Australian Placemaking Summit 2024

1-2 May 2024
Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre
Melbourne, VIC

Conference Agenda | Australian Placemaking Summit

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» Day 1 - 1st May 2024

» Day 2 - 2nd May 2024

Day 1 - 1st May 2024
07:50 - 08:50


08:50 - 09:00


09:00 - 09:30

Speed Networking

This speed networking session will allow delegates to introduce themselves and swap business cards with other conference attendees.

09:30 - 09:35

Welcome Address

Rob Adams AO, Director, Adams Urban

Rob Adams AO
09:35 - 10:00

Place Planning at the City of Boroondara

  • A placemaking roadmap for revitalising Boroondara’s public places
  • Glenferrie Place Plan overview - featuring urban greening and sustainable transport, arts events and smart technology, sports, recreation and revitalised laneways
  • Placemaking and Strategic Planning join forces in Camberwell Junction - an integrated approach to guiding urban growth and public investment
  • Guiding placemaking implementation: from here-and-now activations to long-term interventions

Arturo Ruiz, Head of Placemaking, City of Boroondara

Arturo Ruiz
10:00 - 10:30

City Renewal and the Power of Place

  • The accelerating renewal of Australian cities in direct response to a combination of economic, social, and environmental drivers is now mainstream urban strategy. 
  • At different scales and contexts good urban renewal is transforming underutilised precincts and places but is in our city centres that this challenge is the most urgent and complex.
  • This presentation will highlight the work of Canberra’s City Renewal Authority and how, through a people-centred, place-oriented program, the heart of the National Capital is being revitalised making it more resilient, dynamic, and attractive.

Malcolm Snow, Chief Executive Officer, City Renewal Authority - ACT Government

Malcolm Snow
10:30 - 11:00

International Keynote - Trans-Tasman Perspectives: Placemaking lessons from Christchurch, New Zealand

  • Otautahi Christchurch, New Zealand has become a global symbol of resilience, moving from tragedy and destruction to a city of experiences and possibility. 
  • Mike will explore the recovery of Christchurch over the past decade and how placemaking has transformed the city with lessons, tools and tips for Australian cities and towns facing their own challenges and seeking new opportunities.
  • Mike will also use his unique perspective establishing Riverside Market, one of Christchurch's most loved and visited destinations, to illustrate the city’s evolution and demonstrate how Place-led Development is the most successful approach in creating incredible urban experiences and destinations. 

Mike Fisher, Place and City Transformation Manager, Christchurch New Zealand

Mike Fisher
11:00 - 11:30


11:30 - 12:00

Humanising High Density Development – a new approach to create thriving communities in new residential/mixed use precincts

Too often property developers promise grand visions of vibrant places and connected communities that are activated to the hilt, ‘vibrant’ and full of exciting retail offerings.

But then then sell, they build and they leave…..leaving vacant spaces, underutilised space, a poor place experience and a community without the capacity to create connection. This is especially evident in housing markets driven by investment and property speculation, typical of many Australia cities.

As the country grapples with some of the most expensive housing in the world, more and more Australians are choosing to live in high density dwellings such as apartments, terraces and condominiums…places not typically synonymous with being great places to live.

So, in a post pandemic age where working from home is now ubiquitous, vibrant and connected high-density communities should be the norm, not the exception.

Hear a unique viewpoint on creating real, connected places that are genuinely vibrant, socially sustainable and flourishing with actual community in this talk from Andrew Coward, cofounder of Australian placemaking consultancy Reactivate Consulting.

Andrew will showcase a deep dive of some projects Reactivate has worked with around Australia that a highly connected and vibrant communities despite being home to high rise, high density buildings developed by ‘for profit’ developers.

Andrew Coward, Co-Founder/ Director - Reactivate Consulting, Chair - ULI Australia Sydney District Council

Andrew Coward
12:00 - 12:40

Panel Discussion:

Inclusive and Equitable Placemaking

  • Fostering Public life through the built environment
  • Role of Urban Designers in creating spaces that are safe, welcoming, inclusive and accessible.
  • Gender Sensitive Urban Design

Dr. Simona Castricum, D4TGD—Design for Trans and Gender Diverse, Naarm - Melbourne
Jessica Christiansen-Franks, CEO and Founding Director, Neighbourlytics

Dr. Simona Castricum Jessica Christiansen-Franks
12:40 - 13:00

The New Normal – Are we There Yet?

  • The structure of work has experienced one of the most significant changes in over a generation. Using data driven insights from, Callan will present the latest trends shaping how we work, and the impacts on Australia’s two largest cities.
  • Research by shows office workers will walk up to seven minutes from their building, and that buildings with strong retail and public amenity within the seven-minute radius are successfully attracting workers back to the office. Placemaking is more important now than ever before for workers and employers alike.

Callan Cameron, Director,

Callan Cameron
13:00 - 14:00


14:00 - 14:30

Enlivening Melbourne’s urban fabric through Indigenous Story-telling: Yalinguth

Since the 1990s there has been a proliferation of Indigenous placemaking interventions in the form of maps, signage and guided tours as municipal councils have sought to recognise prior occupation. Few have sparked as much interest, or as many awards, as the First Nations-led, geo-located story app, YalinguthThe first iteration is in Gertrude Street Ngár-go/Fitzroy; the second is along the Birrarung/Yarra River in central Melbourne.  The immersive, emplaced audio-tours share recollections by local Elders of moments where their collective lives have intersected with these sites. They are variously warm, intimate, funny, sad, haunting and at times confronting. Architect and Assoc Prof Janet McGaw has been a member of the working group since its inauguration 10 years ago. Jason Tamiru (Yorta Yorta) is a Creative Director and regular tour guide.  They will share the protocols, practices and process of its development, which are hallmarks of its success.

Associate Professor Janet McGaw, Associate Professor in Architectural Design in the Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning, University of Melbourne
Jason Tamiru, , Yorta Yorta

Associate Professor Janet McGaw Jason Tamiru
14:30 - 15:00


Digital Placemaking

  • Adding value to public places through digital placemaking
  • Creating use of technology to transform environments

Dr. Sarah Barns, Co-Founder and Director, ESEM Projects
Geoff Trensky, Design Director, Urban Screen Productions
Jeni Paay
, Professor of Interaction Design, Director of Centre for Design Innovation, School of Design + Architecture, Swinburne University of Technology

Dr. Sarah Barns Geoff Trensky Jeni Paay

15:00 - 15:30

A Place Making Approach to Encourage the Economic Transformation of Logan's City Centres

The City of Logan is a polycentric city with a network of unique centres that are all critical to the economic success of our City. As a result, the creation of vibrant places and spaces which encourage residents to work, shop, and enjoy leisure activities in the City is particularly important.

Council has adopted a Place Making approach which places people at the core of the Place Making process and which emphasises collaboration with local communities in the delivery of well-designed and inclusive places. The Place Plan recognises the important and ongoing relationship between place making, place management and place activation by providing a transferable methodology that is applicable to a wide range of project types of differing scale and impact. Place-based policies, projects and programs are prioritised to ensure each initiative provides value for money, has high impact, and aligns with local community priorities and Council strategic directions.

Award winning case studies will demonstrate how Logan’s whole of City Place Making approach has successfully transformed places and spaces in our City’s centres resulting in activated, connected and liveable communities which support improved local business vitality as a result. Due to this success, it is now proposed to expand the programme beyond key centres to include smaller local and neighbourhood centres in future place-based initiatives.

Ella du Plessis, Place Making and Urban Design Program Leader, Logan City Council
Jennifer Neales, Place Manager - Economic Development and City Planning Branch, Logan City Council

Ella du Plessis Jennifer Neales
15:30 - 16:00


16:00 - 16:25

Activating Night Time: Empowering Voices, Enriching Space, Making Place

We recognise that the night time is often overlooked when we talk about placemaking, but if we reflect on how differently we experience our public spaces after dark compared to the day, then why is this so?

Can the use of applied research and the significance of community involvement help create loved and activated night time spaces, for everybody?

Join Tim as he overviews how we got here, why we might want to change, and discusses strategies for engaging diverse stakeholders and fostering collaborative decision-making in night time design projects.

Drawing from real-world examples, it demonstrates how participatory approaches can lead to more inclusive and culturally relevant placemaking initiatives whilst balancing the needs of the economy and ecology.

Tim Hunt, Melbourne Lighting Leader, ARUP

Tim Hunt
16:25 - 16:55

What makes an ideal main street? What Australian shoppers want

Local governments, planners, place makers, economic development managers, trade associations and retailers work hard to design, improve and revitalise main streets to make them attractive places for users, encourage footfall and increase economic activity in local areas. Despite the efforts that go into planning, maintaining and marketing local shopping areas, the people who use these places are often not consulted about what they actually want and need on their main street. This research is the only-known academically-based, empirical Australian study to ask shoppers about the key elements, as well as the types of stores and services, they consider to be important for the ideal main street.

The aim of the research was to consider main streets from the user perspective. The research was conducted in 2023 and involved an online consumer survey of Australian shoppers representative of the Australian population in terms of gender, age and location.

While the types of shops and services were fairly uniform across respondent groups, there were stark differences in responses for important elements between hedonic and utilitarian shoppers. Making shopping areas the best they can be is challenging work. Depending on their demographic background and shopper type, people want different things from main streets. This data provides key insights for local governments, which have a primary policy responsibility for main streets, as well developers, investors and individual store and service owners, to help better plan and improve the retail and service mix and shopper experience for everyone.

Dr Louise Grimmer, Senior Lecturer in Retail Marketing, College of Business and Economics, University of Tasmania

Dr Louise Grimmer
16:55 - 17:00


17:00 - 18:00


Day 2 - 2nd May 2024
08:45 - 09:15


09:15 - 09:20


09:20 - 09:50

Speed Networking

Introduce yourself, swap business cards, and form new and lasting business connections during a series of one-on-one exchanges with fellow conference delegates.

09:50 - 10:20

Compelling Places Need POW! (Purpose Opportunity Wheel) by Andrew Hoyne

People need a purpose in life and so do places. The more effectively and clearly a place serves and communicates its purpose, the better it performs financially and the easier it is to get agreement and buy in from all stakeholders. In this session Andrew Hoyne, Principal of Place Visioning, Property Branding and Marketing agency Hoyne and publisher of The Place Economy® series, will discuss a new approach to creating purpose in place called the Purpose Opportunity Wheel (POW). Using benchmark case studies which show how building purpose into places creates long term social, economic and organisational benefits, Andrew will demonstrate how the POW approach can be used for harnessing and expressing purpose in ways that add value, ensure team cohesion and improve commercial outcomes.

Andrew Hoyne, Principal/Founder, Hoyne

Andrew Hoyne
10:20 - 10:40

Using Innovative Datasets to Assess Placemaking Efficacy

Understanding and quantifying the place function is a challenging exercise. However, a new and powerful solution to this problem has arrived in the form of People Movement Data. With proper interpretation, this dataset can accurately assess placemaking initiatives in granular detail, helping to understand their economic impact and unpack what makes a place attractive.

Through two case studies, we will investigate how People Movement Data – looking at how people move through spaces and where they choose to spend their time – can provide key insights that can guide the planning of better cities and spaces.

Nick Veitch, Founder, Planwisely

Nick Veitch
10:40 - 11:00

International Keynote:
Authentic Partnership and Meaningful Impact through Placemaking; a Case Study on the Placemaking Approach in Midtown, Auckland City Centre

  • To be effective, placemaking and activation must be relevant to, and engage with, the local community in which it takes place. Building authentic partnerships not only allows insight into the needs of the community and businesses in the project area but also increase the success and impact of activities. 
  • The placemaking and activation programme in Midtown, Auckland City Centre as part of the wider development response programme is a shining example of the outcomes that be achieved through this approach. It supports economic resilience and employment, provides opportunities for creative enterprise, sparking active citizenship and pride in the precinct while contributing to transformational change in the area in preparation for its future state. 

Chris Titford, Programme Manager - Place Activation and Placemaking, Te Wharau o Tamaki, Auckland Council

Chris Titford
11:00 - 11:30


11:30 - 11:50
Artistic/creative placemaking and the Value of Telling Stories of Place and People through the Design and Delivery Process

How can we create places that people feel deeply connected to? How can placemaking create places for people that attract, inspire and educate? How can we create places that communities love? Creative Placemaking is an emerging field that fuses art, storytelling and urban design in a unique way. It adds layers of meaning and creativity to public realm projects, it builds community capacity, it keeps money in local economies and it creates places that communities are proud of. Creative Placemaking has been integrated on a number of award winning public realm projects in Australia and Stephen Burton will explain how this process works and how you can implement it on your next project.

Stephen Burton, Design Director, POMO

Stephen Burton
11:50 - 12:15

Unlocking the Time Economy in Places

  • Time is the currency of life, and the time economy is the art of spending it well.
  • Integrating a greater understanding of the “time economy” into mixed-use places can be transformative. Beyond common project fixations on built form and a mix of ‘usages’, understanding how people want to use their time optimises accessibility, productivity, and alignment with daily rhythms.
  • Sharing insights from landmark mixed use projects such as Quay Quarter Sydney, Village Well's Jennifer Cook will explore how places created with an understanding of the time economy perform better, are more appealing and more sustainable.

Jennifer Cook, Director NSW and QLD, Village Well

Jennifer Cook
12:15 - 12:45
Digital Placemaking Redefined: The AI Revolution
The world-renowned Sydney New Year’s Eve celebration was delivered using Artificial Intelligence - the first of its kind and one of the biggest digital placemaking projects in the world. 
Presented by Emile Rademeyer from VANDAL, this session is a must-attend. Highly motivated with excellent communication skills, Emile’s recognised talent earns international respect and he’s regarded as one of Australia’s most prolific creatives, new media trailblazers and keynote speakers.

Emile Rademeyer, Executive Director, Creative Strategy, VANDAL

Emile Rademeyer
12:45 - 13:45


13:45 - 14:05

Well at Least You Have Your Health: A Place Brief for Healthy Communities

Great Places must prioritise and proactively support social, mental and physical health and wellbeing. Join Angela in examining emerging global trends in health and wellbeing translated into elements of a place and design brief tailored to a diverse range of cultures, communities, ages and abilities. Further, the discussion focuses on policy, partnerships and design tools required to future- proof place- led healthy communities.

Angela Koepp, Principal Urban Solutions, HATCH

Angela Koepp
14:05 - 15:05
Interactive Workshop with Heath Gledhill, Integrated Design and Precincts Capability Leader, Aurecon

So today we are here to NOT present to you… Instead, we want to interact with you! Where we (rapidly) ‘placeMake’ and:

  • Hear from you on what placemaking is in your area of expertise?
  • Develop what placeMake-ing is for the future? What legacy Must it leave?
  • How do People Make the Place? 

Join Heath for this interactive session where he would also discuss project examples and draw from his extensive local and global design experience working on city shaping structures and services that both deliver and delight. 

Heath Gledhill, Global Capability Leader - Integrated Design, Aurecon

Heath Gledhill
15:05 - 15:25

Unlocking the Hidden Potential of Placemaking: From Understated Benefit to Strategic Investment

Australian cities are on the cusp of a transformative era, where innovative placemaking strategies can be leveraged to create vibrant, sustainable, and equitable communities. Kyle will explore how TOD [Transit Oriented Development] principles can be woven into the fabric of placemaking, resulting in high-density mixed-use developments, improved multimodal transportation options, and green spaces strategically integrated throughout the urban landscape. By quantifying the social, economic, and environmental benefits of placemaking through a robust cost-benefit analysis framework, Kyle will demonstrate how we can unlock the hidden potential of this approach, transforming placemaking from an undervalued effort into a strategic investment for the future of Australian cities.

Kyle Barrie, Practice Leader - Economics, Stantec

Kyle Barrie
15:25 - 15:30


Agenda is subject to change
*Speakers to be confirmed

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Registration Closed!

1-2 May 2024

Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre
Melbourne, VIC

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