Better Future - Cities - Rob Adams

1 February 2019 | Mark Bergin

Since 1983, Melbourne has been incredibly fortunate to have a single person driving the design of the city – Rob Adams. For over 30 years, Adams has overseen, guided and driven the effort to see Melbourne evolve from a cultural and retail backwater to the Most Liveable City many years running. His work has benefited the two and a half generations of those that put him to the job. This is a truly remarkable expedition to a Better Future, and a body of work that needs to be recognised just as methodically as it was executed.

Rob’s vision was not a fast-paced, high-cost improvement, but a steady and rational expansion of streets, buildings and scenery, allowing for residential and commercial activity to flourish. None of this was happenstance, but a well resolved plan articulated to multiple elected governments. It has proved a consistent platform accelerating Melbourne into the markedly different city it is today.

One of the most astounding aspects of this expedition is the absence of big-ticket architectural statements underpinning the project. This is to say that Rob and his team have worked at getting the setting right, enabling commercial and civic evolution, not creating monuments. This depth of capacity is often misunderstood due to the lack of flamboyance however Rob’s work is nothing short of excellent and consistently well resolved Urban Design at play.

Urban Choreography Central Melbourne, 1985– Kim Dovey, Rob Adams, Ron Jones Winner, Australian Institute of Landscape Architects Awards 2018 Commendation, Australian Urban Design Awards 2018 Commendation, Victorian Community History Awards 2018 The global success story of central Melbourne's transformation since the 1980s


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