Many cities have up to 30 percent of their land area consumed by streets. “In the future, this may not be the most productive use of land”, says event coordinator and Executive Director of Smart Cities Council Australia & New Zealand, Adam Beck. The half-day event will bring together engineers, landscape architects, planners, architects, technologists, and policy makers. Through a series of curated presentations, panel discussions, and interviews, the role of the street in the future will be challenged from many perspectives.
The event is embracing the convergence of the emerging concepts of complete streets, smart streets, and green streets. “Our streets are the perfect opportunity to design for social outcomes, and environmental outcomes, as opposed to just being corridors for car movement, says Shahana McKenzie, CEO of the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects.
Streets 2.0 will explore the functions of our streets now, and into the future. With global trends indicating that biking and walking is increasing and automobile use decreasing, it is imperative that we plan for these changing patterns. With many cities around Australia now establishing targets for increasing urban tree canopy coverage, through street trees, it is critical that we accelerate this opportunity to help build resiliency to climate change. McKenzie also highlights that street trees are a critical economic development opportunity, as they “provide the essential shade that our retailers need to attract customers.”
“One of the most exciting opportunities we could see in our streets in the future is our ability to unlock more productive spaces in and around our streets as autonomous and connected vehicles come on-line,” says Beck.
“We need to engage in this discussion in a deep way, now, so we are prepared to take advantage of the opportunity for increasing the walking, cycling, transit and green street strategies in the coming years.”
Streets 2.0 is being framed as a critical discussion that is likely to be transferred to other major cities around the country to ensure practitioners and policy makers alike are sufficiently engaged in the future development of our streets. Registration is available via the AILA website.
The event is proudly sponsored by Street Furniture Australia, WE-EF lighting, ACO Australia and Andreasens Green and is supported by Industry partners Engineers Australia, The Planning Institute of Australia, Consult Australia, Committee for Sydney and the ISCA.