The Robina residential archipelago: Its current and future sustainability

Nigel Cartlidge

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This study examined the nature of the urban connectivity and evaluated the long-term sustainability of a specific area of the suburb of Robina on the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia. Additionally, the challenges, impacts, and benefits of the solutions proposed in this study were considered. In order to analyse the urban connectivity of Robina Woods, walkability was seen as the most critical measure. Ten homes were selected, the local amenities identified and the Green, Blue, Grey, Planned and Social barriers to connectivity mapped out.

Maps were used to trace the distances and walking routes from the selected residences to each of the amenities. A walking speed was nominated in consideration of the average age of residents, climate, terrain and slope of the area. Using this information Ped Shed Patterns were drawn and a Road Deviation Index calculated. The most significant findings indicated a significant disruption to the urban connectivity of Robina Woods to its southern and western boundaries, creating a car dependant urban design that isolates the infirm, young, and elderly despite Robina Woods being in the geographical centre of the sixth largest city in Australia. Walkability is severely restricted by the design and spatial layout of the street patterns. The lack of destinations and community facilities in a community of over three thousand people suggest a high level of social isolation for those without access to a car.

The efficiency of the road network is seen as very poor, with an inefficient and problematic hierarchical road structure. The extra cost of running a vehicle in the suburb affects the individual and the environment. The urban connectivity to the neighbouring suburbs is poor by all modes of transport especially to Varsity Lakes. There would be multiple challenges to face if any solutions for connectivity are pursued; however the physical and mental health costs, loss of social capital, and changing demographic profile are such important factors that the issue cannot simply be ignored.

Recipient of the 2009 merit award for planning scholarship, research and teaching from the Planning Excellence Queensland Awards.

© Copyright Nigel Cartlidge, 2008
Original languageEnglish
PublisherBond University
Number of pages118
Publication statusPublished - 2008


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