Architecture, Building and Planning - Theses

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    ‘Leisure, pleasure … rubbish and rats?’: the planned and unplanned reclamation of bluestone quarry sites in urban Melbourne, 1835-2000
    Kolankiewicz, Victoria ( 2020)
    This thesis explores how regulatory mechanisms and community perceptions of urban extractive industry have changed, particularly during the twentieth century. Extractive industries operational in the twenty-first century are now located well outside of the metropolis, obviating the impacts of this deleterious industrial practice. Yet this was not always the case. Australian cities, settled following the industrial revolution, made great use of these extractive resources often accessing them in quite densely settled areas. Such land-use often took place in inner-urban locales, and the infancy of planning practice at that time saw these quarries established in an ad hoc manner. The absence of controls with respect to the location and management of quarries culminated in an uncomfortable closeness with nearby residential areas. As quarrying operations moved towards the urban periphery during the early twentieth-century, the absence of comprehensive planning failed to prevent suburban development from encroaching upon extractive industry, and in some cases this led to conflict between residents, government, planning bodies, and industry. This is especially apparent in Melbourne, the world’s largest metropolitan area atop a basaltic plain, from which the stone has been utilised for construction and roadwork since the city’s inception in 1835. Urban planning for quarries was historically absent until the formation of legislation in the 1960s in response to urban and land-use conflict; additionally, the city’s ongoing reliance on rubbish tips led tipping to be a default after-use for such sites, also raising ire. Improvements in this process encompassed the creation of legislation, planning policies, and the formation of activist groups to agitate for change. These developments were prompted by land-use conflicts, demographic change, and increased environmental awareness, all contributing to a perceived need for better planning. The tipping process was recast through a lens of social justice as undesirable undertakings no longer compatible with residential life. This thesis focuses on the use and after-use of sites of extractive industry in Melbourne, and how these sites and their final outcomes were planned—by government and planning bodies—and ‘unplanned’—left to the market or the community to resolve. It demonstrates that comprehensive urban planning for quarries and their after-uses have been historically absent: this was exacerbated by the city’s reliance upon landfill as a mode of refuse disposal, which could also be harnessed to remediate excavated sites. These findings were revealed in undertaking case study analyses of the western suburbs of Newport and Niddrie. Although communities in both areas were fundamentally successful in limiting or preventing the complete transformation of their local quarry sites into tips, the form and success of quarry remediation was still fundamentally subject to the limitations of the state government’s planning directives. This thesis found that local communities and groups were crucial to the achievement of a compensatory and judicious land-use outcome for urban quarry sites. The investigations within this thesis reveal the importance of local community as ‘watchdogs’ of planning processes and procedures in an instance of legislative and regulatory oversight spanning two centuries.
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    The role of social and built environments in supporting older adults´ social interaction
    Veeroja, Piret ( 2018)
    The social and built environments at the neighbourhood level have been linked to older adults´ neighbourhood social interaction which, in turn, contributes towards ageing-in-place, wellbeing, and quality of life (QoL). Currently, however, there is no clear understanding about the relative strength and nature of these relationships across a diverse range of neighbourhood features. Moreover, previous research has paid relatively little attention to older adults’ social interaction in various types of third places. Additionally, the majority of previous studies in the urban planning context have concentrated on the quantity of social interaction, despite the fact that satisfaction with social interaction may be more important to older adults’ wellbeing. This research has two aims. First, it seeks to better understand the relationship between the social environment and built environment measures (including third places) with older adults´ social interaction. Second, it investigates this relationship through both frequency of social interaction and satisfaction with it. From the CSIRO Survey of Community Wellbeing and Responding to Change (n = 476) older adults´ individual views were obtained in relation to their social interaction and their perceptions of the social and built environments in six Local Government Areas (LGAs) in inner and outer urban areas of Metropolitan Melbourne, Australia. Older adults were defined as people aged 55 years and above. Participants’ addresses were geo-coded and 14 built environment measures were investigated in their neighbourhoods using various buffer areas (road network distances that ranged from 100m to 1000m). Using mediation analyses, perceived social environment measures were found to be stronger predictors of social interaction frequency and satisfaction than perceived and objective built environment measures; however, some types of perceived third places were significant predictors of social interaction. The analyses showed that belonging to suburb, sense of community, participation in community activities, footpaths, and cafes, bars and restaurants predicted social interaction frequency. Social interaction frequency, belonging to suburb, sense of community and services were significant for predicting social interaction satisfaction. The model findings were then cross-validated with qualitative data. Two focus groups were conducted with LGA policymakers and 25 interviews conducted with older adults from the same LGA areas where the CSIRO survey was conducted. The qualitative study supported the findings from the quantitative analysis, and further identified that follow-up studies should consider older adults´ personal preferences (such as lifestyle) and the quality of the built environment, especially focusing on detailed features of their immediate environment such as quality of footpaths and the micro physical environment. These results indicate that there is an opportunity for government policymakers and planners at all levels, but also for nongovernment organisations and community groups, to actively pay attention to improving social environments, especially community spirit, to improve the sense of belonging in local areas and to maximise older adults’ participation in different community activities to support ageing-in-place and the overall wellbeing and QoL of older adults. Future research directions to contribute further to these outcomes are identified.
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    Integrated planning with social logics in Melbourne and Buenos Aires
    Henderson, Hayley ( 2017)
    This thesis reveals both the formal structures and the informal strategies that support the application of social logics in integrated planning practices in Melbourne, Australia and Buenos Aires, Argentina. Integrated planning has been promoted in both cities since the early-1990s to overcome the shortfalls of traditional urban policy, including through programs that spatially target inequality and bring together multiple stakeholders for more coordinated policy responses. Through qualitative and comparative methods, this doctoral study examined multiple experiences of integrated planning focused on redressing disadvantage across both metropolitan settings. It employed a conceptual framework for understanding how to reduce disadvantage through planning by marrying the Theory of Social Logics (Fincher and Iveson, 2008) and understandings of practical wisdom (inter alia: Davoudi, 2015; Hillier, 2002; Flyvbjerg, 2001). This thesis reports the research findings, commencing with a localised and grounded understanding of integrated planning and then expounding the conditions necessary for integrated planning with social logics to occur and be sustained over time. In order to better understand the challenges to integrated planning for the reduction disadvantage, it also reports in detail the common barriers faced in formal policy and governance structures. The thesis also describes the informal strategies and tactics of urban planners in pursuing social logics despite the uncertain and at times unfavourable conditions revealed. Finally, it offers recommendations for the design of policy and urban governance structures to pursue integrated planning for reducing disadvantage, as well as a theoretical proposition for a phronetic Theory of Social Logics.
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    Tell him he's dreaming: the polemical drawing in postwar Melbourne
    Johns Putra, Yvette Grace ( 2017)
    Using the theories of Robin Evans and of Marco Frascari, this research identifies and describes a new kind of architects’ drawings, namely polemical drawings, which are characterised by their communication of architects’ ideologies, and skilful use of entourage, with an emphasis on human entourage. This research arose out of the pervasive and persistent appeal of architects’ drawings, especially hand-drawings. By showing the human hand, they have become, in recent decades, subject to fetishisation, and it has been argued that hand-drawings are better tools for design thinking than digital drawings. More importantly, architects’ drawings on the whole present themselves powerfully as artefacts, where they encapsulate not only architecture of a particular place and time, but also cultural, historical, political, and social aspects. Polemical drawings are notable in their articulation of the inherent qualities of architects’ drawings, such as cosmopoiesis (world-making) and storytelling, to convey their polemics to viewers. This research focuses on the context of Melbourne in the decades following World War II’s end, and the polemical drawings by William Hardy Wilson, Robin Boyd, and Edmond and Corrigan, where Hardy Wilson is significant as a proto-polemicist in Australian architecture, and Boyd and Edmond and Corrigan are, respectively, icons of Australia’s Modern and Postmodern movements. Through reading these architects’ polemical drawings, this research considers use of polemical drawings in Australia and Melbourne, where these drawings largely evince twentieth-century architects’ shifting attitudes towards suburbia and its ‘bad’ taste lifestyle, and where these attitudes are underpinned by questions of authenticity and identity in Australian architecture. This research shows the extent to which polemical drawings are engaged with their context, as seen in the reciprocal relationship between polemical drawings and postwar Melbourne, and how postwar Melbourne was demonstrably compelling for the promulgation of polemical drawings. With consideration of the potential of architects’ drawings as artefacts, reading polemical drawings shows itself to be a novel and useful tool towards understanding or revealing more about their context. This research proposes that the reading of polemical drawings would be a strong addition to historians’ analytical repertoires, as approaches similar to this research may be applied to other places and times.
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    Planning for dogs in urban environments
    Carter, Simon Bruce ( 2016)
    Dogs are the most common pet in Australia and increasingly occupy both social and cultural norms. There is a growing interest in more-than-human geography and my thesis extends this critical concern to the planning of urban environments as a human habitat. Contemporary literature in more-than-human geography typically and unconsciously anthropomorphises the experience of those other species and in turn accounts for other species from a human perspective. My thesis recognises this gap and endeavours to provide a critical account of planning for dogs through a lens of justice for animals. My research problem is predicated on the basis that Australian society lacks consensus on the appropriate treatment of dogs in urban environments, reflecting in local differentiation of opportunities available to dogs and yielding different outcomes of justice for dogs. My thesis accordingly examines how institutions and planners affect such freedoms through their language and actions. My thesis comprises a similar systems case study design that examines the phenomenon of planning for dogs using the case of Melbourne, a city of four million people and the capital of the state of Victoria, Australia, through the institutional discourse of eight representative councils (local government authorities). In order to critically address the fundamental uncertainty of anthropomorphism introduced by the dependent companion relationship, I elect to examine the discourse of government institutions as a credible, consistent and comparable reflection of society. Themes and theory emerge from the data through a disciplined application of qualitative content analysis underpinning a grounded theorisation of planning for dogs in cities. An operational framework describing justice for dogs is developed from first principles, suggesting the importance of animal management, open space planning and urban planning professions in planning for dogs. These roles demonstrate a clear ontological distinction, with the dominance of ontology shown to be exceedingly important to understanding planning for dogs. In operationalising a justice for dogs, I capture the pervasive anthropocentrism of planning which manifests in the animal management practices of councils and in how human agency is defined and exercised in the process and outcomes of planning for dogs. Whilst my thesis is ostensibly about planning urban environments and the role of local government, it also contributes to the social sciences more broadly. My approach distinguishes from what may be typical to other more-than-human geography literature through its treatment of planning for dogs as attending to underlying considerations of justice for dogs. A natural concordance with the justice as capabilities (derived from the Capabilities Approach espoused by Sen and Nussbaum) emerges, suggesting more authentic and just outcomes for dogs than in the utilitarian anthropocentric tradition where actions are guided by the demarcation of humans from animals. My thesis is a valuable contribution to this growing body of more-than-human geography literature and advances the philosophy of planning of urban environments beyond humanity, in doing so strengthening the bonds which connect the broader social sciences.
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    Desiring docklands : Deleuze and urban planning discourse
    Wood, Stephen Nigel ( 2003)
    This thesis is about urban planning processes associated with the Melbourne Docklands area, some 220 hectares of public land and water adjacent to the central city of Melbourne. More specifically, it is about how these processes make sense of the world and how this `making of sense' has worked to order the Docklands' landscape. More specifically still, it is about fundamental changes in the form and content of Melbourne Docklands planning discourse, between 1989 and 1999, which would seem to represent a radical departure from planning's `normal paradigm', the rational comprehensive model. The thesis draws on the philosophy of Gilles Deleuze to provide an account of these changes, considering how Deleuze's concepts provide a certain `orientation' for thinking about urban planning practice, one which directs thought towards immanent engagement with the virtual forces (of desire, of movement, of time, amongst others) underpinning the production of space. It examines how these forces are expressed in Melbourne Docklands planning discourse, with a view to understanding how the discourse `works' to support processes of social desiring-production and the exercise of control power under capitalism. In the analysis of this discourse, the thesis outlines an account of urban planning practice as flows of desire and capital. It will show how such discourse moved from a grounding in site, history and community, through an unbounded, ungrounded and dream-like phase of deterritorialization, to a process of reterritorialization with the production of new identities and desires. The thesis concludes with an examination of what this analysis entails for understandings of; urban planning practice; urban planning's relationship to capital; the exercise of power in urban planning; the 'discursive turn' in urban studies; the relationship between theories of space-time and urban planning; and the relevance to urban planning of certain key Deleuzean concepts.
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    Development of a visual compatability model for suburban landscape : a pilot study in City of Melbourne and its eastern suburbs
    Lee, Chun-Yuen ( 2003)
    The aim of this research project is to develop a procedure which will lead to the development of a landscape model, applicable to the urban and suburban landscape in Melbourne or other cities. Such a model will enable landuse planners to deal with the intricate problem of conflicts between visual character of a place and the threat of development impacts likely to impinge on the character. The author is interested in identifying and quantifying the visual characters and gauging the public perception of these characters so that a landscape model can be developed. It can be in the form of a set of equations, a list of significant factors in quantitative or descriptive format, a measuring scale of preference scores or a combination of these. The intent is to devise a comprehensive method which would be useful as a tool in assisting landscape planners and designers in decision-making about preserving existing landscape character subject to development pressure or changes. The landscape model may consist of predictive, quantitative, descriptive or perceptual landscape sub-model or some combination of these sub-models. Its role is to provide a yardstick for planners to process development proposal by comparing how the potential impacts would affect the original site with the standard landscape model. Firstly, it is necessary to look at how to identify the landscape character of residential landscape. From literature review and site analysis, five key visual landscape factors contributing to the landscape characters were identified. The factors are Vegetation, Land, Density, Design and View, most of which can be quantified under a set of criteria in any specific residential area. Amongst these factors, Vegetation has been the most popular subject in past literature in landscape assessment studies. There were other landscape studies involving some aspects of the factors of Land and View. However, very little research has explored components of the Density and Design factors. Public perception surveys are also a useful means of measuring residents' preference about their living environment which is considered to be a more objective or rigorous valuation procedure. Field and public perception surveys combined with expert judgments are employed to identify the following: the visual characteristics of a place ; the landscape types of residential suburbs in Melbourne; the public perception of visual characteristics of these suburbs ; the development of a Composite Landscape Model consisting of the following landscape sub-models: 1) Predictive Landscape Sub-Model 2) Quantitative Landscape Sub-Model 3) Descriptive Landscape Sub-Model 4) Perceptual Landscape Sub-Model From analysis of the field and perception surveys, sixty streets from fifteen eastern suburbs in Melbourne have been classified into three groups of residential landscape types. Quantitative factors showing significant correlation with suburban visual appeal were identified from correlation and regression studies. Categorical and descriptive factors were analyzed by paired t-test, ANOVA and multiple response analysis. Multi-dimensioning scale analysis is used for identifying the extent of variation in certain characteristics of suburbs and their groupings. The results of perception surveys from Melbourne and Hong Kong were compared and found to be highly correlated which is consistent with other cross-cultural preferences studies elsewhere in the past and therefore were combined for further analysis. The results formed the basis for the development of Composite Landscape Models for the study area as a whole and landscape sub-types for sixty streets from fifteen suburbs within it. These landscape models and types can be developed by quantifying the key factors contributing to visual characteristics and by carrying out public perception surveys in specific areas. This would lead to the development of Visual Compatibility Models (VCM). The application of these ICI would be useful in comparison of the possible changes caused by the proposed development with the predetermined VCM landscape models. It will assist landuse planners to assess the merits and demerits of any development whether it would contribute to the existing visual characteristic and how well. Therefore this procedure would be useful in decision making in dealing with development and planning proposals. The findings of the research appear to be promising in the determination of visual characteristics and landscape types and demonstrate its potential in developing a landscape model aiming at preserving or even enhancing the visual character of a place. This research appears to be timely given that the Victorian Government intends to consolidate the sprawl of residential areas around Melbourne by increasing the density of residential landuse in the suburbs which would have implications for the visual character of these suburbs.
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    Hybrid representations : the public architecture of migrant communities in Melbourne
    Beynon, David ( 2002)
    Given the extent to which cultural diversity is intrinsic to Melbourne's self image, it is surprising that a glance through architectural publications reveals a general absence of architecture for or by the city's increasing population of non-Western origins. However, a trip through suburban Melbourne reveals substantial areas of the city are being physically transformed by the architectural interventions of a multiplicity of cultures, as different communities adapt and construct their own public buildings. A clue to the lack of interest lies in the architectural character of these buildings. They often appear traditional, even hyper-traditional, in expression. The traditions alluded to are also ones unfamiliar to the. Western-oriented eye. Consequently they lie outside Western preconceptions of architectural development. I would suggest that the emergence of their forms in the contemporary Australian city confounds conventional notions of what constitutes 'Australian architecture'. To investigate this suggestion, the buildings of Melbourne's non-Western immigrants are critically evaluated within the theoretical frameworks of multiculturalism, diasporic cultures and postcolonialism. Their architecture has a hybrid character, the precedents for their form and detail being inflected and translated through migrancy and settlement. At the same time, they help to create a new sense of place for their disparate communities. In doing so, they are forming the framework for new layers of Melbourne, and so their establishment problematises conventional perceptions of Australian multiculturalism and national identity. The critical evaluation of such non-Western building in Australia also complicates the epistemological boundaries of western-dominated architectural discourse. The increasing presence of these buildings suggests that it cannot be assumed that all paths lead to Western modernity. It is argued that the architecture of such buildings embodies orientations that are not easily assimilated into the dominant taste-culture, and so have a certain resistance to the commodification that seems to befall architectural avant-gardes. These buildings could be described as harbingers of a 'postwestern' culture for Australia, signalling that the architectural cultures of the non-West are not simply reducible to the dead-end lower branches of Bannister Fletcher's famously Eurocentric tree of architectural history. They instead herald a possible shifting of the West from the position of centrality that it has taken for granted since the days of conquest and colonialism, and open up new possibilities for cultural entanglement and multiplicity.
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    The retreat from public planning in Melbourne 1972-1999
    Moloney, Susie ( 2001)
    This thesis investigates the shift towards market-led urban policy and planning practice in Melbourne over recent decades with a particular focus on the 1990s when the Liberal-National Coalition were in office in Victoria. In the context of inter-city competition and the emergence of neo-liberalism there has been a retreat from public planning and the pursuit of social and environmental goals in shaping the city. The choices and strategies adopted in other cities reveal that the purpose and process of planning does not necessarily require the exclusion of social and environmental goals despite the pressure for governments to become more entrepreneurial. Public sector planning has experienced a number of challenges to the extent that its meaning or purpose has become uncertain. In its modernist guise, planning was a state-led technocratic activity largely concerned with the physical dimensions of urban development. During the 1960s and 1970s planning was criticised from both the right and the left, for attempting to impose a static order on a complex and changing world and for not accounting for difference and the needs of the community in its decision making process. As the focus of western politics shifted sharply to the right during the 1980s and 1990s, planning became one of the many casualties of the trend towards reducing the size and scope of government, privatisation and using economic efficiency criteria to determine public policy. As a result, the social and environmental dimensions of planning have become sidelined in favour of economic growth goals and market principles. This study shows how planning in Melbourne has been particularly shaped by the ideology of the right or neo-liberalism during the 1990s as well as the shift toward urban entrepreneurialism and place-marketing practices. A selection of choices and strategies adopted by the State Government and Melbourne City Council are examined and contrasted with similar metropolitan and central city planning initiatives in two comparable cities, Vancouver and Copenhagen. While Melbourne has chosen a narrow economic growth model for developing urban policy and planning practice, Vancouver and Copenhagen have maintained a more balanced agenda in determining the shape of their cities. The research shows that public participation, inter-governmental and inter-agency co-ordination and the pursuit of social justice and environmental sustainability are critically important in `revaluing' urban policy and planning in the future for the purpose of creating the `just-city'.