Join us for a symposium exploring the idea of a creative economy and its impact on urban design in Sydney. The symposium takes place in the context of an architecture studio being run at UTS in conjunction with the Transport Construction Authority (TCA) on a major land release at Macquarie Park. The land release is the second biggest after Barangaroo, and more strategically significant at the scale of the city. Macquarie Park is currently home to a rapidly expanding high technology estate, it exists within an international network of cities such as Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and Hong Kong, a local network of neighbouring IT businesses, and a major Australian university.  As such, it occupies a strategic position as a catalyst in a wider metropolitan plan for Sydney which aims to generate major job growth in a relatively new sector of the economy.

In order to do so, the area must offer qualities that are attractive to the sort of workers it needs. Since Sydney’s economy is now primarily knowledge and service based, its natural landscape, harbour, culture and lifestyle become key factors in its ability to attract labour. In that all creative and knowledge economies are structured around points of socialization – the streets, cafes, parks and bars in which we congregate are not just attractors however but increasingly sites for creative labour.

The problem being posed to a city like Sydney is increasingly one of competition, creativity and innovation within this global network. These problems then begin to organize activity around them. In the long-term, the development of a creative knowledge economy in Sydney is guided by the strategic figure of a line stretching from Kingsford Smith International Airport in Mascot, extending North through the CBD and curving north-west before concluding at Macquarie Park.  Described as the ‘global arc’ or ‘creative crescent’, this figure describes a territory of knowledge production in which a matrix of campus typologies linked with transport infrastructure attempt to create a network for innovation and economic growth at the scale of the metropolitan plan. Though the reality is much more fragmented than the continuous figure of the arc suggests, in the figure we can read, if not a material reality then an ambition to link an urban territory into an international economy.

Invited guests for the symposium include Andrew Cortese (Grimshaw Sydney), Marianne Rathje (Microsoft), Ingo Kumic (Knox City Council Victoria), Tarsha Finney (UTS). Event hosted by Adrian Lahoud and David McGirr.

It will be held this Thursday May 12, from 12-3pm in the level 5 design studios.