Better Planning Codes

Most modern cities require new office buildings to provide some form of bicycle parking and change room facility as part of the planning process. The intent of these requirements is to encourage cycling as it is seen as a positive activity for improving community health, dealing with demand increases for transport infrastructure and also reducing transport-related pollution.

Most planning schemes have adopted strict development requirements for the quantity of bike parking, shower and lockers that go in. These quantity metrics are very effectively implemented throughout each level of the project’s delivery (planning, design, certification and construction).

On the topic of quality, most schemes are mute or mumble a reference to an obscure standard or government document drafted decades ago. When it comes to user experience, users don’t go around counting things like the businessman in the little prince.

People care about how a space makes them feel, and the thoughtful considerations a project team delivers them. The amount of stuff matters, but only to the point that there is enough stuff. Beyond that, it’s the generosity of inclusions and spatial allowances that impact experience. The proof is in our inspiration gallery, notice the majority of the nicest site are existing building retrofits not new builds?

We believe this because planning codes are creating the wrong incentives. The codes push projects to build much more than current demand and the result is compliance not encouraging users. Think 900mm wide showers, bare-bones minimum circulation, etc.

Build It Now Or Never

There is an assumption by planners if it does not get built during the development, it will never get built. This assumption is categorically false in commercial buildings. Savy building owners and developers understand how valuable these facilities are to tenant experience and are willing to invest as needed to keep up with demand.

The Answer

We have worked with a number of projects globally to align the planning codes intent of encouraging cycling with the projects deliver high quality spaces and experience for tenants. Reach out, lets see if we can help your project.

Further Reading

If you liked that, check out our article on the Australian Standards for bike parking.
our quality-driven global rating tool for bike and change room projects called the Cycle Heart Rate.