Tasmania is set to host a seminar series to illustrate the qualities of good urban planning and the role of landscape architecture in the design of the city setting.

The Australian Institute of Landscape Architects (AILA Tasmania), Hobart City Council, and Grating Tasmania are partnering to host a series of free talks and events in the coming months. 

Organisers say the talks and topics arise from concerns raised for the future of the city centre by Danish urban designer, Jan Gehl in the Inner City Development Plan that was prepared for the Hobart City Council.

It will consider questions like: What makes a great city? Why do some towns succeed as places to live and visit and others don’t?

The program of activities aims to foster a better understanding of how the design of our city can contribute to the quality of our lifestyle, our social responsibilities and the power of our local economy.


A recent landscape architecture project. Copyright: Jonathan Wherrett

Australian Institute of Landscape Architects Tasmania president Rebecca Doblo explains why professionals such as landscape architects are best tasked with the design of the public places in which we live out our daily lives.

“Because our profession has focused on place-making and the design of the public realm for hundreds of years. 

“We are a people-focused profession engaged in designing the spaces between buildings in a safe, comfortable and inspired manner.

“Our designs shape the urban setting for human use and movement in response to natural systems, social needs and economic drivers.  For these reasons, landscape architects have become integral to the shaping of the great modern cities of the world.”

Headlining the talks are inspiring speakers, from all over Australia - people who will share their experiences in creating successful urban communities. 

The Institute expect the talks will spark debate and collaboration that will set a precedent for the Tasmanian professional community to focus on in its commitment to creating quality urban settings in Tasmania.

The talks will include:

  • “What is the Urban Landscape and Why Should We Care about its Design?”
  •  “Lost? Why great cities point people in the right direction.” 
  • “Down by the River: the Great Untapped Potential of Hobart’s Foreshore.” 
  • “What does the city mean to children and how do we engage children whilst the parents get their jobs done?”
  • “Whose street is it? Thoughts on how to Reinvigorate Streets as Places to Meet, Eat and Greet.”

The series will also take to the streets by hosting an Urban Design Film Festival early next year. Short films will be shown in Mather’s Lane, an urban design project already underway, that will set an example of how good quality urban spaces can help activate Hobart’s street and arts culture. 

City Talks begins soon with the first 2-hour event on September 14 at 11:30 AM.

Visit www.hobarturban.com.au to get the details for the events as they unfold each month, through April next year. All built environment professionals and those interested in urban design are encouraged to attend.

Major Sponsor, Lapsett, and Supporting sponsors, University of Tasmania and Southern Lighting & Distribution help make this possible.