Friday, July 09, 2010

Greater Springfield Master-plan

ABC Radio "By Design" featured a segment on the master-planned Queensland city, "Greater Springfield": "First there was Canberra, now there's Greater Springfield" (23 June 2010). This compared the Greater Springfield master-plan with the plan for Canberra. The Griffins' 1991 plan for Canberra is still held by the National Archives in Canberra, along with some of the alternative proposals.

The original plan of Canberra is now available online and is a world famous example of city planning. This consists of detailed maps, schematic diagrams of city functions, artist's renderings of the city skyline and a written description of the rational behind it. The claim that Greater Springfield is Australia's second second master planned city after Canberra, seemed nonsense on the face of it. An example of a modern city masterplan, is the Toowoomba City Centre Master Plan. This consists of nine documents and a sustainability report.

So I thought it would be useful to check if such a "master plan" actually exists, or if this was just a spoof based on the TV show "The Simpson's"

I was able to find that "Greater Springfield", Queensland, Australia, did win the Master Plan Category for Springfield Land Corporation at the FIABCI Prix d'Excellence Awards 2010.

PDT Architects are described as having completed a master plan for "Education City", within "Greater Springfield", in a newsletter from the Corporation.

On the PDT Architects web site I found a description of the "Education City" master plan developed in 2004 and revised in 2006. However, I was unable to find a copy of the the "Education City" master plan. Given that this is a six year old plan for a city, it should be a public document.

The nearest thing to a detailed description of the masterplan I could find was a 327 page PHD dissertation "Public Pedagogies, Place and Identity: An ethnographic study of an emerging postmodern community", by Andrew Hickey, USQ, 2008.

On page 20 of Objection Number 529 to the The Federal Redistribution 2009 by Bernie Ripoll MP (21 August 2009) I found Attachment C, labelled "The Greater Springfield Plan". This has a one page map, which appears to have been reproduced from the Corporation's web site: "A Guide to Australia's Greatest New City". However, this document is dated Thu 11 Jun 2009 10:32:00 EST and so cannot be the original master plan. An examination of the folder this document was contained in shows a document captioned "SPRINGFIELD TOWN CENTRE PARKLANDS, ILLUSTRATIVE MASTERPLAN, APRIL 2009" (Mon 27 Apr 2009 11:05:06 EST) and "SPRINGFIELD TOWN CENTRE PARKLANDS, ILLUSTRATIVE MASTERPLAN, NOVEMBER 2008" (Wed 26 Nov 2008 14:20:06 EST). These (along with JPG versions of the same) were the only documents labelled "Masterplan" in the folder and none were older than 2008. There may well be the definitive "Greater Springfield" master plan somewhere, but so far I can't find it.

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