On the fringe of regeneration: what role for greenfield development and innovative urban futures?



Publication Details

Ruming, K., Mee, K., McGuirk, P. & Sweeney, J. (2018). On the fringe of regeneration: what role for greenfield development and innovative urban futures?. In K. Ruming (Ed.), Urban Regeneration in Australia: Policies, Processes and Projects of Contemporary Urban Change (pp. 353-376). Abingdon, United Kingdom: Routledge.


Australia is a suburban nation. An estimated 77 per cent of the population of the 16 largest cities live in suburban neighbourhoods and 78 per cent of population growth 2006-2011 occurred in suburban locations (Gordon et al. 2015). Fringe development continues at a rapid rate, despite decades of explicit consolidation policies (Burton 2015; Dodson 2010). Given its continued importance, exploring how fringe suburban growth happens is vital to understanding how contemporary Australian cities are being regenerated. Regeneration, as we understand it in this chapter, is not just the renewal of an individual site or broader existing built form, but rather the ongoing renewal of the entire urban form. Within this wider process of urban change, ongoing fringe deve1opment is important alongside regeneration processes happening in inner and middle-ring suburbs and landmark urban regeneration projects occurring on brownfie1d sites. In this chapter we explore urban regeneration in Australian cities through the lens of the transformation of suburban development. We draw on a case study of Huntlee, NSW, to highlight new trends in reshaping the urban fringe. As the chapter illustrates, contemporary suburban fringe development both connects with and departs from the ideals which drove suburban development in the twentieth century, to aspire towards more varied, better serviced and sustainable models. In this regard, it has much in common with regeneration in Australia's inner cities and middle-ring suburbs.

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