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Civic innovation: regional universities as transformative partners


Norrie, H and Holcombe-James, E, Civic innovation: regional universities as transformative partners, Proceedings of the AASA 2016 9th International Conference Project to Practice: Innovating Architecture, 30 September - 1 October 2016, Sydney, pp. 65-69. (2016) [Refereed Conference Paper]

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Universities have an intrinsic relationship to cities, not merely as educational institutions, but also through contributing to social and cultural life in myriads ways. This is particularly important in regional communities, where the university is frequently both a major employer and a key population catalyst, attracting students and staff as residents both short and long term. Beyond the focus on service delivery, the development of university campuses in regional areas offers opportunities to consider how the university can engage with the community, and become a key ‘civic player’ in regional development.

Planning for the future development of new facilities for regional universities offers opportunities to strengthen the town and gown relationship beyond service delivery and the annual graduation parade, and to explore how the university can become physically embedded in place. Examining the conceptual positioning of the university as part of the future urban narrative, beyond the mere occupation of sites, is key to this process. Developing processes of engagement between the university and the city to reimagine collaborative economic, social and spatial relationships involves thinking laterally about ways the university can develop as an intrinsic and complementary part of the city.

Recognising the importance of engagement between faculty and administration is central to this process, prompting new process of strategic design thinking that transform traditional project development and procurement practices. Diverse design research practices which are constantly evolving can provide ways of imagining new urban narratives that embrace alternative social and spatial futures for the university. This highlights opportunities to consider the potential for the institution to be come a key part of the urban infrastructure, dissolving the inevitable and inherent boundaries between the institution and the city to foster opportunities for interactive civic engagement.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Conference Paper
Keywords:urban, collaboration, community engagement
Research Division:Built Environment and Design
Research Group:Urban and regional planning
Research Field:Community planning
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in built environment and design
UTAS Author:Norrie, H (Dr Helen Norrie)
UTAS Author:Holcombe-James, E (Ms Eliza Holcombe-James)
ID Code:114979
Year Published:2016
Deposited By:Architecture and Design
Deposited On:2017-03-03
Last Modified:2018-03-22

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