Precincts: Place Reimagined - Aurecon

How does a place-based approach stimulate economic growth, create jobs and support liveable, sustainable communities?

A place-based approach is coordinated and deliberate. It brings together governments and the private sector to integrate and support the planning and development process, delivering cohesive and responsive placemaking outcomes.

This approach to precinct design stimulates economic growth, creates jobs and supports liveable, sustainable communities that leave a legacy for the future.

Precincts - Growth - Aurecon

What is a precinct?

Precincts are places with purpose, underpinned by a strong and enduring vision. They are curated and coordinated to drive greater collaboration, better placemaking outcomes and economic growth, supported by better integration of land use and infrastructure investment planning.

At the heart of all precinct and placemaking projects are the people, communities and businesses they serve. Whilst precincts vary greatly in size, from whole cities to regional centres to neighbourhoods, they all aim to facilitate one or more of the following objectives:

Precincts are places with purpose, underpinned by a strong and enduring vision - Aurecon

Precincts that stimulate growth and opportunity in regional and urban areas

In Australia, governments are looking at new precinct models such as Special Activation Precincts (SAPs) in areas such as Parkes, Wagga Wagga, Moree, Williamtown, the Snowy Mountains and Narrabri, or Regional Job Precincts, like Albury, Richmond Valley and South Jerrabomberra, and State Significant Precincts, such as Waterloo, Redfern and The Bays in Sydney, to stimulate growth in regional and urban areas respectively.

City Deals, like Western Sydney, are one of the largest planning and investment partnerships in Australian history, and in New Zealand, local governments and private developers are playing their part by facilitating the rezoning of suitable land for urban development and promoting the densification of existing urban areas.

Melbourne’s 480 hectare Fishermans Bend is Australia’s largest urban renewal project, consisting of five precincts that by 2050 will incorporate parks, schools, a university campus, transport, community hospital and leisure facilities and house and provide employment for up to 80 000 people.

In Asia, the rapid growth of cities has seen precinct development occur on a massive scale, mostly addressing social and population demands in order to achieve economic returns.

Singapore itself is a large cluster of precincts. The Singapore Land Transport Master Plan 2040 envisions a 24-minute town and a 45-minute city.

In Vietnam, the 400 hectare Waterpoint Precinct in Ho Chi Minh City is being developed to support a decentralised population and provide a vibrant new township for 25 000 residents, as well as a university, retail, commercial and leisure facilities.

Countries like Singapore, Hong Kong, and Vietnam have adopted ‘smart city’ ecosystems that focus on relationships between data, assets, users and systems. These can be scaled down to a precinct or district level. A smart precinct approach provides a defined pilot area to test and measure ideas for scaling up and makes it easier for private sector developers to participate in developing alongside government.

Precincts that promote social equity

The concept of being able to live, work and play within close proximity is being explored by state governments as part of their 20-minute neighbourhoods or 30-minute cities initiative, which would bring equity of access to housing, jobs, education, health and leisure to communities living within an area that facilitates walking, cycling and the use of public transport to access most of their daily needs.

In some cities, acute housing shortage is also driving precinct growth across multiple sectors. In New Zealand, Kāinga Ora Homes and Communities is leading urban development for affordable housing by densifying existing properties.

In Victoria, the government is replacing old public housing with new investments in social and affordable housing options.

The development of well thought out precincts and neighbourhoods has a key role to play in helping communities address disadvantage and provide equitable access to employment, health, education, housing, cultural and sporting activities and transport.

Precincts - Social Equality - Aurecon

Precincts with a special purpose

Special purpose precincts focused on health, education, circular economy, renewable energy, technology, innovation and/or integrated transport services are also a priority for governments.

In Australia, Innovation Precincts are focused on the sustainable development of key areas that encourage collaboration and innovation, promote growth and job opportunities and deliver business and social benefits. In Hong Kong, the government established Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks to facilitate the creation of a vibrant innovation and technology ecosystem to deliver social and economic benefits to the city and region, now and into the future.

Developers are also leading the creation of precincts around retail, leisure, residential and/or commercial, with projects like the Waterfront Place Precinct in Brisbane, the new city of Drury south of Auckland, and Vietnam’s 1 000 hectare Tuan Chau Island, taking a holistic place-based approach towards integrated transport, sustainable energy, water and waste and adopting the trend towards living, working and accessing essential services within distinct communities.

Across Asia, Business Improvement Districts (BID) are private sector-led initiatives to improve a precinct or district.

In Singapore, for example, if more than 50 per cent of owners cooperate through a membership model, the government will co-fund improvements to the district over a fixed-term and to a maximum fund. This fund could be used for a variety of activities including marketing, placemaking, vibrant activities and for activating an area. This model allows for multi-stakeholder participation and benefit.

Precincts are also focused on areas such as food and agriculture, and oil and gas, such as Jurong Island in Singapore, the Agribusiness Precinct in Western Sydney or the Epping Food Hub in Victoria.

Transit Oriented Developments (ToDs) are combining transport nodes such as train stations with residential and commercial developments, leading to significant investments in and around both road and rail corridors across the Asia-Pacific.

Delivering from strategy to implementation

Each precinct is unique, from its objectives and vision, funding mechanisms, availability of developable land and infrastructure requirements through to environment and user needs and preferences. Therefore, our advice and delivery methods are tailored to the development of each precinct.

What remains consistent in our approach across all precincts is the intersection of advisory, design and delivery skills. These are executed by bespoke, multidisciplinary and integrated teams uniquely positioned to provide holistic, robust and deeply informed advice.

Aurecon's advice and delivery methods are tailored to the development of each precinct

Precinct planning

Precinct plans are developed in response to existing known community and business needs, supported by a thorough business case and designed alongside expert master planners.

Often the final development and construction of a precinct differs significantly from the original intent of an overarching precinct plan, by either losing or changing its strategic vision or requiring modifications as a result of unimplementable strategies proposed from the outset.

Our deep understanding of all stages and facets of the planning, approval, development, design, construction and operation of precincts and networks, means our clients benefit from our ability to innovate and embed strategic practical advice during the business case and early planning phases of projects.

Our breadth of technical experts embed this knowledge into strategic advice, resulting in precincts and places that reinvigorate communities and are commercially viable, scalable, innovative and deliverable.

Riverbank Precinct, Masterplan

The Adelaide Riverbank is a public open space and social, cultural and entertainment landmark precinct in the heart of the central business district.

The State Government of South Australia wanted the precinct to achieve greater socio-economic activation by providing enhanced planning to deliver health, retail and connectivity to the community. Aurecon, as a key part of a consortium, developed a masterplan to deliver on the State’s vision to unlock the potential of the precinct.

Aurecon’s long history delivering major projects in Adelaide allowed us to develop infrastructure and connectivity solutions, public transport options and private development options that were well informed and considerate of implementation strategy.

Our ideas were tested through community engagement and led to an iconic master plan for the Riverbank Precinct.

Technical feasibility studies and business cases

Fishermans Bend

Aurecon supported the Fishermans Bend Taskforce to develop its final business case which is supporting the Victorian Government in its decision-making process to decide the appropriate investment strategy.

The final business case was prepared in accordance with the Department of Treasury and Finance (DTF) High Value High Risk (HVHR) Project Assurance Framework and Value Creation and Capture Frameworks Framework.

The final business case reviewed the case for government intervention to promote urban regeneration and tested how different funding mechanisms impact the expected value capture and rates of development against the residential and employment targets in the Fishermans Bend Framework.

Watch the visualisation created by Aurecon's Unsigned Studio to describe the strategic importance of Fishermans Bend Catalyst Site.

Our precinct team has a strong track record informing government to make investment decisions. We have delivered major state government infrastructure projects from planning through to procurement.

Our technical experience in infrastructure delivery combined with understanding of the investment drivers for development enables us to innovate their delivery to optimise staging to align with growth and enable value capture to support project funding.

Design and delivery

Strategy and precinct design that is realistic and meets expectations beyond the design phase requires a vast depth and breadth of expertise and delivery experience.

We bring our deep technical expertise and a long track record of delivery to help our clients navigate complexity.

We work to connect our clients with other specialists, inside and outside of Aurecon, so that the right combination of expertise is at the table.

We achieve better outcomes because we understand how to link strategy with precinct design and delivery and provide multidisciplinary service offerings and knowledge of existing infrastructure systems and networks across urban and regional centres.

Prestons Precinct, Christchurch

Prestons is a dynamic residential precinct located in the north east of Christchurch, New Zealand. The 203-hectare development was passed under emergency legislation with the purpose of rehoming 2 200 families who were displaced from their homes after the devastating 2011 Canterbury earthquakes.

As Lead Consultant on the project, Aurecon was integral in the management of the overall precinct planning process, providing advisory, project management, survey, geotechnical, contamination, civil, stormwater and urban design services.

The project’s success in creating a thriving new community for Christchurch can be largely attributed to the team’s focus on finding solutions to project challenges that met the client’s specific goals.

Data and digital

Big data analysis and modern and innovative digital tools provide a stronger decision-making base to create precincts that reflect community needs and respond to and influence behaviours.

We partner with data providers such as telcos and transport agencies to understand the usage and interaction with a precinct and develop a granular baseline of information and ability to forecast future changes.

Through our in-house visual communications agency, Unsigned Studio, we bring storytelling and technology together to create immersive and interactive project experiences

This helps us to communicate the vision of precinct developments to clients and potential users for better and faster decision-making and community engagement.

Play video Melbourne Connect: University of Melbourne, Australia's Leading Innovation Precinct
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Sustainability

Designing for sustainability and climate resilience outcomes creates places that make a positive contribution towards our future and the health and wellbeing of those that use them.

At Aurecon, we continually strive to create new benchmarks for the way in which we plan, develop and operate precincts to be sustainable.

We have experience driving sustainable urban renewal and embedding sustainable change into the way that utilities and services are delivered, and supporting aspirations to be highly innovative, resourceful, carbon neutral, celebrate water and develop circular economy.

Sustainable economic development strategies

Several regions in Australia are actively pursuing the development of bioprecincts, to creating clusters of synergistic bioprocessing facilities, such as the Mackay Isaac Whitsunday region in Queensland.

Aurecon provided thought leadership on potential bioprocessing pathways and key considerations that economic development teams should consider when contending with the circular economy approach.

Co-locating and building a bio-based precinct can provide centralised facilities to take advantage of existing infrastructure and energy, and create energy parks (steam and power) to support multiple processing facilities.

Learn more from our projects

Waterpoint Precinct, Vietnam

Aurecon provides full engineering infrastructure design services to support the development of a vibrant mixed-use smart precinct for 25 000 residents.

How can Aurecon help you?

Aurecon’s strategic advice at business case and development stages is informed by delivery expertise, which empowers stakeholders to make decisions with the full understanding of the end results.

Precincts: Place Reimagined - Feasibility studies -  How can Aurecon help you?

Our technical experience in infrastructure delivery combined with understanding of the investment drivers for development enables us to innovate their delivery to optimise staging to align with growth and enable value capture to support project funding.

Precincts: Place Reimagined - Design and delivery - How can Aurecon help you?

We achieve better outcomes because we understand how to link strategy with design and delivery and provide multidisciplinary service offerings and knowledge of existing infrastructure systems and networks across urban and regional centres.

Experience
across markets

Clients have engaged us on the delivery of some of the most important precinct and placemaking developments across Australia, New Zealand and Asia, understanding that we often bring local knowledge of existing infrastructure systems and networks in many urban and regional areas.

Precincts: Place Reimagined - Precinct planning - How can Aurecon help you?

Our deep understanding of all stages and facets of the planning, approval, development, design, construction and operation of precincts and networks, means our clients benefit from our ability to innovate and embed strategic practical advice during the business case and early planning phases of projects.

Precincts: Place Reimagined - Data and Digital - How can Aurecon help you?

We partner with data providers to understand the usage and interaction with a precinct and develop a granular baseline of information and ability to forecast future changes. Through our in-house visual communications agency, we bring storytelling and technology together to create immersive and interactive project experiences.

Precincts: Place Reimagined - Sustainability - How can Aurecon help you?

We have experience driving sustainable urban renewal and embedding sustainable change into the way that utilities and services are delivered, and supporting aspirations to be highly innovative, resourceful, carbon neutral, celebrate water and develop circular economy.

Multi-disciplinary
expertise

To create places for people, access to jobs and support thriving communities we bring multidisciplinary thinking across technical and advisory services. Solving challenges at a placemaking level requires an ability to simultaneously optimise multiple infrastructure systems, staged and delivered in a way that supports growth.

Innovative
approach

We collaborate with our clients to re-imagine, shape and design for communities to challenge the problems of today and meet the needs of tomorrow. We ground our approach in deep technical expertise and use a design-to-innovate process to explore and challenge the status quo and test hypotheses to find opportunities in problems.

Multi-disciplinary
expertise

Innovative
approach

Experience
across markets

Blue cloud background - Aurecon Green cloud background - Aurecon Precincts: Place Reimagined - How can Aurecon help you? Precinct planning - How can Aurecon help you design precincts? Technical feasibility - How can Aurecon help you design precincts? Design and delivery - How can Aurecon help you design precincts? Data and Digital - How can Aurecon help you design precincts? Sustainability - How can Aurecon help you design precincts? Multidisciplinary expertise - How can Aurecon help you design precincts? Innovative approach - How can Aurecon help you design precincts? Experience across markets - How can Aurecon help you design precincts?

Multi-disciplinary expertise

To create places for people, access to jobs and support thriving communities we bring multidisciplinary thinking across technical and advisory services. Solving challenges at a placemaking level requires an ability to simultaneously optimise multiple infrastructure systems, staged and delivered in a way that supports growth.

Innovative approach

We collaborate with our clients to re-imagine, shape and design for communities to challenge the problems of today and meet the needs of tomorrow. We ground our approach in deep technical expertise and use a design-to-innovate process to explore and challenge the status quo and test hypotheses to find opportunities in problems.

Experience across markets and geographies

Clients have engaged us on the delivery of some of the most important precinct and placemaking developments across Australia, New Zealand and Asia, understanding that we often bring local knowledge of existing infrastructure systems and networks in many urban and regional areas.

Reach out to our Precincts team at Aurecon if you are planning or seeking advice at any stage of precinct development.

Heath Gledhill, Aurecon

Heath Gledhill

Precincts Capability Leader, Australia & New Zealand
+61 466 268 048

Precinct Leads by Region

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