Brisbane's future starts NOW

How will Brisbane look in 2031? I don't have a crystal ball but I DO have the new City Plan that was presented on Monday, May 6, for a 60-day public consultation period by Brisbane City Council at .

Brisbane will be bigger, but the development will be an integrated mix of protecting Brisbane's innate character and heritage, while increasing building density in key major centres and ensuring infrastructure growth parallel to the city's growth. This was the key message from Brisbane's Lord Mayor, Graham Quirk, as he explained his vision for Brisbane's future at an REIQ real estate luncheon last week.

Public feedback from the 2006 future city plans defined three key areas of expected growth, and these are the focus for the new City Plan:

  • in the inner city
  • around transport hubs
  • around large retail/commercial centres (such as Chermside, Carindale, Mt Gravatt etc.)

Key forecast data for Brisbane in 2031

  • $217billion economy
  • 443,000 new jobs
  • 156,000 new dwellings
  • Inner-city: 130,000 new workers

 Key drivers for developments under the new City Plan

  • Making the process simple, more transparent and upfront
  • Balancing certainty and flexibility in design and development
  • Making it easier to do business and invest in the city

What about the size and 'look' of developments and property?

  • Smaller 300m2 property lots will be allowed (down from 400m2) near major centres. This is for properties within 200m walking distance from a transport/retail hub, however this is open to debate within the public consultation period and may change.
  • House heights will increase to 9.5 (up from 8.5m now and previously 7.8m). This is important for many of the flood-affected areas and may help ensure minimal damage in any future flooding.
  • Not size but 'look' counts. Instead of focussing on the gross floor size of developments there will rather a focus on the 'look'. Does it suit its surrounds and fit into the landscape? As anyone knows who's visited major cities in Europe or elsewhere, even large buildings can be still be well-designed and fit extremely well into the cityscape or landscape.
  • Incorporating sub-tropical design principles. We live in a sub-tropical city and it makes simply sense to build accordingly e.g. cross-ventilation, sun-shading etc. After all this is also important in better creating Brisbane's own flair and character, rather than trying to 'copy' what other cities do.

Maintaining Brisbane's heritage

A heritage plan overlay map will highlight properties that are considered of some significant. The character of pre-1946 buildings are to be retained and pre-1911 properties are to be heritage protected. This changes from the current pre-1900 cut-off.

For those of us who shudder when looking at of the ugly developments that have gone up over the last decades, there is tangible hope with the new City Plan.

Its heritage and "the fundamental character of Brisbane will remain intact", explained the Lord Mayor.

"We want to preserve what's good about Brisbane."

When will the new City Plan be implemented?

After the 60-day public consultation period it will be finalised and go to Queensland State Government for their consideration and final stamp of approval.

Graham Quirk expects that it will be implemented "in the first half of 2013", depending on the time needed for the state government to fully approve the new City Plan.

The interactive new City plan and online submission process can be found at . Any queries can be directed to .


Note: Any submissions to the new City Plan should be lodged as soon as possible, and not left to near the 60-day deadline!



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