Subtropical transit oriented development in the emerging South East Queensland city region: How well are we doing?
Date of this Version
Subtropical design and transport oriented development (TOD) are key policies of the South East Queensland Regional Plan (SEQRP).1 TOD has slowly gained ground in South East Queensland (SEQ) since the mid-1990's and is now achieving acceptance in debate and decisions surrounding infrastructure investment and urban development. Since the late 1990s, subtropical design has been actively promoted by the Urban Design Alliance Queensland (UDAL/Q) and the Centre for Subtropical Design (CSD) at Queensland University of Technology (QUT), assuming greater prominence since being incorporated in the first SEQP in 2005.
The effectiveness of subtropical design in TOD is yet to be fully evaluated by Queensland urban policy makers. This paper makes a start towards such evaluation by reviewing four TOD case studies in the emerging SEQ city region:
1. a 19th century inner urban TOD that is being regenerated in the early 21st century following a century of declining fortunes;
2. an inner urban are that has seen massive public (and significant private) investment in hospital expansion, major research facilities, and a new bus way line and stations;
3. a 20th century linear coastal resort area thta is being regenerated by a $1 billion light rail system; and
4. an emerging principal regional town centre in a 1980s master planned community on the Gold Coast rail line developed in the 1990s.
An analytical framework for on the ground field research is developed from existing frameworks and applied to the four case studies. The main method of research is observation. Particular emphasis is placed on the development of urbanization patterns that support urban walkability and therefore active and healthy citizens. It is concluded that TOD is helpful in encouraging walking, but that detailed urban design is needed to supplement commonly valued characteristics such as street connectivity and mixed use.
This document has been peer reviewed.