Urban voids in post-oil cities

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Submission Summary
As cities gradually reduce their dependency on oil, a large number of ‘urban voids’ may emerge due to the changes of urban form, planning policy and local economic structures. The phrase ‘urban void’ used in this study is an inclusive term encompassing redundant, derelict, and vacant urban spaces; some examples of such spaces are brownfields, land under flyovers and bridges, and vacant lots. Contemporary literature dealing with urban voids suggests that there is a possibility of reclaiming such spaces for public use. Although there have been some studies aimed at identifying, classifying and repurposing urban voids, most of the previous research findings are usually developed from a specific cultural or historical context, and may not be valid and transferable to another urban context, especially to oil-free cities, where the transport system and urban structure may largely different than oil-dependent cities. Besides, it remains unclear that what aspects of, and to what degree the urban voids can be reused to contribute to the urban form restructure and urban green infrastructure transformation to create a sustainable post-oil city. Australian cities are among the most oil-dependent outside North America because nearly half the population living in the middle and outer suburbs of the major cities. In an oil-constrained world, to mitigate oil vulnerability and transforming Australian cities into sustainable post-oil cities are essential. This study will respond to these needs by predicting the possible locations that the urban voids may emerge and exploring the changes that the existing urban voids will have in the process of decreasing the dependence on oil in Australian cities. The study will then introduce an innovative classification framework for such vacant spaces by evaluating indicators relevant to the urban physical structure and redeveloping values of the space. Besides, suggestions on repurposing different types of urban voids in Australian post-oil cities will also be made in this study. The research findings aim to provide clear insight and spatial policy directives for urban planners and developers on how to curb the emergence of urban voids and to reshape the existing urban voids into liveable public spaces.
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7: Shaping Liveable Places
the University of Adelaide
Chief Planner
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