The Property Council of Australia (SA Division) has thrown its weight behind a radical new approach to urban design that promises the biggest makeover of Adelaide since SA Premier Playford envisaged Elizabeth.
At today’s Property Council seminar, Executive Director Nathan Paine announced the Council’s call for an Urban Renewal Commission to oversee the implementation of Transit Oriented Development projects – or TOD, throughout Adelaide. Mr Paine described TOD as the new global paradigm for housing growing populations in a sustainable way.
“Few people still question that Adelaide is set for unprecedented population growth, and given the environmental pressures that are also growing, it is imperative that we look at new ways of doing things,” Mr Paine said.
“TOD is the practice of locating medium to high density housing on or very close to hard transit lines, such as trains and trams, to facilitate better linkages between residential, employment and commercial land.
“By reducing reliance on private vehicles, TOD has massive potential for reducing the community’s transport-related greenhouse emissions.
“It also presents another option for housing our growing population rather than relying solely on urban expansion.”
The Council also revealed its “discussion starter map” of locations for TOD which shows potential and existing rail corridors – some light rail, some heavy – and locations for urban renewal where TOD activity centres could be built.
“Even before the State Government’s visionary extension of the Glenelg to Adelaide tramway there has been a clamour for a light rail extension down Port Road,” Mr Paine says.
“We want to start a debate about the best locations for TOD, but we believe completing a ‘beach to bay’ arc from Glenelg to the Port is a great place to start.”
The Property Council’s proposal outlines major TOD opportunity zones where housing densities could be significantly increased along transit lines. These include:
- A new line west down Port Road or via the existing rail corridor through Cheltenham to Port Adelaide with a spur line to West Lakes;
- the existing corridor to Glenelg
- a new line through North Adelaide and Prospect and
- the existing southern line with spurs to Goodwood and Mitcham.
In addition, TOD activity centres would be developed along these lines, where residential and other community amenities can thrive on integrated transport.
“We estimate that in selected areas along these lines, residential densities could be lifted from an average of about 20 dwellings per hectare to between 50-200 dwellings per hectare – potentially housing an extra 150,000 to 200,000 people,” Mr Paine says.
“It is acknowledged that this proposal would bring major changes to the face of Adelaide but major change is necessary and inevitable as we learn to minimise our contribution to climate change in the face of population and economic growth.
“This new approach to housing our growing population can also utilise and beautify defunct or underutilised industrial land, and higher population density brings critical mass that facilitates the delivery of more community services such as GPs, schools and child care.”
The TOD seminar is part of the Council’s Redesigning Adelaide 2050 series discussing the major urban design challenges facing Adelaide. Today’s seminar boasted some of the country’s foremost experts on TOD including Peter Newman from Curtin University in Western Australia.