UWS student wins urban planning competition

Aerial photo of Western Sydney 

A University of Western Sydney student has won the Design Code Plan competition after impressing judges with her communication strategy encouraging Sydney residents to have a greater say in the development of the city.

Organised by the Department of Planning and Environment and the University of Sydney, Design Code Plan gathered university students from across the state for a two day competition to generate new ways to spark community interest in population growth and urban planning.

During the competition, final year Bachelor of Planning student Allison McInerney was asked to develop an interactive new plan to engage Sydney residents in the Sydney Metropolitan Strategy, the state government's proposal to accommodate 1.3million more residents over the next two decades.

For the winning project, Allison and her cross disciplinary team developed a series of information kiosks at public spaces such as bus stops, where touch-screen computers would help explain local developments and encourage residents to make official submissions on new proposals.

She says it was a great experience to generate new ideas and work with students from different sectors, such as computer programming.

"Working in a team of people with different skills and experiences was really eye-opening, and hearing our names read out as the winners at the end of the competition was such a special moment," says Allison.

The Katoomba resident says she plans to study a Masters of Urban Planning at the University of Western Sydney next year, with the aim of working in social planning.

"Urban planning is such an important aspect of modern life, it impacts so many people and has the potential to build a better future for our communities," she says.

"My dream job is to focus on the human side of urban planning, to create urban regeneration projects that foster the strengths of Australian society, while also ensuring we don't leave behind those in need."

"Studying at UWS and winning this competition are putting me on the path to making those dreams a reality."

The Dean of Social Sciences and Psychology Professor Kevin Dunn has praised Allison McInerney's innovative approach in engaging communities in urban planning.

"The world's best cities are actively shaped by the people who live and work in them, and Allison's project demonstrates an innovative way to engage the community and make sure their voices are heard," says Professor Dunn.


31 July 2014

Mark Smith, Senior Media Officer

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