A City for Everyone: Draft Inclusive Brisbane Plan 2019-2029 - Theme 3: Live

By 2029 Brisbane will be a city for everybody - known worldwide for embracing all ages, abilities and cultures.

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A city where everyone can live and relax

I can enjoy Brisbane’s parks and open spaces.

Brisbane has a rich network of pools, community halls, libraries, parklands, botanic gardens, creative and cultural facilities, sports clubs and community hubs.

Council has significantly enhanced the accessibility of these places and spaces since 2012, winning awards for the inclusion of all residents and visitors. From hearing loops in community halls to all-abilities playgrounds and zero-depth aquatic pools where children of all abilities can play together, Brisbane has become a more accessible and welcoming place to live and visit.

By 2029, people of all ages, abilities and cultures will have equal access to facilities and open spaces that enrich their lives. Council will expand its role in championing inclusion beyond our own buildings and open spaces. Council will empower developers and community groups to ensure facilities appeal to all and support Brisbane’s housing options so residents can age in suburbs and housing of their choice. A continued focus on enhancing our local parks will ensure our city is liveable and sustainable for our children, and their children to follow.

Buildings and open spaces for everyone

I can access community facilities and housing that meet my needs.

Residents and visitors are experiencing real benefits from Council’s recent upgrades to pools, halls, libraries, parks and many other public facilities. All-abilities playgrounds, picnic areas, interpretive signage and even fishing platforms have helped maximise everyone’s enjoyment of our outdoor spaces.

Council will continue to fund ongoing enhancements to all Council pools, libraries and community facilities so that they are accessible to a wider range of residents and visitors.

The spaces between buildings are as important as the buildings themselves. Well planned and creatively designed streets, parks and public squares are essential to a city’s liveability. Open spaces are globally recognised as one of the most important features of an accessible, age-friendly city. Brisbane’s riverside parks, bushland reserves and suburban playgrounds are where we relax, celebrate together and embrace the natural world.

Installing ramps in place of steps and designing signage with images and symbols so everyone can understand them, are some of the initiatives that could increase access to community spaces.

Council regulates new development so buildings are part of the existing landscape, with useable public space and safe paths of travel linking important places. Council will now explore ways to make existing privately-owned places and spaces more appealing to everyone.

Better housing choice

Houses are being designed for versatility as longer lifespans combined with our growing population mean more homes will need to cater for people’s changing physical needs over the coming decades. Research indicates a 60% chance that a house will be occupied by a person with disability at some point over its life [xi]. Simple features such as a step-free entrance and wide hallways can make a home easier to access, navigate and live in, at little or no extra cost. This would not only benefit people with disability but also families with young children, older residents and people with temporary injuries.

Research shows that most people want to stay in their community as they age, close to family, friends and familiar surroundings. Brisbane will need 188,200 more homes by 2041 than it had in 2016 [xii]. A substantial number of older Brisbane residents are ‘ageing in place’ but enhancing housing options can support even more residents to remain connected to employment and maintain relationships with local family and friends [xiii] in accessible and affordable locations [xiv].

Brisbane City Plan 2014, the main plan that directs development in Brisbane, already encourages versatile housing that can be easily and cost-effectively adapted to meet the changing needs of occupants across their lifetime. In the future, more developments will need to cater for people requiring higher-level access from the outset. Council is considering options to support further accessible dwellings close to employment hubs around major transport routes.

Future possibilities

Between 2019 and 2029, Council is considering a focus on the following strategies and possible actions.

Broaden Brisbane’s housing options

  • Provide a dedicated Council employee to support development applications for housing that meets the needs of people participating in the NDIS.
  • Provide a Brisbane Housing Strategy that advocates for diverse housing models.
  • Partner with the Queensland Government to identify sites within global precincts (eight areas that play a critical economic function in Brisbane) suitable for encouraging accessible housing close to new job opportunities.

Make Brisbane a more accessible and welcoming place to live and visit.

  • Provide an additional lift to the stage at Riverstage and increased viewing areas for people with wheelchairs and other mobility devices.
  • Fund enhanced accessibility features at environment centre walking trails.
  • Facilitate the sharing of information about commercial-size community cooking spaces so that large cultural groups can utilise affordable and accessible meeting spaces.
  • Provide information on the accessibility of Council facilities such as the availability of ramps, elevators and accessible public toilets so that residents can make informed choices about their use.
  • Provide new designs for Council signage in parks and public spaces that feature more images and symbols than solely English text, so that everyone can understand the information.
  • Facilitate smarter use of Council land to maximise benefits for the whole community through possible initiatives such as locating community gardens next to sports fields and using the fields for festivals, food events, active and healthy programs, markets and other community activities.
  • Partner with the building industry to investigate awards for planning, designing and building accessible and inclusive facilities, housing and public spaces.
  • Provide enhancements to key public gardens to meet the needs of people with sensory disabilities.
  • Facilitate opportunities for private developers to deliver accessible and inclusive buildings that also deliver community facilities such as community meeting space, parklands or public libraries.

Ongoing commitments

Council will continue to provide reviews of Brisbane City Plan 2014 codes to encourage housing diversity and advocate to other levels of government for more proactive policies around land use planning instruments, including specific provisions for accessible housing, adaptable housing and mixes of housing types.

Providing opportunities for more Changing Places facilities (public toilets for people with a profound disability that contain full-sized change tables and hoists) across Brisbane, will continue. Encouraging the activation of new spaces such as laneways or public areas next to developments to connect ages and cultures in safe and accessible ways, will be an ongoing focus for Council.

Council will continue to support community organisations to enhance their services and facilities to be more accessible to people of all ages and abilities, as well as facilitating the inclusion of features (such as lifts) within new developments that improve access to public attractions and open spaces.

Council will continue to provide ongoing improvements to pools, community halls, libraries, creative and cultural facilities, sports fields, cemeteries, community gardens and open spaces, and provide training to operators of community facilities enabling them to service customers of all ages, abilities and backgrounds. Providing accessible public toilets, barbecues, picnic areas, playgrounds, fishing platforms and interpretative signage for environmental education in natural park areas will continue.

Partnering with lessees and service providers at Riverstage, Sir Thomas Brisbane Planetarium and community pools to honour the Companion Card will continue to provide free entry to authorised carers of people with high-support needs.

Regulating new development, providing public space and streetscape guidelines, supporting accessible entrances to shopfronts as part of urban renewal projects and providing calm, quiet spaces in urban renewal projects for people with sensory sensitivities, will all be part of Council’s ongoing work. Providing support for aged-care facilities and regulating pool fence exemptions for people with disability requiring access will be part of Council’s day-to-day operations.

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Last updated:10 December 2019