Rosalie Hastwell / Simon Wollan

City of Moreland / MGS Architects

Rosalie HastwellRosalie Hastwell has worked extensively within the field of community and cultural development as a creative practitioner, planner, manager, consultant and educator. She has developed. led and evaluated a range of innovative programs promoting increased understanding and partnerships between the arts and other fields within local government, public housing, community health and education. Rosalie is currently managing Arts and Cultural Services for Moreland City Council . In addition to overseeing programs including the Counihan Gallery in Brunswick, public art, and festivals and events across the City, her planning responsibilities include ensuring that arts and cultural considerations are integrated into the Moreland Activity Centres Housing Strategy and the Municipal Strategic Statement.

Simon Wollan is an urban designer with an architectural background with interests in placemaking approaches to urban renewal. His recent work with MGS Architects has focussed on community and institutional projects for local government and universities. Previously he was a member of a research team at the University of Melbourne investigating processes of residential intensification and community responses to higher-density development. He has also been involved in research projects on the role of graffiti in streetscapes and investigating the impact of gentrification on the distribution of cultural activities in Melbourne. Simon has taught in architectural and urban design theory and is a studio leader in the M.Arch program at the Melbourne School of Design.

Cultural Indicators For Activity Centres

Across Australia, capital cities are developing strategies for the planned growth of Activity Centres where increased housing density and improved employment opportunities are supported by well aligned public services and facilities. While housing, commercial land use and transport are key focus areas for planning Activity Centres, there is also a general awareness that successful Activity Centres are about more than just retail and housing. The recent Moreland Activity Centre and Housing Strategy identified the need for activity centres to be assessed against the Quadruple Bottom Line (QBL) of economic, social, environmental and cultural benefits.

Located in Melbourne’s north, Moreland is probably best known for the eclectic, richly layered and culturally diverse inner suburb of Brunswick which over the last decades has become a well recognised base for many artists and creative practitioners. The diversity of Brunswick is reflected not only in its population and cultural activity but also in its typically diverse built form –small shops and workshops amongst housing, with corridors of more intense activity provide multiple settings for creative practitioners to find spaces to live, work, exhibit and perform. Beyond Brunswick, along the City’s northern corridor, enormous contrasts unfold, with local identity and sense of place shifting through contrasting suburbs such as Coburg, Pascoe Vale and Fawkner, each of which is characterised by different levels and types of cultural vitality as well as diverse built form.

In recognising cultural vitality as a consideration when planning for Activity Centres that support community wellbeing across multiple dimensions, Moreland’s cross functional working group debated the role and nature of cultural factors and indicators. For example, levels of arts and cultural production can be correlated with particular place conditions; and built form, streetscapes and public/private interfaces are important considerations when planning for enhanced cultural vitality.

This presentation will outline some of the challenges and issues that have faced the City of Moreland in considering culture within its Activity Centre and Housing Strategy and which might also have relevance for other Councils undergoing similar planning processes.

Download presentation



Kitka Web Design