The Gosford UDF delivered a robust design process and framework to support revitalisation of the regional capital with an ongoing mechanism to provide informed design advice. The place-based vision for the city galvanises public and private investment around public spaces. It established important cross sector relationships and design review processes.
The UDF has been prepared to help shape the continued development and renewal of Gosford City Centre. It supports the practical implementation of the vision for a regional capital contained in theCentral Coast Regional Plan 2036. The UDF capitalises on the significant investment from government and the private sector including upgrades to rail services, major new hospital facilities and relocation of government jobs. It takes a place-based approach aiming to strengthen Gosford’s role as a capital city that acknowledges the importance of great public spaces and their role in attracting people to both stay and visit, spreading the benefits of growth to existing and future residents of the wider Central Coast area.
The UDF sought to create a robust framework for the urban design of the Gosford City Centre, creating a guide to lead infrastructure investment and galvanise a clear vision for the city’s role as a regional capital. The framework establishes a clear place-based vision for a series of connected public spaces both existing and proposed. It included recommendations that focus public and private investment around these key public spaces and set out clear design principles for these places and connections between them.
Importantly, this framework includes recommendations that enable strong leadership, coordinated governance, mechanisms to support design advice (at all stage of projects) and proposals for integrated delivery of catalytic investment in key places. It notes that coordinated investment, both public and private, and a consistent approach to design excellence is crucial to establish Gosford as a regional destination and cultural heart based on a strong visitor and night-time economy.
At its simplest level, the framework acknowledges and builds on the inherent strength of this city’s natural setting and seeks to connect the people and city to the landscape. It reflects on the long history and cultural significance of the place and its people, including the aboriginal association with Country, and puts green infrastructure back in the heart of the city.
The stepping stones of the city north, civic heart and city south were all focused on a key public space or park creating a walkable network of places to cluster public domain improvements and investment.Rather than starting at the waterfront as previous plans had, the framework suggested to build momentum based on the investment already underway, creating a revitalised civic centre and main street connecting to the station and hospital to the north.
More than just good design, the UDF also recognised the need to update planning controls, removing complexity and uncertainty that was limiting potential investment and change. With significant government investment in the hospital and ATO offices, combined with high levels of private interest in development, the city required a framework to coordinate investment in public domain and support a range of design advisory services. It also required a focus on effective leadership, coordination and integration based on common design principles and a clear understanding of the roles and responsibilities of key disciplines, agencies and consultants.
Doug and Wolf