Project Coordinator, Conrad Gargett



Green roofs. Green walls. It’s good to be green. But despite our best efforts, our world grows further removed from nature and landscapes. How can we make meaningful change without merely greenwashing?

Consider the problem of the crumbling Riverside Expressway: Brisbane’s most congested highway. Separating the city centre from its river, current design orthodoxies would suggest starting anew with polluting, multibillion-dollar highway tunnels, possibly with an afterthought of landscaping. Rather than fixing the problem, this paradigm is worse than doing nothing at all.

As a student, Brendan Roffey proposed an unsolicited design for this unsolved problem. By converting the existing roadway into a public transport and pedestrian-centric ‘Riverside Greenway’, we could better implement the values of 21st century design practices, instead of planning for more cars and highways.

Riverside Greenway is just one example of how unsolicited design can empower designers to radically change the conversation of how we build our cities. And as a collective of designers, it is incumbent on us to advocate for a world in which we are capable of designing.


A Brisbane architecture student, Brendan developed a plan to transform Brisbane’s busy Riverside Expressway into a public transport and pedestrian-focused “greenway” that would enable the CBD to free itself from gridlock. Coined ‘Riverside Greenway’, the project aimed to radically change the conversation around how we build our cities; shifting our focus from planning for more cars and highways, to 21st-century planning reflective of our values, by prioritizing mass transit, cycling and accessible green space. Brendan Roffey is a twenty-one-year-old architecture student, finishing his masters at the University of Queensland and a project coordinator at Conrad Gargett.