Bob Perry is an architect and a Director of Scott Carver, an inter-disciplinary design practice based in Sydney.
He is currently Chair of Place Leaders Asia Pacific, a non-profit community of practice comprising cities and government land regeneration authorities, as well as professionals involved in place management, design and branding.
He is also a Board Member of Belgium- based TOCEMA Worldwide, a quality mark used by many cities in Europe that anchors practice and standards of town centre management.
Bob been a director in private practice in Sydney for almost 40 years and has been involved in several transformative waves of development including Australia’s Bicentenary, the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games and recent and current transformations to the Sydney Opera House. He is currently Design Director for several large scale high density developments, some of which are pioneering advocacy and funding of community infrastructure through developer finance and construction.
Bob lectures frequently on the topic of AgoraDynamics, his own spin on the social city inspired by his frequent explorations of Japan and Tokyo in particular.
Title: Place-by-Place Social Resilience through Urban Design
Place Thinking has emerged as a platform for understanding and designing for social sustainability within the bigger picture of Resilience Thinking. Place Leaders Asia Pacific is currently concerned with how ‘place-making’ can be used to learn ways of designing successful new communities and rectifying failed places. It is exploring culture, identity and inclusivity, as well as emerging tools for measuring the value of place.
Because ‘place’ is often what’s left over between buildings, no particular player is responsible for its wellbeing. ‘Place’ is also a gap in our thinking, an objective that dwells between disciplines, lacking an agreed vocabulary and methods of definition and measurement. Urban Design stops short of detail, deferring the resolution of buildings to later stages wherein matters of commercial viability, aesthetics, social and environmental sustainability, and resilience can be addressed through architectural design. Place Thinking brings this detail into focus early in the urban design process.
Importantly, ‘place’ is a term that includes everyone in the discussion and is attracting vigorous engagement by people not normally associated with the design and procurement of cities, as well as the traditional professions.
Many Asian cities, Tokyo being the most complex, have developed around social activation and retain its benefits despite technological change and high densities.
Place Thinking in Australia is trying to imagine, simulate and generate active urban environments that are intrinsic to cities like Tokyo. Urban Design is lifting its horizons from matters of form and function to embrace detailed drivers of behaviour and experiences.