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    Architectus’ dual promotions reflect a stronger focus on urban regeneration

    Branko Miletic

    With the promotion of both Jane Freeman and Greg Burgon to principal and shareholder, Architectus has further underlined its urban design and planning credentials.

    According to Architectus director of urban design and urban planning, Michael Harrison, both principals’ will steer the firms increasing focus in urban regeneration projects.

    “With many city-changing projects underway and in the pipeline, urban regeneration remains a major focus for Architectus right now.”

    “Both Greg and Jane’s promotions reflect the bourgeoning talent we have within the team and capabilities to deliver planning and urban design outcomes for clients on a national scale,” says Harrison.

    For Burgon, there is a social, environmental and economic imperative for cities to be able to transform. 

    “The consequences of continuing to sprawl are well documented and public transportation systems are not able to service these large areas on the fringe of cities.”

    “Aligning public transport and land use intensification in a polycentric city is a key step in the right direction for Sydney,” he says.

    Furthermore, notes Burgon, “Public spaces work best when they are an integral part of the city and daily life. It must be for the people first and foremost, and should never be a foil to justify over-development. Good public space can be found everywhere – they can be functional, beautiful, and often un-glamourous, but that is part of their charm.”

    “Think of all the fantastic streets and laneways in cities, parks and open spaces that create places that people inhabit. And not all public space needs to be crowded to be deemed successful, some are best left obscure, hidden gems that the locals treasure,” he says.

    For her part, Freeman notes there is plenty of room for improvement in precinct-wide planning and measuring for outcomes like liveability, community and walkability.

    But it’s not just about reconfiguring local design – it’s also about learning from the rest of the world and applying that to Australia, says Freeman.

    “I’m really interested in promoting public and community life in the evenings, especially in the Australian climate, and the role of communal open spaces.”

    “The typical, semi-public Barcelona courtyard, where the families above bring their dinners and wine downstairs to sit at picnic tables and enjoy the evening with their neighbours should be our aspiration. I think it represents the best of city life,” she says.

    These promotions come at a time when the firm is experiencing a renewed focus across its Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide studios on a range of high-profile urban regeneration projects such as the Sydney Metro City and Southwest project, Parramatta Light Rail, Capital Metro in Canberra, and various projects at Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane Airports.

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