Back to articles

Precinct Planning - how will it succeed?


Brisbane City Council is advocating precinct planning as a primary strategy to advance key planning policy initiatives. This includes Council’s Suburban Renewal program, the recently updated Brisbane Industrial Strategy, and solutions to address the housing affordability challenge.

(Image above: Translational Research Institute (TRI) - part of the Diamantina Knowledge Precinct - from

The question we want to pose is what form could precinct planning take? What might be some of the key ingredients to a successful strategy?
Tell us what you think.

Here are our thoughts: 

Clear Principles and Policy Direction

A successful strategy must begin from a point of clear principles and policy direction.  This should be expressed in a policy document (perhaps the ‘Brisbane Blueprint Mark 2’ or the ‘Goldprint’) which would provide a baseline position of certainty to developers and the community.  The fundamental principles of this document would include:

  • Clear criteria to identify and select areas for precinct planning.
  • A framework for precinct planning to follow, including engagement, timeframes, and expected outcomes.
  • Opportunities for community capital such as inclusionary zoning, sustainable design targets, and new infrastructure.

The policy document should also include maps identifying sites for catalytic change. This can be updated as new sites emerge.

Change Agent Task Force

Precinct development should be facilitated by a project team responsible for ensuring that the strategy happens. This should be a semi-autonomous authority with the ability to make bold decisions in collaboration with Council’s planning and development assessment teams.


Successful implementation will require:

  • Innovative fast track resolution techniques, as opposed to traditional laborious scheme amendment and approval processes.
  • An infrastructure and capital works programs focused on supporting precinct delivery.
  • Financial and timing incentives to activate private sector investment.
  • A marketing and communication strategy to promote community involvement and publicise the positive outcomes.