Our Adelaide. Our Future. City Plan 2036

The City of Adelaide has released the draft of Our Adelaide. Our Future. City Plan 2036 for public consultation.  The CofA has stated that the City Plan 2036 is an ‘evolving tool’ to shape the development of the City and a ‘platform to test ideas’.  The Council aims to facilitate data lead decision making to inform future development and growth.  It is intended to provide a framework for identifying where and how the city should develop based on design testing and scenarios. 

The SA Chapter is preparing a response due by 17 July.  To facilitate member feedback we have summarised our initial response to the Draft Plan to provide members with a starting point for developing their own positions. 

We are seeking feedback on the SA Chapter’s summary position to test and inform our response.  We also encourage members to submit their own responses, either as a written submission or by responding to the Public Engagement Survey.


The Institute supports the following elements for the Draft Plan:

  • the three Pillars that the Plan is founded on: to respect our past, ensure resilience, and embrace inclusivity.
  • The three City Metrics will be used to review and measure the Plan’s effectiveness: Population and jobs growth, Climate resilience, and equitable access.
  • the definition of liveability – access to open spaces, public transport, community facilities, and local services
  • the use of data to shape the future development of the City and as a mechanism to test implementation
  • The high growth trajectory of 50000 residents and 22000 new jobs by 2036.
  • The referencing of the Draft Plan to other strategic documents including the GARP and the State Planning Policies. A coordinated approach recognises that the City is part of a wider urban context and subject to influence from varied stakeholders.  Acknowledging this will assist in the delivery of effective outcomes.
  • The Urban Design Framework priorities –
    • A greener, cooler city – this is vital to make the City more resilient to climate change. However, it should be part of a broader strategy that includes the reduction of energy consumption through improved building performance, water-sensitive urban design and
    • Transit Diversity – Improved transport within the City through increased walkability, active transport, and public transport options are supported. Objectives regarding the reduction of private vehicle use and car parking within the City, and strategies for diverting traffic around the city should also be considered.
    • A city of neighbourhoods – The identification of neighbourhoods enables a finer grain approach to planning future growth, which is important in the creation of a diverse, equitable, and vibrant city. It will also better support development that strengthens the character and heritage of each neighbourhood.
    • Housing diversity for a growing community – Diversity in housing type, size and cost is vital to growing the city’s residential population and ensuring that businesses have access to key workers as well as customers.
  • the City Wide Strategies –
    • A green city grid – This directly supports the greener cooer city strategy. It could be strengthened by including policies that advocate for co-ordinated underground infrastructure when maintenance and new work is undertaken.  Inclusion of requirements for WSUD and tree planting on all at-grade carparks, as well as on vacant sites, would also greatly increase opportunities for urban greening.
    • Open Space at your doorstep – We note the need for open space for use by local residents has been specifically identified in 2.8. We strongly support this recognition that the increased population in the City will require facilities priorities for local use.  The diversity of open space identified in 2.6 is also strongly supported.
    • Developing the City spine – Improved connection between south and north Adelaide is strongly supported.
    • Activating north-south laneways – The percentage established by the Riverbank to Adelaide Central Market provides interesting learnings. Greater consideration of the intersections of this route where it crosses the east-west streets is required, as the existing implementation to date is compromised by these junctions, which reduce continuity and amenity.  It is also implied that indirect routes are less effective.  However, meandering circulation has the potential to provide a more interesting journey, provided they are supported with wayfinding at direction changes.
    • Enhancing east-west streets – Further consideration needs to be given to the way dedicated bus and cycle lanes are implemented. Study of the Grenfell/Currie Street busway and Frome Street bikeway should be undertaken to inform future models.  Strategies for diverting traffic around the city, except for the Wakefield/Grote Street gateway, should be explored collaboratively with relevant stakeholders.
    • Establishing the city loop – Planning for a light rail loop is strongly supported. Opportunities to further extend light rail to surrounding areas should also be considered.  Future planning to coordinate light rail with urban greening is important.
    • New Housing models – Diversity of housing types is strongly supported, with exploration of shop top and adaptive reuse models a unique opportunity for the City. Consideration of what the term ‘missing middle’ means within the City context is suggested as this may differ from options that suit suburbs in the greater metropolitan area.
    • Designing for urban life, diversity and density – The importance of good design and recognition of the interconnection between private development and the public realm are welcomed. Consideration of glare from highly reflective building facades, wind generated by tall buildings and access to sunlight at ground level are all important factors that should be considered in the City Plan 2036.

What we would like to see:

  • Data showing the current distribution of housing, including mapping of housing types and the density.
  • Indication of how the Kaurna Context statements will inform the implementation of the Draft Plan. It would also be interesting to consider how these statements can be incorporated into strategies that enable interpretation and build public knowledge.
  • Discussion of strategies to support and sustain the activation of buildings at street level. Activation supports a safer and more pedestrian friendly city.
  • Inclusion of measurable targets within the implementation plan and transparent reporting of progress.
  • A commitment to work to the City Plan until 2036, including strategies for amendments to respond to feedback.

Concerns regarding the Draft Plan

The Institute has concerns regarding the following aspects of the Draft Plan:

  • The document is lengthy, which may discourage engagement and application. Review to identify and reduce the repetition of information would provide a leaner and more accessible document.
  • The only quantified targets in the Draft Plan relate to the number of residents and workers aimed for by 2036. The inclusion of progressive targets relating to each of the Urban Design Framework priorities and the City Wide Strategies would facilitate the proposed annual review and measurement of success. 


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