Home' InDaily : August 6th 2010 Contents Adelaide needs to get over its
development paranoia or risk
missing out on innovative
urban lifestyles says a leading urban
"We lack maturity in our com-
munity discussions of development
proposals; we just can t handle
conflicting views and so we fall back
to the status quo," Terry Walsh,
the chief executive of SA s Urban
Development Institute of Australia
(UDIA) said this week.
Countering recent opposition to
development proposals for McLaren
Vale and Mt Barker, Mr Walsh said
the development industry had been
unfairly targeted as the "bad guy".
"We need a better understanding
that developers are creating tomor-
row s community -- it s not their role
to maintain yesterday s," he said.
"People find it easy to blame us if
they are fearful of change, but can
anyone point to a bad development
in recent times?
"Mawson Lakes has been a great
success, as has Northgate, Burnside
Village, Norwood Parade, Unley
Road, Jetty Road and many others.
"We have developed enterprises
that have become social Mecca s and
built suburbs that have a liveability
and walk-ability that is much loved
by those who now live in them.
"Without new developments you
don t get new schools, new malls or
shopping precincts, new transport
options or other new infrastruc-
UDIA is a federation of five state
associations that aim to promote
the urban development industry
in achieving sustainable urban
development. It also takes an active
interest in government decisions
and decision making processes
affecting the industry.
It s one of the reasons why the
Institute organised a May 2009
overseas tour for government
and non-government delegates to
experience first-hand innovative
urban infill projects.
This week Mr Walsh outlined the
design concept behind Transport
Oriented Developments such as that
now proposed for Bowden, but also
slammed Adelaide for some of its
"pitiful responses" to innovative
"Does Adelaide have development
paranoia? It sure does," he said.
"Take a look at Victoria Park. We
had a proposal for a major events
venue that any other city in the
world would love to have and instead
we ended up with an unkempt lawn,
a pile of dirt and a bloody awful
"At that time we needed someone
to stand up and show leadership
but we got none of that and a good
opportunity to transform parkland
into better, more usable parkland
"And then there s the Le Cornu
site in North Adelaide; it s still
empty and it s a blight on the
Terry Walsh and his Institute
members were the driving force
behind showcasing the concept of
Transport Oriented Developments
(TODs) to government MPS and
senior public sector officials.
He believes that TODs have a key
role to play in making Adelaide a
more attractive city, especially for
young people who often look to the
"The two examples we showcased
were Portland in Oregon and Denver
"Portland was getting population
pressures within the urban growth
boundary so they put a ring around
several areas and said 'we ll make
these areas higher density, more
liveable and more walkable places .
"That meant innovative design of
buildings and housing and innova-
tive concepts for transportation.
"The result -- in areas such as the
Pearl Precinct in Portland -- is that
these new urban developments have
a strong community feel about them.
"People like living there and now
people are flocking to these types of
"In some ways cities such as
Melbourne have achieved similar
results with developments along St
Kilda Road and at Albert Park. These
places have been transformed from
downtrodden looking areas to very
"That s what good urban
development is all about and people
shouldn t be afraid of it."
Mr Walsh said the current
perception of the urban develop-
ment industry was unfair and many
of his members had been the target
of "an easy to sell story of David and
Goliath that bears no relation to the
"It s a tough industry," he said.
"The risks are considerable.
"Developers, often with large
amounts of borrowed money,
face enormous hurdles of vocal
minorities, long delays in approval
processes and the massive self
interest of some elected members of
"People should understand that
we don t seek to ruin areas, we seek
to improve them."
He pointed to the recent contro-
versy surrounding development of
the Mount Barker region.
"There is substantial demand
from people who want to move there.
"There are many landowners who
want to sell.
"But there are many landowners
who don t want to sell.
"So how do you resolve that?
not such a
UDIA s Terry Walsh at the site of
Adelaide s first Transport Oriented
Development. Photo: Kate Elmes
Continued Page 25
Our building industry is out to show
it understands community and
sustainability. Kevin Naughton writes.
Sir Rod Eddington, Chairman, Infrastructure Australia
"Chatham House Rule discussion about the nations future infrastructure needs
Join us for a rare "Chatham House Rule intimate interview
with Sir Rod Eddington as he is asked about the national
approach to planning, funding and implementing the
nation s future infrastructure needs.
12.00pm to 2.00pm
Monday 6 September 2010
To register contact Nadine Turhan
t: 8236 2800
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