Vertical Schools as Community Hubs in Residential Neighbourhoods
conference contributionposted on 30.11.2020, 08:48 by Fatemeh Aminpour
Vertical schools are created in response to increasing residential density and land scarcity in metropolitan areas. This school typology is new in Australia and often provides high-quality facilities that the community can hire. As vertical schools and their communities become reliant on the use of shared spatial resources, their interdependencies should be considered at different stages of planning, design and management of the schools. This paper presents some successful urban design and planning considerations that lead to a safe and convenient sharing of resources by vertical schools and their neighbourhoods, through a socio-ecological framework. The analysis of five Australian vertical schools explores physical, social and organisational dimensions: the characteristics of schools (presence of sports fields and common areas); the characteristics of the neighbourhood (pedestrian network connectivity, presence of parks, library and grassed fields, barriers for the protection of children from vehicles); the social characteristics (number of students, volume of traffic in the neighbourhood, pedestrian traffic, parental concerns for safe child travel); the organisational dimensions (presence of traffic control devices, street lighting, road crossing, parking lots); and collaboration between the school and their local agencies (facility management of schools, their neighbourhoods and administration of timetables for the shared use). For the community to share the school and neighbourhood resources successfully, these dimensions can be used as a starting point to understand the need for developing a more comprehensive framework. The shared use of facilities can strengthen the concept of vertical schools as community hubs and increase the availability of recreational resources for both children and other members of the community in high-density neighbourhoods.