Aims of the Protocol

The Urban Design Protocol is founded on five pillars: productivity, sustainability, liveability, leadership and design excellence. When integrated together, these pillars form the aim of the Protocol:

To create productive, sustainable and liveable
places for people
through leadership and the
integration of design excellence



From time to time governments, professional associations and other organisations develop and use urban policies to help articulate and drive the changes necessary to help make our cities productive, liveable and sustainable.  One such example was the National Urban Policy developed by the Federal Government in 2011, which endeavoured to provide a long-term national framework to guide policy development and public and private investment in cities through articulating a set of goals, objectives and principles.

  • Summary of National Urban Policy Goals, Objectives and Priciples[PDF: 33 KB] []


The goals of the National Urban Policy are:

  • Productivity: To harness the productivity of Australias people and industry, by better managing our use of labour, creativity and knowledge, land and infrastructure.
  • Sustainability: To advance the sustainability of Australias natural and built environment, including through better resource and risk management.
  • Liveability: To enhance the liveability of our cities by promoting better urban design, planning and affordable access to recreational, cultural and community facilities.

These goals will be achieved through delivering on the following objectives:



  1. Improve labour and capital productivity by:
    • Aligning workforce availability and capacity to meet labour force demand
    • Supporting education, research and innovation
  2. Integrate land use and infrastructure by:
    • Integrating planning of land use, social and economic infrastructure
    • Investing in urban passenger transport
    • Protecting corridors, sites and buffers
  3. Improve the efficiency of urban infrastructure by:
    • Maximising returns on new and existing infrastructure
    • Taking into account operational and maintenance costs of infrastructure and assets
    • Connecting private investment capital to infrastructure and assets of high public benefit
    • Utilising smart infrastructure
    • Enhancing connectivity through the National Broadband Network


  1. Protect and sustain our natural and built environments by:
    • Protecting and enhancing natural ecosystems
    • Supporting sustainable development and refurbishment of our built environment
  2. Reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve air quality by:
    • Supporting and investing in low emissions technologies
    • Putting a price on carbon
    • Sustainable urban planning and regulatory reform
  3. Manage our resources sustainably by:
    • Reducing resource consumption and waste
    • Improving water, energy and food security
  4. Increase resilience to climate change, emergency events and natural hazards by:
    • Climate change science and research
    • Mitigation and adaptation


  1. Facilitate the supply of appropriate mixed income housing by:
    • Encouraging a range of housing types to suit diverse household needs across metropolitan  areas and regional cities
    • Supporting the development of aged persons accommodation, including medium and high care
  2. Support affordable living choices by:
    • Locating housing close to facilities and services, including jobs and public transport, in more compact mixed use development
    • Supporting new outer metropolitan housing with access to facilities, services and diverse education and employment opportunities
  3. Improve accessibility and reduce dependence on private vehicles by:
    • Improving transport options
    • Reducing travel demand by co-location of jobs, people and facilities
  4. Support community wellbeing by:
    • Providing access to social and economic opportunity
    • Improving the quality of the public domain
    • Improving public health outcomes
    • Redressing spatially concentrated disadvantage
    • Enhancing access to cultural, sporting and recreational activity


  1. Improve the planning and management of our cities by:
    • Facilitating a whole-of-governments approach
    • Integrating planning systems, infrastructure delivery and management
    • Encouraging best practice governance and applying the principle of subsidiarity
  2. Streamline administrative processes by:
    • Improving the effectiveness and efficiency of approval processes for development
    • Encouraging participation and engagement with stakeholders
  3. Evaluate progress by:
    • Research, analysis and reporting
Last modified: September 23, 2015