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13 October 2018

Urban Design for Regional NSW A guide for creating healthy built environments in regional NSW

 The draft Urban Design Guide for Regional NSW: A Guide for Creating Healthy Built Environments in Regional NSW has been prepared by the Government Architect NSW in collaboration with the Department of Planning & Environment and is currently on public exhibition.

The Guide acknowledges that design is integral to creating healthy, happy and prosperous communities in regional NSW with a high quality of life.

It builds on the objectives and values of Better Placed: An Integrated Design Policy for the Built Environment of NSW (“Better Placed“) which describes the process to achieve good urban design and to assess built environment outcomes in NSW.

Purpose of the Guide

The Guide aims to:

Foster better urban design methods through the objectives and processes of Better Placed;

Address the conditions that characterise regional NSW;

Promote well-designed and healthy built environments;

Create clear and workable guidelines for a broad range of users;

Address the identified regional urban design priorities; and

Support and complement the regional plans.

The Guide is not a statutory document however it supports the new object of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 to ‘promote good design and amenity of the built environment.’

The Guide also seeks to implement the 9 regional plans for NSW by responding to actions to prepare regional urban design guidelines for planning, designing and developing healthy built environments.

It provides support to local and state government, design practitioners and the public by explaining the processes and steps required for good urban design in regional NSW.

It responds to an identified urban design resource gap in NSW, the recognition of the impact of good quality design on regional communities, and the need for targeted practical assistance.

Seven urban design priorities for NSW

The Guide identifies the following 7 urban design priorities for creating well-designed built environments which need to be addressed through implementing good design at all levels:

    leveraging the historical and cultural assets of places;

    integrating with the natural environment and landscape;

    revitalising main streets and regional town centres;

    improving connectivity, walkability and cycling;

    balancing urban growth;

    increasing options for diverse and healthy living; and

    responding to climate impacts.


The Guide also demonstrates how the urban design priorities should be applied to the typical urban design project types in rural NSW which are: public realm and open space; town centres and main streets; infill development in existing neighbourhoods and greenfield develpoment in new neighbourhood.

The consultation period on the Guide ends on 31 October 2018.

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Urban Design for Regional NSW A guide for creating healthy built environments in regional NSW 13 October 2018

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