Urban Planning Glossary

Building, urban planning. Photo by Snapwire on Pexels.com

A list of some of the more important terms from urban planning used in the ACT.

Active uses – Active uses generate activity at the ground floor of buildings and include cafes, shop fronts and building entrances.

City And Gateway Urban Design Framework, December 2018, 76.

Age in place – A person who ages in place continues to live independently in their community in their original home, a downsized home, rented home (whether public or privately rented) or supported housing. The desire to ‘stay put’ reflects their attachment to the location. Home is also the source of personal confidence and financial security.

City And Gateway Urban Design Framework, December 2018, 76.

Asset Recycling Initiative – A Federal Government initiative that provides incentive payments to states and territories that sell assets and reinvest the sale proceeds to fund world-class infrastructure across Australia.

City And Gateway Urban Design Framework, December 2018, 76.

Blocks and sections – Blocks and sections are how areas of land are identified in the ACT. The city is divided into divisions, suburbs, sections and blocks. The Territory Plan zoning determines what activities/uses can occur on the blocks. Blocks are usually leased to one entity.

City And Gateway Urban Design Framework, December 2018, 76.

Boulevard – A wide well managed and maintained, often tree-lined avenue, designed to be responsive to adjacent land uses and create a pleasant user experience.

City And Gateway Urban Design Framework, December 2018, 76.

Built environment – All elements of the physical environment created by humans. The built environment includes buildings (dwelling, schools, shops, etc.), transportation infrastructure (streets, paths, bike paths, rail tracks, etc.), parks, public places, athletic equipment, etc.

City And Gateway Urban Design Framework, December 2018, 76.

Built form – Built form relates to the buildings, associated structures and surrounding public spaces.

City And Gateway Urban Design Framework, December 2018, 76.

City centre (or Civic) – An area that is bounded by Barry Drive to the north, Cooyong and Coranderrk Streets to the east, Parkes Way to the south and Kingsley, Hutton, Childers and Hales streets to the west. The city centre includes the ABC Flats and West Basin urban renewal sites.

City And Gateway Urban Design Framework, December 2018, 76.

Connectivity – Connections to streets, lanes and/or paths or between key city spaces and popular destinations, along with open spaces.

City And Gateway Urban Design Framework, December 2018, 76.

Ecological Connectivity – Spaces in the landscape (or corridors) for local native animals to move between the major areas of native vegetation.

City And Gateway Urban Design Framework, December 2018, 76.

Facade – The relationship of buildings to the site, street and neighbouring buildings (alignment, setbacks, boundary treatment) and the architectural expression of their building frontage (projections, openings, patterns and materials).

City And Gateway Urban Design Framework, December 2018, 76.

Fine grain – Fine grain describes the small-scale spaces that provide a vital layer of lower cost, diverse and often specialised activities within a place or building. While often associated with laneways and ‘hole in the wall retail’, fine grain activities can also occur on the major streets and in large buildings. It is the spatial and economic scale of the activity that determines whether it is part of the fine grain of a city or more the regular, larger scale uses.

City And Gateway Urban Design Framework, December 2018, 76.

Human scale – Human scale reflects a sympathetic relationship between the built form and human dimensions where people are not overwhelmed by the built form. Human scale contributes to a person’s perception of buildings or other features in the public domain. It is typically referred to when discussing the bulk and scale of development.

City And Gateway Urban Design Framework, December 2018, 76.

Land use zones – Land use zones are allocated by the Territory Plan to all land within the ACT. Zones define what land uses can or cannot occur on a piece of land. See more about the zoning system at http://www.legislation.act.gov.au/ni/2008-27.

City And Gateway Urban Design Framework, December 2018, 76.

Living infrastructure – Living infrastructure are natural systems and processes that can be harnessed to protect communities against excessive heat or flooding, improve air, soil and water quality and increase public amenity.

City And Gateway Urban Design Framework, December 2018, 76.

Mixed use – Mixed-use development involves a mix of complementary land uses, such as residential, small offices or convenience stores. This can include horizontal and vertical mixes.

City And Gateway Urban Design Framework, December 2018, 76.

Node – Kevin Lynch, the author of The Image of the City (1960) identified nodes as strategic focus points within cities like squares and junctions. Nodes, along with, paths, edges, districts and landmarks help people orientate or find their way and move through cities. The City and Gateway framework identifies urban nodes at specific locations along Northbourne Avenue that integrate building development around transit stops. Building development at nodes includes a broader variety of building uses to support residents, travellers and workers. Nodes along the gateway corridor are more urban in nature being venues for broader people focussed activities such as moving, shopping, waiting, talking, resting and working. These nodes also warrant a higher level of public realm provision and activities within ground floors of buildings to support these activities.

City And Gateway Urban Design Framework, December 2018, 76.

Place – A place comes in to existence when people give meaning to it. Places with a strong sense of place have an identity and character felt by local inhabitants.

City And Gateway Urban Design Framework, December 2018, 76.

Place making – A multi-faceted approach to the planning, design and management of public spaces. It involves looking at, listening to, and asking questions of the people who live, work and play in a particular space, to discover their needs and aspirations.

City And Gateway Urban Design Framework, December 2018, 76.

Public domain – Public domain refers to spaces that belong to or are available to the public, including parks, streets and other public spaces such as plazas, courtyards and open spaces.
RL 617 – RL 617 means 617 metres above sea level. It is the maximum height permitted in the city centre under the National Capital Plan, and is equal to the base of the flag pole of Parliament House.

City And Gateway Urban Design Framework, December 2018, 76.

Shared space (or shared zone) – Shared space (or shared zone) is a road or place where the road space is shared safely by vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians. A shared zone may include the removal of traffic lights, pedestrian barriers, road markings and kerbs to give equal priority to all users and require negotiation between users, such as Bunda Street in the City centre.

City And Gateway Urban Design Framework, December 2018, 77.

Social cohesion – A cohesive society works towards the wellbeing of all its members, fights exclusion and marginalisation, creates a sense of belonging, promotes trust, and offers its members the opportunity of upward mobility.

City And Gateway Urban Design Framework, December 2018, 77.

Solar access – Solar access is the ability of a building or public space to receive sunlight without obstruction from other buildings.
Spatial framework – Spatial framework sets out the long-term structure of an area, such as a town centre. It shows how land use, public domain and connections could be arranged and delivered.

Streetscape – The design of public spaces such as streets, open spaces and pathways, and includes landscaping, microclimate, shading and planting.

City And Gateway Urban Design Framework, December 2018, 77.

Surveillance (or passive surveillance) – Surveillance (or passive surveillance) is the ‘eyes on the street’ from residents and people going about their daily activities to create a sense of safety on streets and public spaces.

City And Gateway Urban Design Framework, December 2018, 77.

Visual cues – Visual cues are elements in the public domain that contribute to a person’s understanding of a place. For example, higher or unique elements provide an understanding that you are approaching a node.

City And Gateway Urban Design Framework, December 2018, 77.

Water sensitive urban design (WSUD) – Water sensitive urban design is the planning, design or construction of the built environment to minimise water runoff and ensure any runoff causes the least amount of damage. It is also about the wise use of that water to improve our urban environment, such as the Dickson Wetlands.

City And Gateway Urban Design Framework, December 2018, 77.

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