Town Planning Review

The design of urban waterfronts: A critique of two Australian 'Southbanks'

Town Planning Review (2006), 77, (2), 173–203.

Abstract

This paper critically examines the urban design of inner-city riverfront cultural and leisure precincts, both called 'Southbank', in two major Australian cities, Melbourne and Brisbane. It evaluates simple functional planning matters such as use, scale and connectivity, as well as examining how these are entangled in more complex organisational, behavioural and representational outcomes, through observation of the broad scope of leisure activities which occur in the two settings. The paper examines four key dimensions of leisure experience on urban riverfronts – escaping the everyday, mixing with strangers, consuming spectacle and exploring new forms of bodily activity. Particular attention is given to the tensions between attempts at careful management of activities and imagery in these leisure zones, and the messy diversity of everyday life which actually takes place in and around them.

Access Token
£25.00
READ THIS ARTICLE
If you have private access to this content, please log in with your username and password here

ALEXANDER, C. (1965) 'The city is not a tree', Architectural Forum, 122, 58-62 and 122, 58-61. 'The city is not a tree' Architectural Forum 122, 58-62 and 122 58 61 Google Scholar

ALEXANDER, C., ISHIKAWA, S. and SILVERSTEIN, M. (1977), A Pattern Language: Towns, Buildings, Construction, New York, Oxford University Press. A Pattern Language: Towns, Buildings, Construction Google Scholar

BAKHTIN, M. (1984), Rabelais and His World, Bloomington, Indiana University Press. Rabelais and His World Google Scholar

BARNES, J., COLENUTT, B. and MALONE, P. (1996), 'London docklands and the state' in P. Malone (ed), City, Capital and Water, London, Routledge. London docklands and the state City, Capital and Water Google Scholar

BORDEN, I. (2001), Skateboarding, Space and the City: Architecture and the Body, Oxford, Berg. Skateboarding, Space and the City: Architecture and the Body Google Scholar

BREEN, A. and RIGBY, D. (1996), The New Waterfront: A Worldwide Urban Success Story, London, Thames and Hudson. The New Waterfront: A Worldwide Urban Success Story Google Scholar

BUCK-MORSS, S. (1991), The Dialectics of Seeing: Walter Benjamin and the Arcades Project, Cambridge, MA, MIT Press. The Dialectics of Seeing: Walter Benjamin and the Arcades Project Google Scholar

CAILLOIS, R. (1961), Man, Play and Games, New York, Free Press of Glencoe. Man, Play and Games Google Scholar

CALTHORPE, P. (1993), The Next American Metropolis: Ecology, Community and the American Dream, Princeton, Princeton Architectural Press. The Next American Metropolis: Ecology, Community and the American Dream Google Scholar

CITY OF MELBOURNE (1997), Grids and Greenery Case Studies, Melbourne, City of Melbourne. Google Scholar

COHEN, S. and TAYLOR, L. (1976), Escape Attempts: The Theory and Practice of Resistance to Everyday Life, London, Allen Lane. Escape Attempts: The Theory and Practice of Resistance to Everyday Life Google Scholar

CRAIK, J. (1992), 'Expo 88: fashions of sight and politics of site' in T. Bennett, P. Buckridge, D. Carter and C. Mercer (eds), Celebrating the Nation: A Critical Study of Australia's Bicentenary, St Leonards (Australia), Allen and Unwin. Google Scholar

 Google Scholar

DEBORD, G. (1994), The Society of the Spectacle, New York, Zone Books. The Society of the Spectacle Google Scholar

DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS (QUEENSLAND, AUSTRALIA) (2005), State Budget 2005-06: Budget Highlights, downloaded from http://www.publicworks.qld.gov.au/about/publications.cfm Google Scholar

DODSON, B. and KILIAN, D. (1998), 'From port to playground: the redevelopment of the Victoria and Albert waterfront, Cape Town' in D. Tyler, Y. Guerrier and M. Robertson (eds), Managing Tourism in Cities, Chichester, John Wiley, 139-62. From port to playground: the redevelopment of the Victoria and Albert waterfront, Cape Town Managing Tourism in Cities 139 62 Google Scholar

DOVEY, K. (2005), Fluid City: Transforming Melbourne's Urban Waterfront, Abingdon, Routledge. Fluid City: Transforming Melbourne's Urban Waterfront Google Scholar

 Google Scholar

FAGENCE, M. (1995a), 'City waterfront redevelopment for leisure, recreation, and tourism: some common themes' in J. C. Smith and M. Fagence (eds), Recreation and Tourism as a Catalyst for Urban Waterfront Redevelopment, London, Praeger, 135-56. City waterfront redevelopment for leisure, recreation, and tourism: some common themes Recreation and Tourism as a Catalyst for Urban Waterfront Redevelopment 135 56 Google Scholar

FAGENCE, M. (1995b), 'Episodic progress toward a grand design: waterside redevelopment of Brisbane's Southbank' in J. C. Smith and M. Fagence (eds), Recreation and Tourism as a Catalyst for Urban Waterfront Redevelopment, London, Praeger, 71-87. Episodic progress toward a grand design: waterside redevelopment of Brisbane's Southbank Recreation and Tourism as a Catalyst for Urban Waterfront Redevelopment 71 87 Google Scholar

FRIEDEN, B. and SAGALYN, L. (1989), Downtown, Inc.: How America Rebuilds Cities, Cambridge, MA, MIT Press. Downtown, Inc.: How America Rebuilds Cities Google Scholar

GARREAU, J. (1992), Edge City: Life on the New Frontier, New York, Anchor Books. Edge City: Life on the New Frontier Google Scholar

GEHL, J. (1987), Life Between Buildings, New York, Van Nostrand Reinhold. Life Between Buildings Google Scholar

GEHL, J. and CITY OF MELBOURNE (1994), Placesfor People, Melbourne, City of Melbourne. Google Scholar

GIBSON, J. (1979), The Ecological Approach to Visual Perception, Boston, Houghton Mifflin. The Ecological Approach to Visual Perception Google Scholar

GILLOCH, G. (1996), Myth and Metropolis, Cambridge, Polity Press. Myth and Metropolis Google Scholar

GOFFMAN, E. (1963), Behaviour in Public Places, Westport, CT, Greenwood. Behaviour in Public Places Google Scholar

GOODALE, T. AND GODBEY, G. (1988), The Evolution of Leisure: Historical and Philosophical Perspectives, State College, PA, Venture. The Evolution of Leisure: Historical and Philosophical Perspectives Google Scholar

GORDON, D. (1996), 'Planning, design and managing change in urban waterfront redevelopment', Town Planning Review, 67, 261-90. 'Planning, design and managing change in urban waterfront redevelopment' Town Planning Review 67 261 90 Google Scholar

HALL, P. (1998), Cities in Civilisation, London, Weidenfeld and Nicolson. Cities in Civilisation Google Scholar

HARVEY, D. (1989), The Condition of Postmodernity, London, Blackwell. The Condition of Postmodernity Google Scholar

HAZEL, G. and PARRY, R. (2004), Making Cities Work, Chichester, John Wiley. Making Cities Work Google Scholar

HUIZINGA, J. (1970), Homo Ludens:A Study of the Play Element in Culture, London, Temple Smith. Homo Ludens:A Study of the Play Element in Culture Google Scholar

JACOBS, J. (1961), The Death and Life of Great American Cities, New York, Vintage. The Death and Life of Great American Cities Google Scholar

JACOBS, J. (1970), The Economy of Cities, London, Cape. The Economy of Cities Google Scholar

JINNAI, H. (1995), Tokyo: A Spatial Anthropology, Berkeley, University of California Press. Tokyo: A Spatial Anthropology Google Scholar

JUDD, D. (1992), 'Constructing the tourist bubble' in D. Judd and S. Fainstein (eds), The Tourist City, New Haven, Yale University Press, 35–53. 'Constructing the tourist bubble' The Tourist City 35 53 Google Scholar

KOSTOF, S. (1992), The City Assembled: The Elements of Urban Form Through History, London, Thames and Hudson. The City Assembled: The Elements of Urban Form Through History Google Scholar

LEFEBVRE, H. (1991a), Critique of Everyday Life, Vol. 1 (Second edition), London, Verso. Critique of Everyday Life 1 Google Scholar

LEFEBVRE, H. (1991b), The Production of Space, Oxford, Blackwell. The Production of Space Google Scholar

LEFEBVRE, H. (1996), Writings on Cities, Oxford, Blackwell. Writings on Cities Google Scholar

LOFLAND, L. (1998), The Public Realm: Exploring the City's Quintessential Social Territory, Hawthorne, NY, Aldine de Gruyter. The Public Realm: Exploring the City's Quintessential Social Territory Google Scholar

LONGHURST, R. (1992), South Bank: An Historical Perspective from Then Until Now, Brisbane, State Library of Queensland and South Bank Corporation. South Bank: An Historical Perspective from Then Until Now Google Scholar

LOUKAITOU-SIDERIS, A. and BANERJEE, T. (1998), Urban Design Downtown: Poetics and Politics of Form, Berkeley, University of California Press. Urban Design Downtown: Poetics and Politics of Form Google Scholar

LYMAN, S. and SCOTT, M. (1975), The Drama of Social Reality, New York, Oxford University Press. The Drama of Social Reality Google Scholar

LYNCH, K. (1961), The Image of the City, Cambridge, MA, MIT Press. The Image of the City Google Scholar

LYNCH, K. (1981), Good City Form, Cambridge, MA, MIT Press. Good City Form Google Scholar

LYNCH, K. and HACK, G. (1985), Site Planning (Third edition), Cambridge, MA, MIT Press. Google Scholar

MACARTHUR, J. (1999), 'Tactile simulations: architecture and the image of the public at Brisbane's Kodak beach' in R. Barcan and I. Buchanan (eds), Imagining Australian Space: Cultural Studies and Spatial Inquiry, Nedlands, WA, University of Western Australia Press, 177-92. Tactile simulations: architecture and the image of the public at Brisbane's Kodak beach Imagining Australian Space: Cultural Studies and Spatial Inquiry 177 92 Google Scholar

MEYER, H. (1999), City and Port: Urban Planning as a Cultural Venture in London, Barcelona, New York, and Rotterdam: Changing Relations between Public Urban Space and Large-Scale Infrastructure, Utrecht, International Books. City and Port: Urban Planning as a Cultural Venture in London, Barcelona, New York, and Rotterdam: Changing Relations between Public Urban Space and Large-Scale Infrastructure Google Scholar

MULES, T. (1998), 'Events tourism and economic development in Australia' in D. Tyler, Y. Guerrier and M. Robertson (eds), Managing Tourism in Cities, Chichester, John Wiley, 195– 214. 'Events tourism and economic development in Australia' Managing Tourism in Cities 195 214 Google Scholar

MULLINS, P., NATALIER, K., SMITH, P. and SMEATON, B. (1999), 'Cities and consumption spaces', Urban Affairs Review, 35, 44-71. 'Cities and consumption spaces' Urban Affairs Review 35 44 71 Google Scholar

MUSGRAVE, E. (2002), 'Goodwill overture', Architecture Australia, 91, 66-69. 'Goodwill overture' Architecture Australia 91 66 69 Google Scholar

NOBLE, L. (2001), 'South bank dreaming', Architecture Australia, 90, 86-93. 'South bank dreaming' Architecture Australia 90 86 93 Google Scholar

O'BRIEN, C. (1997), 'Form, function and sign: signifying the past in urban waterfront regeneration', Journal of Urban Design, 2, 163-78. 'Form, function and sign: signifying the past in urban waterfront regeneration' Journal of Urban Design 2 163 78 Google Scholar

PINDER, D. A., HOYLE B. S. and HUSAIN, M. S. (1988) (eds), Revitalising the Waterfront: International Dimensions of Dockland Redevelopment, London, Belhaven. Google Scholar

QUEENSLAND GOVERNMENT (1990), Queensland Government Gazette, CCXCIII, No. 111 (28 April 1990), 2215-370. Google Scholar

QUEENSLAND GOVERNMENT (2004), Preferred North Bank Strategic Plan, downloaded from http://www.northbankbrisbane.com.au Google Scholar

ROJEK, C. (1995), Decentering Leisure: Rethinking Leisure Theory, London, Sage. Decentering Leisure: Rethinking Leisure Theory Google Scholar

SANDERCOCK, L. and DOVEY, K. (2002), 'Pleasure, politics and the public interest: Melbourne's waterfront revitalization', Journal of the American Planning Association, 68, 151-64. 'Pleasure, politics and the public interest: Melbourne's waterfront revitalization' Journal of the American Planning Association 68 151 64 Google Scholar

SENNETT, R. (1971), The Uses of Disorder: Personal Identity and City Life, Harmondsworth, Penguin. The Uses of Disorder: Personal Identity and City Life Google Scholar

SENNETT, R. (1974), The Fall of Public Man, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press. The Fall of Public Man Google Scholar

SIKSNA, A. (1998), 'City centre blocks and their evolution: a comparative study of eight American and Australian CBDs', Journal of Urban Design, 3, 253-83. 'City centre blocks and their evolution: a comparative study of eight American and Australian CBDs' Journal of Urban Design 3 253 83 Google Scholar

SOUTHBANK DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION (BRISBANE) (2002), Southbank Development '97 Plan (amended), Brisbane, Southbank Development Corporation. Google Scholar

SORKIN, M. (ed.) (1992), Variations on a Theme Park: The New American City and the End of Public Space, New York, Hill and Wang. Variations on a Theme Park: The New American City and the End of Public Space Google Scholar

WANNA, J. (2001), "Political chronicles: Queensland', Australian Journal of Politics and History, 48, 259-67. "Political chronicles: Queensland' Australian Journal of Politics and History 48 259 67 Google Scholar

WHYTE, W. H. (1988), City: Rediscovering the Centre, New York, Doubleday. City: Rediscovering the Centre Google Scholar

If you have private access to this content, please log in with your username and password here

Details

Author details

Stevens, Quentin