Compacting the city centre: densification in two Newcastles

Robert Rogerson, Bob Giddings

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Abstract

The compact city and the associated process of densification have attained almost hegemonic status as a sustainable urban form. Seeking to counteract the negative impacts of sprawl, urban densification has usually focused on areas beyond the city centre. However, a renewed attraction of the urban core is altering patterns at a time when other trends, including the decline of retailing and commercial activity, are also changing demands for space in the city centre. This paper investigates different approaches to the use of urban densification as part of strategies for the regeneration of the city centre. Drawing on two case studies - Newcastle upon Tyne in the UK and Newcastle New South Wales in Australia - it considers the different mechanisms by which city authorities and their development partners are seeking to densify the city centre, and examines tensions created by the process in these two contexts. In addition to document analysis, data is derived from symposia based in both cities as part of the future of the city centre project led by the authors. Contributors included representatives from local government, non-government organisations, business and community groups. The outcome is an appraisal of contrasting approaches to the densification of city centres.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)185-202
Number of pages18
JournalBuildings & Cities
Volume2
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 16 Feb 2021

Keywords

  • compact cities
  • sustainability
  • city centres
  • density
  • UK
  • Australia

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