As the global population systematically continues its pattern of growth, the focus on urban development has begun to take on a new sense of urgency. Once the realm of beautification, economic stimulus and diversification, the considered and innovative planning of our cities for tomorrow is now also contingent on our built environment re-establishing harmony with the natural environment. Simply put, our buildings must be able to harness mixed-use capacities and go up rather than out.
BSD is an educational tool of great importance. Essentially a living concept that embraces profound experimentation, it is a residential neighbourhood designed on a flexible grid that will continue to develop around the demands of its inhabitants. Rather than the usual design first build later model, this unconventional urban enterprise has been conceived to foster collaborative designing construction phases that will happen in concert and roll out as population growth demands it. The intended outcome is that over ten years, 1,500 homes and 12 hectares of business premises will be built around the needs of those who live and work in the area. The ambition is to achieve a sustainable, circular and socially cohesive neighbourhood that enjoys joint energy generation, food production, water management, joint digital data management and revolutionary transport systems. As such, the development will be characterised by the application of the latest technologies and knowledge, becoming a ‘living lab’.
The cohesive, complementary and comprehensive nature of BSD, which official began construction in 2018, is a systematic and sympathetic approach to future-proofing the global community. It is based on logical, reactive design intents that progressively inform the metamorphosis of a neighbourhood that could, in theory, exist on any corner of the globe. In Australia, the connected nature of the development alongside its diverse and adaptable vision makes it a wholly conceivable experiment worthy of its ‘smart city’ title.