codesigning urban landscapes

UNSW Sydney - Semester 2 2019.

Project Description

How might co-designing with community in growing suburbs enhance thriveability of places for people and natural landscapes?

The study area for this tactical urbanism project is located along the Cooks River to Iron Cove GreenWay, a 5.8km environmental and sustainable transport corridor through Sydney’s Inner West. A long term project initiated by the local community and local councils, the corridor features bike paths and foreshore walks, heritage sites, cafes, community bush care sites, a heritage canal and a range of parks, playgrounds and sporting facilities. The Inner West light rail follows the GreenWay corridor and passes through several inner-city growth precincts expected to grow by 8-12,000 new dwellings over the next 20 years.

As a tactical urbanism project, the studio targeted the public spaces around the light rail stop. Engaged with the social, built and environmental qualities of the precinct to re-envision a new, activated and authentic urban landscape. It was hoped that the project will enhance the capacity of the community and council to identify with and shape their new place, by leveraging old, established contexts and the more recent urban transformation

The studio adopted a practical placemaking approach, which takes evidence from a range of council staff (placemaking, community engagement, public domain design, engineering etc.) and professional experience provided by industry partners to develop design concepts. These spatial proposals will be co-created with stakeholders’ active participation and then tested against community aspirations.

Learning Methodology

This studio is run as an intensive studio with 1 day a week throughout 9 weeks. The students will be immersed in the community; having an opportunity to take all lessons at the Community Hub allowing the students to experience the area in depth. The studio is open to all built environment disciplines with assessment strategies adapted to allow skill development and evaluation based on their future role as placemakers.

Students will work collaboratively in small groups to plan, design and implement strategies for community engagement. Then, their designs will reflect and respond to the community perceptions gathered during this engagement. Each group will be expected to manage their budget, safety and policies of the Newport area.

How does this studio match PlaceAgency Objectives?

The studio created an opportunity for students to adopt placemaking strategies for meaningful community engagement. Exposing students to a real world project and local community, students had to find authentic community engagement design ideas to implement. They explored the challenges of designing spaces that include the needs of all community members. Students were encouraged to adopt the role of facilitator rather than designer.

Activities – Studio Outline

ActivityDescriptionKey dates for activitiesKey learning objectives
Micro-installationsEphemeral art installations and behavioral observationsOct 16thsite analysis
Co-design session 1Nature keepers and naturesNov 6thempathy and deep listening, community engagement
Co-design session 2Cultures and PeopleNov 20thempathy and deep listening, community engagement
Public presentationExhibition and project contestNov 30thverbal communication
Project LaunchOnsite project implementationDec 7thteamwork and collaboration

Location Description



The following students are enrolled in this studio and have chosen to appear on the Place Agency website. You may access more information about them and their interests by clicking each of their photos.

Nadine Carrick

This subject is available to students enrolled in UNSW Sydney throughout Semester 2 2019.

I am enrolled in this studio, add me to the studio profile.
Studio Leaders
Elisa PalazzoElisa Palazzo
Project champion

Nick Chapman

University of New South Wales

University of New South Wales

Sally Kidall

Sally Kidall

- Architecture
- Landscape Architecture
- Planning
- Construction