Bec Fitzgerald

Senior Urban Designer

Masters of Urban Design //Bachelor of Environments (Urban Planning + Design)

Bec is a Senior Urban Designer at Hodyl + Co. She is passionate about creating sustainable, creative and affordable cities that support people of all different backgrounds.

Bec’s work is focused on the formation of place-based design strategies and built form policy. This brings together her talent for creative and strategic thinking and her skills in spatial analysis, research based design, urban design advice, planning and policy research, visual communication and community engagement.

Why did you get into urban design and planning?

Growing up with a builder and (ex) geography teacher parents, I was always surrounded by conversations about the natural and built environment. I have been fascinated with other people's homes from a young age and originally intended to study architecture. After taking an urban design theory subject at university I was drawn to urban design and planning and its emphasis on public life and community.

What does a creative city look like to you?

Affordability is critical in supporting a creative city, as people need to be able to live at a relatively low-cost and have access to spaces to create in and express themselves. Government funding plays an important role here, but equally we need to support the underlying conditions that enable people to self-organise and have greater freedoms and influence over their own environments.

What is your favourite place in Melbourne?

I have been walking or riding through the Carlton Gardens on my way to work everyday for years and plan to one-day live across the road in the iconic Cairo Flats. I love the unfolding view of the Melbourne Museum as I walk up Canning Street, the Morton Bay Fig Tree on Nicholson Street, the fountain held up by merpeople and the french restaurant on Moor Street that I always think about going to but never do.

Aside from Melbourne, what other cities to you love?

It’s a cliché, but I love New York city: I'm a big fan of the parks, free public pools, galleries, concerts and street parties. I was there in summer and there were people playing under burst fire hydrants, which until then I had thought was only a trope that existed in movies!

What are you excited about working on next?
I'm keen to work on more housing projects that are focused on delivering well-designed, affordable housing. We need planning policies that support different housing typologies and align with the many different ways that people want to live their lives. I am also interested in how new housing models can help us move away from institutionalised care of the elderly - I'm looking forward to working on an aged care project soon.

When you get stuck at work, where do you look for inspiration?

The best thing is to get away from the computer, and cycle out to spend time on site. It helps me discover what is special about every place and I always end up with a favourite building, tree, street or story.

Interviews: Mim McGarry