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June 2011 Issue
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New life for Adelaide's riverbank

 Urban Design

A University of Adelaide architect is playing a lead role in the future of one of Adelaide's most important locations - the Riverbank Precinct.

Professor Ian McDougall, from leading architectural and urban design firm Ashton Raggatt McDougall (ARM), is heading the consortium of consultants who have been commissioned by the South Australian Government to create a Master Plan for Adelaide's Riverbank.

Professor McDougall has joined with Kevin Taylor of Taylor Cullity Lethlean, one of Australia's leading landscape architects, and Andrew Russell of Aurecon, a world-class infrastructure and specialist consultancy, to form the leadership team on the project.

"Adelaide's Riverbank is one of the most significant public precincts in Australia," said Professor McDougall, who is Professor of Architecture and Urban Design at the University of Adelaide.

"The Riverbank Precinct is the location for the South Australian Parliament, the seminal Festival Centre Arts complex, SKYCITY Casino and the Adelaide Convention Centre. A large part of the precinct is built over the Adelaide Central Railway Station, and its river frontage comprises the Historic Elder Park and surrounds. To the north, Adelaide Oval has begun a substantial redevelopment as a cricket and football venue.

"In connecting to the Riverbank Precinct, the city's northern edge will become a revitalised public playground," he said.

The State Government described the Master Plan consortium as "world class" and said it had the experience and track record to bring out the best the precinct had to offer. The aim was to "create a place that is enticing, internationally recognised and ultimately South Australian".

"Unleashing the potential of the Riverbank Precinct will make a considerable contribution forging Adelaide's identity as a 21st Century city," said the Minister for Transport and Infrastructure, the Hon. Patrick Conlon.

"The Riverbank Precinct Master Plan comes at a time when Adelaide is rapidly evolving into a city with an enormous future.
"The Riverbank is one of the most underutilised visual identities of South Australia and seeing it reach its potential as a cultural and social hub has always been high on this government's agenda."

Tourism Minister the Hon. John Rau said the Riverbank and Adelaide Oval redevelopments were the most exciting thing to happen to the city for a long time.

"The Master Plan will further enhance the developments we have already supported including the upgrade of Adelaide Oval, the extension of the Adelaide Convention Centre and construction of the new Royal Adelaide Hospital," Minister Rau said.

Professor McDougall is a founding director of ARM and has been involved in the master planning of Melbourne Docklands and the Melbourne Recital Centre. He is currently working on the revamping of the Melbourne Arts Centre and the Master Plan for Melbourne's Southbank Cultural Precinct Redevelopment. ARM is also currently involved with the West Australian Government on development of the Perth Waterfront on the north bank of the Swan River.

Taylor Cullity Lethlean are the urban designers behind the upgrade of North Terrace.

The School of Architecture, Landscape Architecture and Urban Design regularly hosts leaders in the urban planning industry as part of the Speaker Series. To view past presentations visit:

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A busy day for Adelaideís Riverbank Precinct
Photo courtesy of South Australian Tourism Commission

A busy day for Adelaide's Riverbank Precinct
Photo courtesy of South Australian Tourism Commission

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