Densification of urban environments has led to increased pressure on existing school infrastructure throughout Australia’s major cities and regional towns. Schools have continued to evolve as part of this process and facilities are becoming more frequently leveraged for public use and enabled for a range of education-related activities that foster community development. Design and procurement of schools currently builds upon minimum standards that often lack generosity to establish social spaces and facilities that can be ‘borrowed’ by external users and provide critical sociological benefits. Through a review of the New South Wales planning policy, this article aims to identify the benefits of providing facilities as part of school infrastructure that compliments public assets as well as discussing challenges faced with the delivery of these assets within an on-going trend of urbanisation. It is argued that on-going planning for school environments requires the adoption of a community-wide view if a more holistic and considered approach to shared facilities is to be developed.
Keywords: Community schools; educational planning; urban planning; urban schools; vertical schools; Australia
Ben is Sydney based registered architect and urban designer within the practice Designinc. His work has focused on the realisation of masterplan and precinct visions but has included the delivery of a broad range of building typologies including education and housing. His research has focused on the intersection of policy and built outcome, from the spatial organisation of cities through to housing policy.Linkedin