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Curtin academics host international LIVEABILITY symposium

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Curtin University academics recently hosted a symposium in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, bringing together international design experts, educators and practitioners to discuss the challenge of developing liveable cities through architecture.

The forum, entitled LIVEABILITY, encouraged conversations around intelligent and creative solutions for smarter and more sustainable cities, and living culture through the built environment.

Mr Khoa Do, School of Built Environment, said the concept of liveability at a community level sometimes got lost as governments and architects focused on accommodating economic and development imperatives.

“We talk a lot about cities developing and sustainability and how we need to be conscious of the environment or energy efficiency, or economic development,” Mr Do said.

“But fundamentally what sits underneath all that stuff is being able to live and be comfortable in that living.”

Mr Do said what represented liveability varied from place to place, with each city or community having different expectations, standards and experiencing its own challenges.

“Perth is recognised as one of the world’s most liveable cities, but continues to experience design challenges such as urban sprawl, tourism and transportation,” Mr Do said.

“Meanwhile Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam – one of Southeast Asia’s most energetic cities – is undergoing transformational growth with an economy generating rapid urbanisation, informal densities and rural-urban migration.

“Both cities are centrifugal in nature to live, work and play. Both cities are economic epicentres.

“How can we make both cities more liveable?”

Mr Do moderated the symposium with Curtin’s Dr Francesco Mancini and Dr Tanja Glusac, exploring this question and more with Vietnamese design firms such as MM++ architects, Kientruc O, GroupGSA, HTA+pizzini, OUT-2 and representatives from the HCMC University of Architecture and the Thu Duc District Urban Management Division.

LIVEABILITY was held on Saturday, 23 January at the Intercontinental Asiana Saigon.

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