Monday, 29 July 2013

Prominent specialists to join committee

Two world renowned experts in urban development will be asked to become founding members of Parramatta City Council’s recently established Public Domain Activation Committee, to be chaired by Lord Mayor, John Chedid.
The experts are Professor Ed Blakely, honorary professor in urban policy, at the United States Studies Centre, at the University of Sydney, and Ethan Kent, the vice-president, of Project for Public Spaces, in the USA, who visited Parramatta in October 2010.
Council established the committee following Cr Chedid’s recent participation in a nine-city tour in the USA. The group of 23 mayors and senior council officers, led by Professor Blakely, sought to learn how these cities were reactivated.
Cr Chedid said the committee would focus on Parramatta Square, Church Street Mall and the Parramatta River foreshore in the CBD
“By inviting Professor Blakely and Ethan Kent to join the committee, their experience, reputation and knowledge will add a value to the committee that cannot be measured,” Cr Chedid said.
Another initiative announced by Cr Chedid following his visit to the USA was a study to review of the planning framework for the CBD.
“If we wish to build a world class city, we need to learn from the best practice around the world. Unfortunately, the planning system we have to work within is not world class. Changes proposed by the state government to the planning system in NSW may not be sufficient to support council in its endeavour to create a world class city,” he said.
Cr Chedid said the recommendation that the development form not be controlled by floor space ratio (FSR) was to be commended.
“But we need to prepare new planning instruments that provide certainty for landowners, developers, neighbours and the community in terms of what is acceptable development in the CBD,” he said.
The review of the CBD would be presented to council by the end of September.