Transforming our southern campus

We're working to create a highly distinctive and attractive southern campus in the city-centre of nipaluna/Hobart over the next decade.

We are bringing our southern campus back together in a way that is more accessible, around a single heart, and where we are more connected to our partners and each other - a vibrant, contemporary campus which blends university and city life.

Improving accessibility

Enables easy access for students who want to study in the south.

Creating a campus heart

Brings the overwhelming majority of our southern students and staff together around a campus heart.

Better connect with partners

Enables us to work more easily with our partners.

Replacing aged infrastructure

Replaces our very aged infrastructure with distinctive and attractive student and staff spaces.

A university of and for the city

Grows from working together to create a university of and for the city.

Shaped by conversations

Is shaped by conversations about people’s hopes for the city.

Get in touch Frequently asked questions Download the full masterplan

Preliminary masterplan five precincts map
Preliminary Masterplan: The city campus is organised into five interconnected precincts with a campus at its centre.

Preliminary masterplan

The city campus is organised into five interconnected precincts with a campus heart at its centre.

Each of the precincts is defined by a combination of geography and program connections. We will reflect the deep history and continuing Aboriginal connection to the country of nipaluna at each precinct.

The preliminary suggestions for school allocations across the five precincts are:

The West End offers easy access at the edge of the campus

The West End precinct will house the University's activities across Engineering and Technology. In the short term, the site will be activated with a temporary basketball facility, and the outside space will continue to be used by a community market each month. A new park will become the centre of the West End precinct.

  • University areas
    Engineering and Technology
  • Existing
    In the short term we plan to activate the existing building as a temporary sporting facility for both University and community use.
  • Framework
    The site levels establish a sloped landscape reaching up to kunanyi.
  • Ground Floor
    The ground floor is activated through retail and commercial opportunities and active ground floor University uses.
  • Upper Floor
    The upper floors become an area for Engineering and Technology set within a new green setting.
  • Circulation
    New connections create through block links and new views to kunanyi.
  • Landscape
    A community park provides informal recreation for all ages and ball sports are integrated into a new recreation park on Brisbane Street.
West End precinct map
West End precinct map
Artist impression of the new park at the centre of the West End precinct
Artist impression of the new park at the centre of the West End precinct

Urban design principles

From all we have learnt, we have created a set of urban design principles for our city campus and the strategies to implement them.

Enhance the distinctive natural and human qualities of nipaluna/Hobart

Strategies

  1. Honour the deep history and continuing Aboriginal custodianship of the country of nipaluna
    • Honour and celebrate the deep history and dynamic contemporary knowledge and culture of palawa people across the new campus
    • Deepen reconciliation with Tasmania’s First People through innovative collaborations in art and design
    • Ensure Aboriginal heritage is appropriately conserved and acknowledged
  2. Enable people to orient themselves through views to the mountain and the river
  3. Work with and reveal the original geography of headlands, escarpments, rivulets and coves
  4. Honour and give life to the heritage buildings of the city
  5. Integrate new buildings with the human scale of the city
    • Ensure new buildings complement and blend with the existing cityscape and protect views of the mountain and river

Bring nature into the city as an integral part of a sustainable campus

Strategies

  1. Create a nature corridor to connect the city to the natural surrounds
    • The University will significantly increase the tree canopy across the campus in line with the City of Hobart targets.
    • 16.7% Tree canopy cover across Hobart City
    • 60% Tree canopy cover across the City of Hobart Municipality
  2. Create and upgrade a series of parks throughout the campus
    • Introduce green spaces to soften the landscape and improve the climate resilience of the city
  3. Provide infrastructure for sustainable and carbon neutral transport choices as part of a well-connected network
    • Contribute to safe cycling infrastructure and initiatives in the central city
    • Support a safe bike connection to Sandy Bay
    • Provide end of trip facilities
  4. Make sustainable design the guiding force for all refits, new buildings and civil spaces
    • Prioritise the elimination of embodied carbon in design and construction of all buildings and in their operating model
    • To the greatest extent possible use circular design principles and approach for all retrofits and new builds
    • Prioritise timber construction, where possible
    • Ensure sustainable design principles shape all projects
  5. Support the transition to a zero-waste circular economy
    • Reduce the amount of waste produced and deal with it in a way that actively contributes to the economic, social and environmental goals of sustainable development

Create a highly accessible campus that enhances connections across the city and from the Southern Region

Strategies

  1. Create inclusive and welcoming University spaces and buildings
    • Create inclusive and welcoming work, study and civic spaces
    • Encourage interaction and discovery through internal streetscapes and circulation routes
    • Activities and programs are easily viewed from both inside and out
  2. Make the University more accessible to people across the city and Southern Region through better public transport
    • We will implement a range of transport solutions to help people make increasingly sustainable choices that suit their lifestyle
    • We will work with the City of Hobart and the State Government to improve public transport infrastructure
  3. Ensure spaces are physically accessible to all
    • Ensure mode of access to facilities and spaces gives equal priority to all users
    • Landscaping strategies will be used to create equal access where we have more challenging topographies like the Domain
    • Best practice accessibility principles and practices will be used for individual building design and public space projects
    • Establish an Accessibility Reference Group to advise us throughout the transformation
  4. Provide a pedestrian-centric campus environment
  5. Ensure spaces are safe through diversity of use and transparency
    • Design for passive security, for example buildings that overlook outside spaces
    • Create a density of people and activity to make spaces safer
    • Employ careful lighting strategies that don’t create unnecessary shadows or inadvertently highlight vulnerable users
    • Laneways will be carefully designed to maximise passive security and ensure the safety of users

Create an inviting heart to a connected series of University and city communities

Strategies

  1. Form a campus heart to create and give expression to the University community and to be a meeting place for the city
  2. Create attractive spaces that are effective places for our people to work, collaborate and build community
  3. Create attractive, welcoming formal and informal learning spaces for students
  4. Create spaces that are welcoming and available to people throughout their lives
    • Spaces that invite children onto the campus and meet their needs
    • Make the library welcoming and available to school students
    • Social spaces for community groups to meet
    • Spaces for musicians and artists to perform
    • Continue to support the University of the Third Age (U3A) with spaces they can use
  5. Allow local businesses to flourish by providing opportunities for a range of commercial activities on the street frontages
    • Determine future retail and commercial space on University properties based on market demand
    • Create spaces and provide mentoring for start-up enterprise to establish a retail or commercial business
  6. Determine University locations to maximise relationships with the community and industry
    • Where possible, co-locate University activities in close proximity to related facilities and infrastructure, such as College of Health and Medicine with the Royal Hobart Hospital

Listening and learning

Our apology

  • On December 4, 2019, the University made a historic apology for its role in wrongdoings towards Tasmanian Aboriginal people
  • The process of healing and acknowledgement is an ongoing one
  • Tasmanian Aboriginal people and their culture will have a dynamic presence across Hobart’s campuses as a way of transforming this apology into action

Our move to the new campus has to start with a deeper reconciliation with Tasmania’s First People

Uncovering nipaluna

  • Tragically, within 30 years of the establishment of the British colony, the muwinina were dispossessed of their homelands
  • Around nipaluna/Hobart, excavations yield reminders of layers of culture in the form of stone tools and palawa living places
  • Despite the impact of invasion, European colonisation has created only a thin veneer of bitumen, concrete and buildings over the proud history of our First People

palawa after dispossession

  • palawa Elders such as Trukanini became well known in Hobart in the 1850s and 60s
  • Aboriginal people came to work in the maritime industry and be respected figures, including William Lanne, who in 1866 was reported to have travelled to England to meet Queen Victoria
  • Despite his success, Lanne’s grave was plundered for scientific research, drama which played out in places closely associated with the University’s Hobart precincts

Frequently asked questions for our community

Traders will receive a significant positive benefit from having all of the Southern Campus in the city.

The move will bring up to 8,500 students and 1,500 staff into the city , adding vibrancy and economic activity. Independent research by Urbis found that, in a typical week, virtually all city workers buy something before, during or after work. Only three per cent reported buying nothing.

The average city worker spends over $10,000 per year at nearby businesses. With 1,500 staff moving to the city, that’s an extra $15 million spent at small businesses in the area - cafes, restaurants, hairdressers and retail stores. And that doesn’t even include students.

Already, a diverse range of businesses have opened to cater for students and staff living and working in the city, contributing to the emergence of the vibrant Midtown precinct. Contrary to some reports, the majority of local traders support our move and the principles that underpin it.

The move will revitalise several empty sites as teaching, learning, research and service hubs. These include the:

  • Forestry building (which was vacant)
  • Freedom building (after the franchisee decided not to renew the lease)
  • K&D site (after the business closed)
  • Webster’s site (containing a long-disused building)
  • McCann’s building (after a local business was seeking improved premises).

The move will transform these unused buildings into a sustainable, contemporary precinct that takes the city forward and benefits the whole community.

Long holidays may be pleasant memories for students in days gone by, but they are not how a modern university operates.

Even in the first week of January there is typically over 1,000 people at the University either studying or working.

The University of Tasmania offers courses year-round, including a summer session, to allow our students to complete as soon as possible. Students in our accommodation buildings sign 50-52-week leases each year. Professional and academic staff work year-round on teaching, research, events, operations and administration. The University’s facilities are used for extended hours to cater for the majority of our students who have work and caring responsibilities.

Yes. By making the campus more accessible by bus, ferry, bike and foot, we will decrease the number of car trips by staff and students.

From 10 years of travel surveys of our staff and students, we know that being in the city already results in 20% fewer people driving.

By locating our campus closer to students’ workplaces and our industry partners, we will reduce car trips between these locations. Some staff and students will be able to continue parking at Sandy Bay and the Uni Hopper bus will transport them between locations.

With our partners, we are actively involved in advocating for a better public transport system for Hobart. And we will provide smart parking options on our new campus.

Yes. It found that, on almost every road in and around Hobart, the traffic will be better.

Around half of University staff and students live on the Eastern Shore, in the Northern Suburbs or in Kingborough/Far South. Most of these people currently cross the city and add to the congestion on the main arterial routes.

There have been numerous traffic modelling assessments completed and shared with the public, including one submitted to the 2019 parliamentary inquiry into Hobart traffic congestion. In 2018 GHD Pty Ltd and RED Sustainability Consultants completed a Preliminary Traffic Impact Assessment for Central Hobart, which modelled our move and potential scenarios. It found, in all scenarios, ‘a likely reduction in trips made by car to the University’.

Reports have been available in both printed form and for download since the beginning of our community consultation in 2019 and submitted to the parliamentary inquiry into Hobart traffic congestion. The University’s full submission and the report are publicly available.

Our staff and student travel behaviour surveys have also been available to the public, from the first completed in 2013 to the most recent in 2021. They consistently demonstrate the shift away from car use and the differences in transportation use between people based in Sandy Bay and the CBD.

There will be plenty of modern, purpose-built and accessible space on our new campus.

Better design will mean our buildings are more flexible, better utilised and relevant to our digital world and how we work.

We currently average just 17 per cent utilisation of our learning and teaching facilities at Sandy Bay.

So while we anticipate building less overall space in the city, we will build more of what we use and less of what we don’t - and in a way that can be adapted easily in the future.

We have sufficient land to build all of our new facilities at a size and height that it is appropriate for Hobart and adheres to the recommendations of leading urban design consultant Leigh Woolley.

Circumstances can change over a decade-long project, however there are no plans to purchase more property in the Hobart CBD.

No. The green space at Sandy Bay will be preserved and enhanced for use by all members of the community. The sports fields will be retained for use by our students, sports clubs and the community.

We plan to create new green spaces on our campus in line with the City of Hobart’s targets for a greener city. The revitalised Forestry building will have both an indoor forest under its heritage-listed dome and an outdoor garden on what is currently a long expanse of concrete.

We have extensively consulted with many people in the community, staff and students over many years and are committed to continuing to do so.

We’ve conducted hundreds of briefings, information sessions and presentations for students, staff, community members and business. Thousands of people have responded to our surveys, submitted written feedback or questions, been part of focus groups or invited us to engage with them at community meetings.

The decision to move to the city was made on deeply considered accessibility, educational, sustainability and financial grounds. The move will allow more Tasmanians better access to better facilities as we move to address some of the state’s deep problems. It will help with the University’s responsibility to act sustainably by taking cars off the road and constructing carbon-neutral buildings. And, with income from governments and international student enrolments far from secure, it will allow us to maximise our assets and fund our mission: to address the real needs of the state we are here to serve.

We are committed to a new campus that is more accessible, more suitable, more sustainable and more connected for students, staff and the Tasmanian community.

Frequently asked questions for students

Most courses in Creative Arts and Media, Health and Medicine, and Marine and Antarctic Studies have been delivered in the Hobart CBD for some time. Courses in Business and Economics, and University College, are in the process of moving to the CBD. Other courses traditionally delivered at Sandy Bay will continue to be offered there in 2022. If you choose to study face-to-face, your course coordinator will provide you with detailed information on where your course will be taught .

The move to the Hobart CBD will take place in phases until 2030. Over this period, different courses will move to the city at different times. Courses in Business and Economics, and University College, are in the process of moving to the CBD and this is likely to affect some students. Students will be given plenty of notice of campus changes and the University will support movement between campuses to make it as easy as possible. The new facilities in the CBD are being purpose built to the highest standards for contemporary learning. It is expected that other courses traditionally offered at Sandy Bay will continue to be delivered there for several years from 2022.

Fine Arts is located in Hunter Street on the Hobart waterfront. Music and Theatre and Performance are located in the Hedberg on the corner of Collins and Campbell streets. Health and Medicine courses are delivered in the Medical Sciences Precinct (close to the Royal Hobart Hospital) and lower Domain. The Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies and The Media School are located at Salamanca. Business and Economics courses are offered in newly refitted rooms in the Vodafone (access from 59 Liverpool St) and KPMG (100 Melville St) buildings .

Metro buses service the CBD from most Hobart suburbs and regions across Southern Tasmania.

Our Uni Hopper bus service loops from Sandy Bay around our CBD locations every hour. Check out the Uni Hopper timetable (PDF 724KB).

Yes. The University is fully committed to maintaining the facilities for the life of the Sandy Bay campus to ensure all students’ needs are met during our transformation period.

The Morris Miller Library at Sandy Bay will continue to support all course offerings on the Sandy Bay campus until they are relocated to the CBD. New library facilities are planned for all offerings in the city. Students are welcome to make use of any of our library facilities for private study.

Sandy Bay will remain an active and vibrant campus during the transformation period. Teaching and learning will be focused on the area around our main square, ensuring social and academic interaction continues. Our new, local catering partners offer healthy and sustainable food and café services. The Tasmanian University Student Association will continue to operate a range of campus services through the transformation period.

Contact us

Reimagine Sandy Bay

With the relocation of our southern campus to the Hobart CBD, we've developed a Concept Masterplan to reimagine the current Sandy Bay campus site.

Access the final masterplan, find answers to frequently asked questions, keep up with the development process, and share your feedback.

Find out more

Get in touch

We welcome your feedback on our principles and our draft masterplan - let us know if it captures your hopes for a university campus of and for the city.

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