communities want creating a vibe and energy that is perhaps not possible with master planning.

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  3. I think master planning is a difficult type of planning to get right. It is at such a high scale, and often comes with a very top-down approach. In relation to the master planning that occurred for the Sydney Olympic Village, it clearly ‘did its job’ in terms of providing for the requirements of the Olympic Event itself, but perhaps didn’t take a long term enough view, particularly with regard to how the area would be used and function after the event was over. Perhaps this is a limitation with master planning, in that it attempts to cover so much ground that some vital components can be left out.
    The inner city lane development in Sydney appears to have been much more successful, probably because it does not have such high ambitions as master planning tends to have. It is easier and more effective to focus on a small area, with very specific goals in mind rather than the total redevelopment of a massive area. The success of planning at a smaller scale is more easily and efficiently seen, as evident in the lane developments in Sydney.

    Sarah Akers

  4. Jethro jjof001 4893213

    I disagree with Sarah Akers completely on this one, I think although the case studies could suggest different, that master planning is a much more holistic approach while other smaller planning methods like lane development etc, tend to be adhoc and ostracize other adjacent uses in terms of the bigger picture. I see master planning as potentially a planning tool that will be more utilised in New Zealand in the future as it allows for a more cohesive long term vision to be realised. The Marsden/Point Ruakaka Structure Plan is very much so master planning and has just been adopted by the Whangarei District Council in plan change 83, heres an interesting link:


  5. Master planning is a tool commonly used for creating specific tourist destinations – in Sydney, an example of this is the Sydney Olympic Park. A benefit of this is that it allows for a specific range of activities within the specific area, such as through the spatial arrangement and encouraging economic development. A limitation is that the master plan may be not fully implemented, despite the potential within the area.

    Master planning in regards to the Sydney Olympic Village can be compared to Sydney’s inner-city bars-and-lane development. Like the master plan, inner-city bars-and-lane developments aim to invigorate Sydney via character and difference. However, these developments are not done on a grand scale like master planning – instead, they are more focused on encouraging the development of local businesses, and creating a local character.

    Sarah Wong (swon190)

  6. In my understanding, master planning means a more comprehensive planning approach for large scale areas; it establishes development framework and strategy to achieve long term goals. For example the development in Waverton is a good practice of mater planning, which recognises the distance advantages of the area (being close to three major CBD within 5km) as the strategic direction for future growth intensification. In this case, the master planning does not merely benefits to Waverton’s well-beings but also contributes to Sydney as a whole.
    While the planning approach for inner city and lane development is primarily focused on local scale, it supports local product and encourages local entrepreneurship. It also aimed to embrace human element and creating both art and social places that are attractive for people to participate. In terms of physical design, the inner city and lane development still maintains historic heritage form and value outside, with unique and modern alteration inside.

    Qiaofeng Hu 4915881

  7. The Sydney Olympic Park was created under the use of a Master Plan. The obvious benefits in this form of planning is that it allows for a comprehensive development of large tracts of land, to be used for a range of purposes. In Australia it was used to create Olympic infrastructure. Its limitations in this example is that in the long term such places may not be used to its full potential. The development of inner lane bars in Sydney, and its encouraged development from local council's could be seen to be creating a culture within the inner city. The benefits of such development have social, economic, and cultural implications and are seen to be more inclusive because they are on the human scale. The only limitation of this type of development is that it may be over used with the inner city becoming monotonous when a range of uses should be available in the city centre.

    Steven Sanson

  8. In response to Jethro Joffe – the point I was trying to make was that the immediate results of smaller scale development appear to be more successful than some cases of master planning. I do agree that technically master planning is a tool that should result in more cohesive developments with long term visions..but really, how often are these type of plans adhered to in reality? It can often be a case of things looking great on paper but not really developing as planned – possibly because of factors that just simply can’t be planned for (economic conditions, desire of businesses/residents to locate in an area etc).

    Sarah Akers

  9. One of the differences between master planning and the inner-city bars-and-lane development is that they have different approaches to its local communites and they focus on different scales in terms of its development. While the master planning focuses more on a larger scale development and has a more comprehensive approach, the inner-city bars-and-lane development concentrates more on small scale development, and it has more concern about its local community and its effects on the community, further, it is more likely to see that the small-scaled bars-and-lane development would benefit its associated stakeholders and people living nearby in a more direct and an effective way. While in comparison, for the giant development in Sydney’s Olympic Park, which is designed on a basis of master planning, I think since the project is implementated, it has set up a goal of having a short-term development approach, while in a long-term, the development seems more inefficient in terms of its current use, inflexible for its use in future and possibility of redevelopment, and gains possibility that they may simply sit on a shelf and gather dust. Moreover, it seems no sign that its local community benefit from this development that much concurrently.

    Project for Public Spaces, (2000),The benefits and drawbacks of master planning,
    (accessed: 12/08/2011).

    Xinyue Wang 1181130

  10. to me the differences between master planning and the inner-city bars-and-lane development is the former is much more about overarching comprehensive direction and while the latter would be more focused in smaller scale street and neighbourhood level development. the word master plan always reminded me the grand rebuilding of paris, and focus on a single vision. in these plans, because the comprehensive nature of it, the resulting planning processes are often focused in achieving a city wide built form, and as such can sometimes seen as too authoritarian and steps over smaller concerns. the inner-city bars-and-lane development seen in sydney is much more smaller scale developement, which would naturally take consideration from the local residents and location specialty, however such a development may lack the vision of a master plan and result in a patched development pattern whereas a master plan would have allow for a more uniform built form.

    Fengqiao Han
    ID: 4596921

  11. Master planning concentrated more on large scale and comprehensive project/ strategic in the long term while inner-city bars-and-lane development focused on details of small scale project, such as streetscape and small business management. In fact, master planning creates astonished buildings, and historical land marks. However, it has to be supported by large amount of time, human resources, natural resources, technology resources and financial resources. More importantly, most of master planning projects lack of functional, such as the Sydney Olympic Park not often being used for the Olympic Games. Furthermore, government usually devotes huge capital to these great projects, but it would baffle with other working on or future projects, especially in terms of human resource and financial resources. Australia is not the only case study of such situation, same thing happened in New Zealand as well, such as the transport project of Auckland.

  12. Like a few of the class members, I too have been to the master planned Olympic Park in Sydney, and this was during a large international scale event called World Youth Day. Even though it was during one of the most crowded periods, I still felt the full potential of the area was not being maximised. It felt slightly uncomfortable and to me, it was not designed to human scale and everything seemed to be over-sized. There was no sense of intimacy and the placement of the physical environment was far too vast leaving too much open space. I can only imagine how ‘dead’ this area would seem during the year and it would not be a place I would want to spend my time. As Chanel.H said, the master plan was not designed to be useful beyond its purpose, and I completely agree. Master plans need to be put into context or they become too inflexible.

    With regards to the more intimate, ‘self-directed’ lane developments however, I have seen a few of these but not many, and they are places I personally would love to explore more of. They are vibrant with contemporary artworks and have a sense of place to display the local culture. Even though they are unstructured, they are ‘fitted’ to the community as they ‘go with the flow’ meeting the peoples’ wants and needs. They maximise the development potential of the given areas very well and not only bring people and popularity, but also money into the local economy, as the bars, cafes and small businesses are frequently visited and enjoyed by locals and tourists. This has helped some former ‘dead’ or ‘rejected’ streets redevelop.
    Deanne D’souza (ID: 1072559)

  13. The Master Planning is a long-term and very comprehensive large scaled planning approach. It considers the varieties of interests and combines the visions from different interests group, thus the master planning is highly supported by the government or the communities. One of the major master planning examples in Sydney is the Olympic Park, which is designed and built as a tourism destination as the consequence of master planning. However, the limitation for master planning is that it is a top down approach and requires long term implementation and more resources.
    On the other hand, the inner-city bars-and-lane development is a relatively smaller scaled planning approach. It has more specific focuses and requires less resource. To compare with master planning approach, it is much easier to be implemented. The limitation for inner-city bars-and-lane development is that it may raise the conflict on interests.
    Source used:
    Xiaoyu Shi