Smithfield High School Learning Academy visits JCU

Students from Smithfield State High School (SSHS)  have recently visited JCU as part of their Tropical North Learning Academy activities.

Participating students are undertaking the task of designing a city, and came to JCU to learn about what we do at the University in this regard. It was a great opportunity talk about the urban planning and design professions, but also to get them observing and thinking about the things we need to know and understand to be able to design a pleasant, safe, and inclusive city.

Topics discussed in class were largely in the urban design scale, and were divided into two parts. The first part focused on the evolution of cities throughout time, in particular the planning traditions of the 60’s, consequent ‘over-zoning’, and the current approaches to bring back people-centred urban spaces. The second part focused upon understanding and analysing the city, including figure-ground diagrams, visual analysis, environmental perception, and human behaviour. As a follow up, in the second visit, they had a short tutorial on Kevin Lynch’s methodology for observing the city. The ‘young urbanists’ identified these structuring elements in a short walk at JCU campus.


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