Studio N: Managing Cities at Night
Michele Acuto, Anna Edwards & Shelby Bassett
Cities do not stop as the lights do down. If urban areas are now recognised as crucibles of sustainable and equitable development at a planetary scale, little attention is paid to the night when half of urban activities take place. New 'after-hours' thinking is needed. Evidence is clear to this direction: the night-time economy is a key driver of Australia's growth. It employs 1.17m people across Australia and generates $102 billion. Around 1-in-9 employees work night shifts, often in low pay and precarious health conditions. Over 2% of Australian households live in ‘food deserts’ where affordability plummets at night-time. Several cities have recognised this with the recent introduction of night time strategies, pilot programs, night time strategies and commissions, even ‘night mayors’ – not least in London, Amsterdam or Sydney.
This intensive studio focuses on ‘night time’ governance, planning and policyfor built environment practitioners and offers a venue to further refine interdisciplinary and policy-relevant understanding of urban planning, urban design and architecture at night time for scholarly and professional careers.
The studio is run by the Connected Cities Lab in partnership with ARUP and this year focuses on developing a night time precinct for the cities of Melbourne (Victoria) and Canberra (ACT). It will present students with a chance to both test interdisciplinary urban analysis as well as practical (industry and policy) engagement with stakeholders and studio clients. In 2020, the challenge for studio participants will be learn from national and international cases to then design Canberra’s and Melbourne’s night time precincts, their night time strategy and what their governance could look like, working explicitly with local stakeholders.
Students will have a chance not only to learn about night time governance, but connect with experts and stakeholders currently working to shape how Melbourne and Canberra work in practice, sharpening comparison and policy engagement skills.
Outcomes of the studio will be precinct design, governance and policy proposals for the two cities.
The studio takes a design approach to produce tangible practice-worthy tools. Students work with instructors and experts (from academia and practice) to identify key nigh-time challenges for the two cities, testing the input provided by diverse mode of thinking about the urban against ‘after-hours’ and ’24 hour' views of the city drawing explicitly from international and national examples.
The studio is suitable for Urban Planning, Urban Design and other MSD disciplines students with strong conceptual three-dimensional thinking, and a high level of communication skills.
Readings & References
- Cities After Dark podcast: https://sites.research.unimelb.edu.au/connected-cities#podcast
Schedule Thursdays 14:00-16:00 from 30/8, Intensive teaching 24/10-4/11