4.163J / 11.332J
Urban Design Studio — The 30-Minute City: Polycentric Urbanism in the Moreton Bay Region, Queensland-Australia

Prerequisites: 
Permission of instructor
Required of: 
SMArchS (design)

The promise of the center city to offer spaces for work, leisure and living in close proximity and access has failed. Uncontrollable growth, high rents, traffic jams and more have made the reliance on a single urban core impossible. In our urbanizing world, time as a measure for space and access becomes a critical factor in design.

The studio will explore an alternative – a polycentric urbanism emerging in largely suburban regions, such as the conditions found in Moreton Bay (MBRC) - a 800 square mile area north of Brisbane, Australia. The region’s dynamic development and growth make it an ideal testing ground for new visions of polycentric urbanism informed by technologies of automated mobility systems, ‘smart’ connected streets and infrastructure matched with a responsible ecological -environmental approach.

Working with the MBRC we have specifically identified development nodes that can integrate future innovation economies, transportation, landscape, public amenities, and affordable housing. Yet the challenges go beyond the mere functional operation of a polycentric urbanism. Design plays a key role in ensuring that each node maintains a distinct identity, while simultaneously contributing to a holistic, integrated, and legible metropolitan system.

The studio asks: how can the suburbs of Moreton Bay transform into a new kind of urbanism? How can comprehensive technological transitions be integrated with existing infrastructures and how can we develop an urbanism of new accessible, livable, and equitable regional forms? What are the roles of landscape, architecture, design, planning, and policy in shaping the physical evolution of the region?

Travel to Australia yet to be determined, not guaranteed.