Taking a Precinct Approach to Infrastructure and Development

Article

Taking a Precinct Approach to Infrastructure and Development

A roadmap to precinct delivery

Worldwide, there is increasing political and business momentum towards the use of precincts to drive collaboration and growth. While precincts and places are a better way to approach infrastructure and development, there is limited guidance on how to deliver them commercially.

The worldwide drive towards better integration of land use and investment planning through mechanisms such as City Deals, Collaboration Areas, and Innovation Districts are demonstrating improved place outcomes.

Governments in Australia have begun investing in these mechanisms, re-structuring their agencies around precincts and updating planning processes to enable a precinct approach to infrastructure and development.

In NSW and Victoria, there has been a steady shift in the narrative across government to focus on precincts and place.

  • NSW has a minister for Public Places and Treasury, Transport for NSW and Department of Planning, Industry and Environment each have Divisions dedicated to Precincts, Places and Public Spaces. 
  • Victoria has a Minister for Priority Precincts and a new Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions.

While precincts and places are a better way to approach development and infrastructure, there is limited guidance on how to deliver them commercially.

Vibrant precincts don’t appear overnight. Rather, they are developed over time through a combination of:

  • Strategic definition of outcomes
  • Identification of stakeholders
  • Selection of appropriate delivery and governance models
  • User-centric design
  • Staged investment
  • On-going operation, maintenance and activation of a vibrant place.

Some think precincts grow organically. This is rare and lucky.

Occasionally co-ordinated interventions at the right time and in the right place will catalyse a precinct.

More often, a more holistic, long term approach is required to establish the vibrant identity for a precinct to deliver outcomes for its users. Given precincts are essential to growing Australia’s economy, overcoming traditional poor investment decision making and supporting inclusive communities that flourish over time, it is key to understand how to deliver precincts and how to measure and  realise the benefits.

Published: December 2019

Taking a Precinct Approach to Infrastructure and Development

Download the report
Did you find this useful?