Brisbane’s ‘Inner City Strategy’ Plan Unveiled, Taking The “Up Not Out” Approach For The City’s Growth

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Brisbane’s Inner City Strategy is a bold and ambitious plan to transform the city’s urban landscape by prioritizing development in four key areas: Kuripla, Woolloongabba, Albion, and Newstead. The guiding principle of this strategy is “Up Not Out,” meaning that rather than expanding the city’s footprint through suburban sprawl, Brisbane will focus on vertical growth within its existing urban core.

Inner City Strategy Growth Zones
Inner City Strategy Growth Zones
Inner City Strategy Target Precincts
Inner City Strategy Target Precincts

This approach has significant benefits, both for the environment and for the city’s residents. By building up rather than out, Brisbane can reduce its carbon footprint by minimizing the need for cars and encouraging more sustainable modes of transportation like walking, biking, and public transit. At the same time, residents of the city’s inner suburbs will benefit from increased access to jobs, services, and amenities, all within easy reach of their homes.

The Inner-City Strategy is a long-term plan that will take many years to fully implement, however is a vision that the Brisbane City Council plans to unfold over time in the lead up to the Brisbane 2032 Summer Olympic Games. The major $7b infrastructure investment package that has been locked in for the transformation of the core precincts for the games is at the heart of the urban re-think. The hope of integrating further density housing in amongst the infrastructure upgrades makes sense on paper, however time will tell how well this can all unfold in a relatively short period of time to the main event.

The Kurilpa precinct at the northern end of South Brisbane and Southbank, will be rezoned for development to the height of the CBD, ultimately, unlimited height. Already a busy and dense area, supporting 3 inner-city bridge crossing and a railway line dissecting it, it will be a challenge for both public and private enterprise to reclaim the land parcels and amalgamate for significant projects. The council has seen opportunity in the precinct however, so all eyes are now on Kurilpa to see what can be produced to meet community and wider needs.

Kurilpa Area in South Brisbane
Kurilpa Area in South Brisbane

Similarly, the Woolloongabba Priority Development Area (PDA) has seen significant progress in recent years. This PDA is currently undergoing a significant review, to investigate expansion of the current area, and to review height limits and more.  Woolloongabba’s large flat areas, along with its major transport hubs, could potentially receive the biggest transformation in the lead up to the Olympic Games. The area has already benefited with new residential and commercial developments, public spaces, and improved transportation infrastructure. Already, the PDA has attracted significant investment, with developers Sarazin Group and Trenert planning large scale mixed-use precincts in the heart of the Gabba precinct.

Woolloongabba Proposed PDA Expansion Area
Woolloongabba Proposed PDA Expansion Area

In Albion and Newstead, the focus is on creating new employment opportunities and improving connectivity within the inner city. The Albion PDA, for example, aims to attract new businesses and industries to the area, with a particular focus on knowledge-intensive industries like technology, research, and creative industries. Similarly, the Newstead Riverpark PDA will see the creation of new mixed-use developments, public spaces, and infrastructure to support the growing population in this rapidly developing area.

The ‘Up Not Out’ approach of the Inner City Strategy has significant benefits for both the environment and the city’s residents. By focusing on vertical growth, Brisbane can reduce its carbon footprint and create more liveable, walkable communities that are better connected to jobs, services, and amenities. At the same time, this approach can help to address some of the challenges facing the city, such as housing affordability, congestion, and social isolation.

Of course, there are also some challenges to the ‘Up Not Out’ approach, particularly around issues of density, infrastructure, and community engagement. To address these challenges, the Inner City Strategy includes a range of initiatives, such as improved public transport, investment in public spaces, and community consultation processes. By working closely with residents, businesses, and other stakeholders, Brisbane can ensure that the benefits of the Inner City Strategy are shared by all members of the community.

The Inner City Strategy represents a bold and forward-thinking approach to urban development in Brisbane. By prioritizing vertical growth in key areas like Kuripla, Woolloongabba, Albion, and Newstead, Brisbane can create more sustainable, liveable, and connected communities that benefit everyone who calls the city home. While there are challenges to this approach, the potential benefits are enormous, and with careful planning, community engagement, and investment, Brisbane can continue to lead the way in urban development for years to come.

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Note: The information presented in this article is for general informational purposes only and should not be relied upon as legal, financial, or professional advice. While we make every effort to fact-check and verify the information presented, we cannot guarantee its accuracy or completeness. Readers are encouraged to independently verify any information they find on our website and to consult with relevant professionals before making any decisions based on the information presented. The Australian Development Review does not own the rights to the information included within this article, and furthermore, there is no infringement intended from the included text and images within.


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