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March 2018
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CFRC Report Launch
On 8 March, we launched the Making Better Economic Cases for Housing report. The event started with an overview of the report findings from lead researcher, internationally renowned housing economist and City Futures visiting Professor Duncan Maclennan. He outlined the crucial role of appropriate, well-located, affordable housing for realising urban productivity potential and economic growth. This was followed by a robust discussion among a full auditorium and an expert panel that also included Judy Yates, Jennifer Westacott and Marcus Spiller. Many thanks to our hosts, funding partners, panelists and attendees for making it such a successful evening. The research was commissioned by NSW Federation of Housing Associations, with support from the Greater Sydney Commission. The report is part of the background material that has informed the NSW Government’s recently released Greater Sydney Region Plan. Also a big thank you to our event sponsor PAYCE
New AHURI reports on private rental international comparison and affordable housing supply
Our research on international changes in private rental housing was published by AHURI in January. The project, led by Dr Chris Martin and including Professor Hal Pawson, Professor Kath Hulse (Swinburne University) and four international experts, reviewed the private rental sectors of ten countries in Australasia, Europe and North America, with a view to identifying innovations in rental housing policies and markets that Australia might try to emulate or avoid. International comparisons also give a different perspective on aspects of Australia’s own rental housing institutions that might otherwise be taken for granted.
Issues covered include the fast pace of financial-driven change, particularly in countries that had experienced a housing crash, and the rise of large corporate landlords. You can read the report and summaries here and an article on The Conversation.
A new Final Report (by Professor Bill Randolph, Dr. Laurence Troy, A/Professor Vivienne Milligan and Dr Ryan van den Nouwelant) that examined how planning mechanisms can support new affordable housing supply was also published. We found that planning mechanisms widely and successfully used internationally have not been employed effectively across Australia. The relative outcomes of South Australia (where 17% of all new homes have been delivered through affordable housing planning mechanisms) and NSW (where the figure is closer to 1%) gave us insight into the factors of successful intervention. We found planning mechanisms work best when embedded in strategic planning processes, to ensure land values account for the inclusion of affordable housing, and to ensure yield increases are within community expectations and site constraints. We also found that wider government support for affordable housing supply was integral to ensuring certainty and acceptance in the planning mechanisms among stakeholders. 
Launch of Multi-Owned Properties Research Hub
A/Professor Hazel Easthope has partnered with a group of academics and lawyers around Australia to launch a new online platform for research on multi-owned properties from around the world. The Multi-Owned Properties Research Hub houses research papers submitted by academics, researchers and other sector professionals on an open-access (free) platform. If you have an interest in apartment living, master-planned estates, common-interest developments or strata and condominium governance then this will be a useful resource. 
Taking City Analytics, ESP and EVISION out west
The Community co-design of low carbon precincts for urban regeneration in established suburbs project in Blacktown is now moving from baby steps into some more mature steps… It has been an intense few weeks in the project.
During February, the team delivered training sessions on specific scenario planning tools (Envision and ESP) developed as an integral part of this project. What’s more, a comprehensive site analysis report has been developed and handed over to participants. In addition, earlier this month we made an important milestone, as group of participants convened to discuss about future design scenarios of the proposed location. Two sub groups simultaneously worked on design scenarios, with one using the ESP tool on-the-fly as part of their design work. The workshop was a great success, and we are now moving on to develop the feasibility model and seek endorsement from the city council. Watch out for our State of Australian Cities Conference paper to be published soon on the Australian Policy Online.
Leading Locals!
City Wellbeing has been involved in two initiatives to enhance leadership in placemaking and governance at the local level. Place Leaders Asia Pacific recently conducted its annual awards for excellence in placemaking, and City Wellbeing director Professor Susan Thompson was part of the three-person jury team. Projects from across Australia demonstrated an array of approaches to large and small scale placemaking, as well as exemplary processes to bring local communities and stakeholders together to achieve great place outcomes. Also this month, Sydney’s Inner West Council conducted a ‘Roundtable’ bringing local leaders together to discuss innovative ideas for one of Sydney’s most vibrant localities. With an emphasis on forming partnerships across different disciplines and professional backgrounds, there was some great discussion about how to improve liveability and health for the Inner West – all grist to the mill for City Wellbeing! The outcomes of the Roundtable will feed into the IWC’s Strategic Planning Process.
Urban Renewal Community Survey reports
The latest Green Square and Ashmore Community Survey reports are now published online. The surveys, undertaken for the City of Sydney in 2017, provide valuable information about the nature of social cohesion and social interaction in these urban areas that are part of major urban renewal initiatives in Australia. The City of Sydney intends for the survey to be undertaken on a recurring basis over coming years, to monitor changes to the social fabric over time as these urban renewal areas develop. The survey findings will be used to inform the City’s investments and activities across a range of areas, including community development, civic engagement, communications, place-making, land use planning, open space and public domain planning, and local business development. The reports can be accessed here.
City Futures going overseas
E/Professor Bruce Judd has recently completed his one-year Progress 100 Grant with Kyushu University in Fukuoka, Japan, by hosting an international symposium, From Room to Region: Age-friendly Environmental Design and Planning in the Western Asia-Pacific, earlier this month. He was joined by City Futures’ Dr Edgar Liu and BE’s Associate Dean Research, Professor Catherine Bridge, as well as 9 other presenters from Japan, China, Australia and New Zealand. This symposium featured presentations covering environmental design and planning considerations of ageing populations across the spectrum of living spaces including the room, dwelling, neighbourhood and region. E/Professor Judd will next be joined by A/Professor Hazel Easthope on a new grant from Kyushu University to study the resident-led redevelopment of the large Muromi Danchi housing precinct with Professor Kenichi Tanoue over two years in Fukuoka, Japan. Earlier this year, Professor Susan Thompson was also invited by the New Zealand Government to be a panel member for the Building Better Homes Towns and Cities Science Challenge mid-way review. This follows Susan’s participation in the initial assessment panel back in 2015. 
Exciting new projects commencing this quarter
NSW Landcom has commissioned City Futures to investigate the question: how can an Australian ‘Build to Rent’ product contribute to urban renewal and affordable housing supply? In a country where almost all residential development is sold to individual purchasers, and ownership of private rental housing is dominated by small-holding ‘mums and dads’, the prospect of a Build to Rent sector has risen quickly up the agenda of policy makers and the property sector. Pointing to equivalent sectors in the US and the UK, proponents claim that built-to-rent will add to housing supply and provide more secure tenancies – but questions remain about how it may take shape, and what opportunities it might provide for affordable housing. Led by Professor Hal Pawson, the research team includes Dr Chris Martin and Dr Ryan van den Nouwelant and colleagues at Macquarie University and the London School of Economics. The project will report early in the second half of 2018.

City Future Research Centre’s Professor Chris Pettit and Dr Simone Leao, together with colleagues at BE’s Smart Cities Research Cluster, have been awarded a UNSW-Tsinghua University Collaborative Research Fund seed grant for a Knowledge Exchange project on “Data Augmented Design” for Sustainable Cities, which involves two workshops in 2018: one at the Beijing City Lab and one here at City Futures Research Centre.

Together with several BE colleagues, Dr Edgar Liu is part of a successful team that recently commenced a new project that will explore the barriers and drivers the development industry in NSW to exceed minimum BASIX requirements for new builds. To be conducted over the next 12 months, this project will provide important policy recommendations for governments to encourage developers of different sizes and those that cater to different market segments to build more energy efficient homes.

 

CityBlog posts Q1 2018 (most recent first)

CFRC books, refereed journal articles, AHURI reports and other publications - Q1 2018

Conrow, L., Wentz, E., Nelson, T., & Pettit, C. (2018). Comparing spatial patterns of crowdsourced and conventional bicycling datasets. Applied Geography, 92, 21-30.
Easthope, H,. Liu, E., Buckle, C., Thompson, S. (2018). MyPlace Ashmore Community Survey 2017. City of Sydney
Easthope, H., Liu, E., Buckle, C., Thompson, S. (2018). MyPlace Green Square Community Survey 2017. City of Sydney. 

Liu, E. Y. (2018). Book review: Hal Kendig , Peter McDonald and John Piggott (eds), Population Ageing and Australia's Future, ANU Press, Canberra, 2016, 317 pp., Ageing and Society, 38(3), 647-649.
Martin, C. (2018). Clever Odysseus: narratives and strategies of rental property investor subjectivity in Australia. Housing Studies.
Martin, C., Hulse, K., Pawson, H., Kofner, S., Hayden, A., Stephens, M., & Schwartz, A. (2018). The changing institutions of private rental housing: an international review: AHURI Final Report (292). Melbourne: Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute Ltd.
Pettit, C., Bakelmun, A., Lieske, S. N., Glackin, S., Hargroves, K. C., Thomson, G., Newman, P. (2017). Planning support systems for smart cities. City, Culture and Society.
Zarpelon Leao, S., Troy, L., Lieske, S., Randolph, B., & Pettit, C. (2018). A GIS based planning support system for assessing financial feasibility of urban redevelopment. GeoJournal.

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