Planning by rating scheme: genealogy, scales of application and ways forward for the formalised rating approach to urban development approval
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The use of rating schemes has emerged in recent decades as a popular planning tool to provide means to assess the performance of development proposals in order to meet desired sustainability objectives. This paper seeks to explore the validity of the formalised rating approach and asks whether it is prudent to consider applications for developments of a larger scale. A brief history and genealogy of rating schemes is presented, demonstrating that while the approach has been extended to small scale residential and commercial developments (i.e. BASIX and Green Star) it has not generally been used at the local area scale applicable to planning for comprehensive development sites (master-planned communities, transit oriented developments and other structure plans generally). Key issues with the formalised rating approach are raised drawn from interviews with the creators of particular schemes, persons who have brought schemes through to the marketplace, developers and consultants forced to use ratings schemes as part of development application processes, and planners charged with assessing developments under these frameworks. Issues raised include the variable impacts of particular schemes, the use of minimum standards/benchmarks, and the demands placed on users. Questions are then formed as to where the use of the formalised rating approach is headed and whether it is either feasible or desirable to apply them at the local area scale of urban development.
2nd State of Australian Cities Conference
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