City Design



Planning and Designing Our City 

On behalf of the City of Unley, we work with local communities to help shape our city, to better support the social, cultural, economic and environmental values of each place and ensure their long term sustainability. 

Our Approach

The planning and design of the City considers how we can create:

  • Vibrant and diverse neighbourhoods that foster social and economic growth whilst protecting and enhancing the character of local places;
  • Greener, cooler and more attractive places that positively contribute to the lifestyle of our residents and visitors;
  • Connected, active, climate ready and safer settings for people of all ages, abilities and modes to move efficiently around our city, and
  • Support Council’s ongoing management of existing assets and advocate for appropriate investment across the City.

Our work supports the Principles of Good Design, focusing on how buildings and places can meet the needs of the people who use them. 

Our approach supports iterative, co-design processes that aim to empower local communities to enable change through their early involvement in the planning and design processes, building from their knowledge of local sites, and strengthening relationship between people, and between people and their places.

Our team works with local communities, providing a range of specialist skills which support strategic, ‘whole-of-city’ thinking and technical knowledge, in balance with local community values.


Strategic Direction

A range of strategic documents have been developed to respond to the aspirations of the Council’s Community Plan. Each document sets out an overarching direction for change, aligned with the values of the Council and our community.

These long term directions identify a whole of city vision and provide explanation as to why change is needed, as well as setout priorities or guidelines for local action.

Our key strategies include;

Community Plan

The City of Unley is guided by legislation, State Planning Strategy context, its own local planning vision, themes, goals, objectives and strategies to enhance the city. Community Plan link(PDF, 1MB)

Tree Strategy

The City of Unley Tree Strategy sets a long-term vision for Council and the community to keep Unley leafy for future generations.It considers current and emerging issues, opportunities and trends in our community relating to trees. In addition to managing and maintaining our existing trees, there is a focus on expanding and establishing new trees across the City.


Environmental Sustainability Strategy

The City of Unley is committed to using fewer of our precious natural resources and looking for smarter ways to create a sustainable environment. The Environmental Sustainability Strategy approaches this goal in five key ways, with shared community goals identified for each theme. 


Integrated Transport Strategy

The Unley Integrated Transport Strategy is the overarching transport strategy that sets out objectives, programs, targets, and outcomes for our transport network.

The Strategy is supported by the Walking and Cycling Plan and Local Area Traffic Management Plans, which aim to deliver the objectives of the UITS through specific projects.


Walking and Cycling Plan

 The Walking and Cycling Plan provides the long term strategic direction to improve walking and cycling infrastructure across the City and support programs to make the City safer and more attractive for current and future users.


Local Area Traffic Management Plans

Local area traffic management (LATM) considers neighbourhood level traffic-related opportunities and challenges relating to Parking, Walking and Cycling, Traffic Management and Safety.

Each Plan proposes solutions in context of the local area, rather than in isolation, and sets out a series of priority actions to be progressively implemented. To date, Council have completed 5 of the 8 Plans identified to be developed. These plans include; 


The Living City - Open Space Strategy

The Open Space Strategy is an aspirational document that aims to maintain and enhance the quality of the City’s open space network, with recognition to the changing needs of a growing residential and worker population and in recognition of a changing climate.

The Strategy considers the role local streets, public spaces and under-utilised or shared spaces can play in the expansion of the open space network and add to the quality of life of our residents.


Living Active - Sport and Recreation Strategy

The City of Unley recognises the importance that sport and recreation plays in our City and the significant health, social and economic benefits to our residents. The ‘Living Active Plan’ is focused on building the capacity of our communities to lead physically active lifestyles. 

The Plan defines Council’s role and acknowledges that there are many different ways for a diverse community to become and remain physically active. The ‘Living Active Plan’ outlines a series of strategic directions and actions under the key themes of People & Participation, Planned Places, Partnerships and Sustainability. 


Community Land Management Plans

Community Land Management Plans (CLMPs) are a requirement of section 196 of the Local Government Act 1999 (Division 4 – Management plans). CLMPs describe the location, purpose and management of all the City’s community land which includes parks, reserves, streetscapes, sport and recreation facilities, and stormwater management areas.

Each site has its own Management Plan which is supported by performance targets and measurements, aligned to Council’s Asset Management Plans.


Strategic Approach 

In developing the new strategy, it is recognised that a new approach to new challenges is required to achieve long term change. 

Developing Strategies for the City

This approach includes the following:

• Continue to value and enhance the existing heritage, character and identity of parks, streets and other public places within Unley

• Recognise the role open space can play in attracting new growth required to support a sustainable community

• Recognise the role open space can play in supporting economic performance of local main streets precincts

• Respond to the long term changes in community profile and their needs

• Accommodate population growth, housing diversity and support for local business and services, while maintaining neighbourhood characater  effects of increased residential density

• Connect existing open spaces, community facilities and other local and regional destinations

• Identify new opportunities to reclaim neglected spaces

• Establish new partnerships to increase community access to ‘private’ open spaces (eg. schools, Royal Adelaide Show Grounds)

• Maximise the value of council investment into the creation and maintenance of open spaces

• Develop sustainable open spaces and urban centres in response to climate change.