AECOM leads unique urban spaces project for indigenous communities
Led by AECOM, the University of Western Australia, and the Shire Council of Ngaanyatjarraku, the Sustainable Warburton project is a research, design and planning initiative to create improved urban spaces for indigenous people, that could be applied to indigenous communities across Australia and around the world.
Projects include an award-winning community college, an arts precinct, and an urban agriculture scheme where orange trees irrigated with wastewater are planted throughout the town to provide shade, food, protection from dust and improved health.
There is also a project to improve the town’s spatial structure and a housing project that will look at accommodation arrangements that work more harmoniously with how indigenous families gather.
Masters and honours students at UWA will present design projects to the Shire Council in February, where one of them will be announced winner of an AECOM prize for the most outstanding design.
“This is the first tri-partisan relationship between an Australian indigenous community, academia and industry to build a research and knowledge bank over a longer term with the focus on settlement planning and implementation,” says Jon Shinkfield, project director.
“We’re committed to a programme focused on research, practice and realisation of a new spatial order for the town and it is hoped this will lead to major changes in the way indigenous people can live.”
AECOM is also advising on alternative energy options to help find solutions to the community’s reliance on costly diesel fuel to drive the town’s generators, and in a separate project, AECOM is expanding Warburton’s Early Learning Centre and Learning Landscape featuring a playgroup for indigenous women and children.