Sydney, 28 August 2014: Australia has a unique
opportunity to lead best practice in urban renewal projects that
generate social and economic benefits for local communities and
create "smart cities" that attract global talent and
investment, according to the authors of a new publication launched
A joint initiative of Clayton Utz and KPMG, the Urban Renewal
Guidebook 2014 (the Guidebook) reflects the
combined experience of partners in each firm who have acted as
business and legal advisers to a range of stakeholders, including
governments, development authorities, developers, and private
investors, on some of Australia's most prominent urban renewal
The Urban Renewal Guidebook contains an overview of the key
factors critical to the success of urban renewal projects. These
include the identification of appropriate sites, a consultative
approach to planning and design that considers historical context,
incentives for private sector investment, project risk allocation,
approach to tendering, and community consultation and engagement.
The Guidebook also features case studies highlighting 'best
practice' in urban renewal projects both in Australia and in
major international cities.
Clayton Utz partner Gary
Best, one of the Guidebook's authors, says Australian
governments at all levels have the opportunity to show leadership
in their approach to urban renewal to deliver the best possible
outcomes for all stakeholders.
"In our experience, urban renewal projects that have a
clear vision and objectives and encourage a collaborative and
consultative approach to the project's design, planning and
delivery have the most success in delivering maximum benefits to
users, residents, and the broader community over the long
term," says Mr Best.
"The Barangaroo redevelopment in Sydney, for example - the
largest urban renewal project being undertaken in Australia - is an
example of a world-class project in planning, design and delivery
that will deliver a wide range of economic and social benefits.
These include increased tourism spend, employment opportunities,
investment from businesses both locally and overseas, cultural
facilities and public amenities.
"Other cities are also realising the benefits of urban
renewal projects in their ability to attract future investment and
global talent to create "smart cities" for the future.
The Toronto Waterfront project in Canada for example, a 25 year,
A$35.5 billion project that will transform industrial sites into
sustainable, mixed-used communities and dynamic public spaces, is
an example of this."
KPMG partner Graham Brooke, who also contributed his experience
to the Guidebook, says as well as clearly articulating the
project's vision, engaging the community early on to share in
that vision is key. "The reality is that most major projects
aimed at changing the use of an area tend to meet considerable
opposition at some point in their development lifecycle. It's
important from the outset to communicate a clear vision for the
project and involve the community and other key stakeholders in its
Mr Brooke says integrating transport infrastructure into urban
renewal plans also plays a major part in a project's success.
"London's Canary Wharf redevelopment, for many years
considered a failure, is an example of an urban renewal project
that has successfully incorporated local economic benefits and
integrated transportation to achieve the project's vision of
creating a new economic and professional hub within London. Much of
the success of the Canary Wharf renewal can be attributed to the
developer's proactivity towards improving transport links to
the area," says Mr Brooke.
"Our experience demonstrates that there is a strong case
for project sponsors to ensure that their urban renewal projects
are effectively integrated into the existing transit networks.
Government also has significant capacity to influence the delivery
of infrastructure - public transit or otherwise - as part of the
broader urban renewal program."
Clayton Utz communications are intended to provide
commentary and general information. They should not be relied upon
as legal advice. Formal legal advice should be sought in particular
transactions or on matters of interest arising from this bulletin.
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