The Project gives you an opportunity to explore the relevance and possible application of the unit themes within an urban area that is of particular personal interest. It does this by asking you to critically examine an urban area and explain how you would redesign or redevelop it to achieve a higher degree of sustainability. The area can be a whole city, or a suburb, town or urban precinct (e.g. rail station precinct), a whole transport corridor, or some other well-defined area such as a Local Government Area (LGA) or part of a LGA that has potential for reshaping according to the principles taught in this unit. It is expected that students will utilise and show a thorough knowledge of the different urban and transport planning approaches taught in the unit which, together, can be used to help build more sustainable urban communities. Your project should include the following: . (1) An introductory description of the physical location and boundaries of the area you are going to deal with and the broader area in which it is embedded, including appropriate maps. Include an estimate of the area’s total size (e.g. in hectares or km2) and population. â€¨ . (2) A rationale for choosing the particular area. â€¨ . (3) An analysis of the area as it presently stands. This analysis should include: â€¨(a) A brief history of the area. Focus on describing the key transport technologies and planning orthodoxies that have shaped the area’s evolution, rather than providing a general history i.e. was the area once a ‘walking city’ or ‘transit city’, and to what extent has it retained this urban form? To what extent has it become an ‘automobile city’ urban form, shaped by transport, cultural and economic priorities favouring automobiles? â€¨ (b) An analysis of present transport arrangements such as roads, public transport services, access and facilities for pedestrians and cyclists. You should try to also specify the current transport patterns within the area (e.g. the percentage of trips by car, public transport and non-motorised modes) and identify the positive aspects and limitations of present transport arrangements. (c) An analysis of current urban form, including land uses, housing types, and population densities. The analysis should consider whether the current urban form satisfactorily addresses some of the key challenges for urban form discussed in the first part of the Topic 8 lecture. (d) An analysis of the area’s water use and management. (e) An assessment of how well the area integrates nature and supports biodiversity. (f) An assessment of the possible impacts of peak oil and climate change on the area, drawing on relevant evidence/literature (such as the unit readings) to support your assessment. (g) A brief overview that brings together the key findings from your analysis and identifies key urban sustainability issues, challenges and opportunities in your area. This is where you answer the ‘so what?’ question that follows from your analysis, making all the information in the analysis meaningful. You are identifying key themes to focus on in the second half of your Project... . (4) Your overall vision for the future of the area, including key land use and transport initiatives. â€¨ . (5) A plan for the future, to help the area to realise this vision. This plan should include both land use and transport changes. Do not be inhibited by existing planning regulations and/or financial constraints, but give some idea how radical a departure your proposed plan would be and the kind of strategies that could be employed to overcome potential obstacles or constraints (e.g. funding better public transport or other transport investments, gaining community support for the proposed changes). In developing your plans, draw widely on ideas and examples from the unit literature, and try wherever possible to cite relevant readings, quotations and examples to support your arguments. Include some visualisation by way of maps, conceptual sketches or through other means, which attempts to show pictorially what you are proposing. Appropriate photographs can be used to great effect, either to show the existing situation, or to help you in explaining what you are proposing. The unit, of course, does not teach urban design or drawing skills, so you will not be assessed negatively on the quality of these efforts. â€¨ The Project should be treated as a semester-long exercise (not an assignment written in the final weeks of the semester). Students should try to work regularly on the Project throughout the semester, using it as an opportunity to explore, week-by-week, the ‘real world’ relevance of the unit themes. It is therefore important to choose your Project area early in the semester, so you can start exploring how the unit topics are relevant to your area. An early choice of area will enable you to explore (and start writing about) the evolution of urban form and transport in your area at the same time we’ll be considering the evolution of urban form, and to explore (and start writing about) the problems of automobile dependence and the impacts of peak oil and climate change in your urban area at the same time that we’re examining these issues in the Sustainable Urban Communities unit... Similarly, when we start looking at more sustainable transport and urban form, and water and nature within cities, you can be exploring the relevance of these themes to your area as it is now (in your analysis) and as it could be (in your vision and plans). Each week as you listen to the lecture and browse through the readings, you can be considering how the themes are relevant to your area and to the work you’re doing on your Project. At the end of this Study Guide, there is an Appendix entitled Extra Resources for the Project which provides some advice on resources available and the kinds of the projects that might potentially be done. During the course of the semester, further project guidance will be provided during the lectures.