JOURNAL/ Liveability/2019

The Liveability Debate

Bates Smart - New London Architecture: What makes a ‘liveable’ city?


Cities meet to discuss liveable density

    Over breakfast in London and cocktails in Melbourne last month, a live debate was hosted by independent consortium New London Architecture (NLA) and Bates Smart. Representatives from both cities discussed how to achieve a liveable, sustainable future for London and Melbourne.

    LONDON panel:
    Peter Murray, Chairman, New London Architecture
    Debbie Jackson, Interim Executive Director of Development Enterprise and Environment, Greater London Authority
    Selina Mason, Director of Masterplanning, Lendlease
    Tony Travers, Director, LSE

    MELBOURNE panel:
    Lord Mayor Sally Capp, City of Melbourne
    Rob Adams, Director of City Design and Projects, City of Melbourne
    Claire Grealy, Director, Urbis
    Cian Davis, Director, Bates Smart

    Both cities face complex challenges. Melbourne’s population is predicted to reach 8 million by 2051 and London will be home to around 11 million by 2050. Intensification, traffic, transport connectivity, wellbeing, green spaces and affordable housing are among the most critical issues. London adds unacceptable levels of air pollution to the list, along with a reluctance to promote tall buildings.

    Both cities are keen to further encourage walking, cycling and public transport use by making streets safe and pleasant to use, increasing green space where possible, and building appropriate infrastructure.

    The Lord Mayor of Melbourne, Sally Capp, said that the most pressing challenges also brought with them great opportunities and cited the huge development areas close to the CBD, such as Fishermans Bend, as offering the chance to create “something amazing” within a liveability framework.

    “We need to have the courage to actually tackle it and make sure it’s something that’s exemplary if it’s going to add significant value to our city in the decades to come,” she said.

    Read our report below for the key takeaways.

    Read more ...

    Event report - key takeways from the cityshapers

     “You have to demonstrate that you are providing benefits to a much wider constituency than yourself”

    Selina Mason

    Director, Masterplanning, LendLease UK

    It became clear in a recent live debate between London and Melbourne that the two cities share many commonalities, but equally different challenges around citymaking, from sheer population and density, to pavement congestion. Read our key takeaways.


    What does liveability mean to you?


     “If you design a good street, you design a good city”

    Rob Adams

    Director of City Design & Projects, City of Melbourne

    In this short film we asked our Melbourne panellists: Rob Adams, Sally Capp, Claire Grealy and Cian Davis to comment on liveability from their perspective.

    Upcoming research on liveability

     “We've reclaimed the concept of liveability from indices and measures and moved back towards creating genuinely uplifting urban experiences”

    Kellie Payne

    Director, Bates Smart

    ‘Liveability’ is a highly subjective concept and current definitions vary considerably. As such, Bates Smart has designed a methodology for creating highly liveable urban experiences which integrates our cross-sector experience with extensive qualitative and quantitative research.

    Our methodology can be applied throughout the design process,from ideation through to design development, to deliver essential design elements that together form highly successful places. Click here to register your interest for more information.


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