Don't ask me why, it was thirteen years ago now, but for some reason I decided to name my fifth year urban design project 'Ballarat: The New Hotness'. Even as young university students I think we understood the importance of finding a way to get noticed among our highly competitive peer group, whether that be through our dubious fashion choices, futuristic design work, or simply by making outlandish and unsubstantiated statements during design reviews. From memory I was fairly moderate on these fronts with a couple of notable exceptions which I might expand on later.
It was 2003 and it certainly wasn't the first time that the CIty of Ballarat was examining design ideas for the CBD to make improvements to pedestrian and traffic flow, and to better emphasize some of our more impressive historical buildings. Although this time they had the brilliant idea to harvest some fresh and zero cost urban design masterplans by inviting Deakin University to run a design project for its final year architecture students using a real life urban planning problem as the topic.