Good urban design has a crucial role to play in regional NSW.
It ensures the quality of life and helps create healthy, happy and prosperous communities.
And High Street in Bowral does just that.
The active and attractive pedestrian link through the centre of town will be a part of a new design guide for regional NSW that will help revitalise main streets and town centres, build their long-term resilience, improve their connections to rural and coastal landscapes, and increase walking and cycling options.
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The guide recognises and celebrates the diversity of urban environments, natural landscapes, climates and communities that exist across vast rural areas.
The NSW Government architect, Abbie Galvin said Urban Design for Regional NSW helped councils, planners and designers respond to the challenges and opportunities regional communities face.
"Better urban design will improve the quality of life in regional NSW, which is home to about 40 per cent of our State's population and generates a third of all economic activity in NSW," Ms Galvin said.
"This guide will help create and sustain well-designed places that underpin healthy and thriving regional communities. Good urban design improves our cultural, economic and physical well being by creating safe, healthy and inclusive places and communities."
Planning and Public Spaces Minister Rob Stokes said the design guide has helped create better connections between the built and natural environments in regional communities.
"This guide will help revitalise our main streets and town centres, increase walking and cycling opportunities," Mr Stokes said.
"It will also improve the design of our subdivisions and how they connect to surrounding rural and coastal landscapes.
"It also provides an opportunity to explore how to engage and enhance the history and culture of these places, including our rich Aboriginal cultural heritage."
Ms Galvin said the recent bushfires have put a strain on people mentally, but these community areas are a great social area for people to confine in one another.
"We're very mindful of the huge impacts regional areas have gone through recently with bushfires and climate issues," Ms Galvin said.
"This is really putting a renewed importance back into the quality of the built environment."
"The guide talks about how the create a healthy built environment. Not just physical health but climate health, air quality and along with mental health.
"I think the bushfires have shown how we have to look at those sorts of things. Spaces for communities to gather is very important for mental and well-being.
Visiting the Southern Highlands and exploring High Street were Tom and Flora.
They loved everything High Street and the Highlands had to offer.
"It's our first time visiting the Southern Highlands and High Street," Tom said.
"It looks really clean and modern. It's wonderful."
The guide includes 10 case studies, such as High Street, the Levee and Riverlink building in Maitland.
The guide can be found at: www.governmentarchitect.nsw.gov.au/guidance/regional-urban-design.
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