Claire Daniel


Richard Barry



Monday 24 May 2021
11:00-12:30 AEST
PIA Member $45 / Non-member $60 (inc. GST)

This hands-on workshop will introduce the topic of drafting planning rules as computer code. After a brief presentation covering the theory, participants will learn to code their own simple rule evaluation program from scratch.

“There’s no reason why development building of codes and planning codes cannot be written in [computer] code, and you simply submit a cad design and it can provide for real-time approvals. That’s totally possible but we’re not doing it. But I think that’s a good goal to set.”

This is what the Australian Prime Minister said in his address to the Australian Public Service in mid-2019 when voicing strong support for the potential of the RegTech sector to demystify and speed up the implementation of legislation across the country.

Despite being on the radar of the Prime Minister, planners themselves are currently unprepared for the wide-reaching changes this technology poses for plan drafting and development assessment processes. Planners however have an important role to play to ensure that coded rules match intended planning outcomes and that transparency and human accountability is maintained in the implementation of automated assessment processes.

This workshop will provide an independent overview of the sector, covering the basic information that planners need to know when it comes to implementing plans as computer code with examples of real-life projects undertaken in New Zealand and Canadian governments. The computational concepts involved in coding legislation are simple and the session will include a practical coding exercise to ensure that participants leave the workshop feeling confident in their understanding of the technology involved.

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James Atkinson

SGS Economics and Planning

Andrew Spencer

SGS Economics and Planning

Measuring net community benefit in planning: an economist’s perspective

Monday 24 May 2021
13:00-14:30 AEST

PIA Member $45 / Non-member $60 (inc. GST)

The ultimate goal of planning, design and transport policies and decisions is to maximise community welfare. However, there is limited guidance for planners on how welfare or ‘net community benefit’ should be measured or assessed. As a result, a range of ad hoc and idiosyncratic approaches are used.


By contrast, the welfare impacts of major infrastructure projects, policies and other government programs are routinely assessed using cost-benefit analysis (CBA). CBA is an appraisal approach grounded in welfare economics. CBA requires the full range of social, environmental and economic costs and benefits of the policy or program to be identified and measured. It is not just concerned with resources, cash flows and profits as some might assume.


SGS routinely applies the CBA framework when evaluating a wide range of planning and design policies and would welcome the opportunity to demonstrate the virtues of this approach to other practitioners. 


Through this workshop, we will show how CBA can provide a rigorous, transparent and reliable methodology for assessing the merits of planning and design policies, grounded in the net community benefit concept. We will also discuss some of the limitations and controversies associated with CBA.

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Amanda Roberts


De-coding the designers rhetoric

Monday 24 May 2021
14:00-15:30 AEST
PIA Member $45 / Non-member $60 (inc. GST)

As an urban designer with degrees in architecture, landscape architecture and planning and holding a position on the state government design review panels in Victoria, South Australia, New South Wales and Queensland, I have heard them all! Passive surveillance, activated street fronts, facade articulation, holding the corner, human scale, fine-grain materiality, gateways, thresholds, and everything in between.
The question is; what do all these jargon words mean for the planning profession and how can we sit across from our oh-so-funkily dressed design colleagues in a planning meeting and avoid our eyes rolling back in our heads at their ‘iconic’ building and the views they have created from the penthouses. Importantly, how can we make up our own minds about what is and isn’t appropriate for the context and avoid getting seduced by the jargon, beautiful renders and gorgeous sketches.
I propose to take you through a series of real life examples that seek to demystify the dark art of design and show that good design is as simple as putting people first and creating places that are good to be in and around. These examples include ‘how to achieve good design’ planning controls for urban waterways, built form design guidelines for town centres and illustrative design guidelines for metropolitan activity centres amongst others.
Highly visual, using graphics, diagrams and precedent images, I will give a crash course in urban design that brings us crashing back down to the human experience from the helicopter plan view and provide a bit of a laugh at some of the terminology design review panels members use to simplify the design rhetoric; did you know that unrealistic balcony planting is called ‘architectural armpit hair’ and reflective floor to ceiling glazing on street fronts the ‘bathroom mirror’?

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Robina Crook

Jo Appleby
National Heart Foundation

Planning for an Active Future – Healthy Active Ageing

Monday 24 May 2021
11:30-13:00 AEST
PIA Member $45 / Non-member $60 (inc. GST)

Bringing together the latest evidence, practical advice, checklists, case studies, infographics and other resources this workshop will offer participants a unique insight into Healthy Active Ageing and key planning and design considerations needed to facilitate both physical activity and social engagement opportunities for older people.


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