Professor Hisham Elkadi, Head of the School of Architecture and Building, believes Deakin has a key role to play in the transformation of the Geelong CBD.
Professor Elkadi – who has been involved in the redevelopment of cities such as Newcastle-Gateshead in the UK and Belfast in Northern Ireland – has recently given his support and that of the School to the Committee for Geelong’s Vision II development plan.
“A more visionary approach for the transformation and regeneration of the Geelong CBD is a must,” Professor Elkadi said. “The City of Geelong is at serious risk of not achieving enough synergies between all the different initiatives, including the cultural precinct.
“I think there is still too much of a silo mentality. Sites come up for development and projects proceed without any way to measure or guide the contribution they might make to the big picture for Geelong. And there needs to be a big picture through which to proceed, even if in acknowledging the pluralities of interest in Modern Geelong.
“Such vision may have to be comprised of several overlapping frames, but I believe Deakin University is key to it. Building a UniverCity is one of the merging frames.”
Professor Elkadi said the School of Architecture and Building together with the City of Greater Geelong and the Committee for Geelong were looking into ways of integrating their efforts to build and further enhance a more integrated vision for the city.