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Opinion

Dear Malcolm, let's talk about a city deal for Fishermans Bend

Dear Prime Minister, I note that your government is keen to get the concept of 'City Deals' up and running in Australia, with the recent focus on Western Sydney, the Emerald City's second airport and associated infrastructure. I would like to draw your attention toward the ongoing planning work underway in Victoria; the redevelopment Fishermans Bend as well as the large-scale upgrades to Melbourne's rail network. Our state government released...

Calculating the cost of the new Better Apartments Draft Design guidelines

The proposed apartment standards will add $62,500 to the construction cost of each apartment. The attached document below illustrates our calculations for each of the standards. The cost of each standard is calculated by multiplying the construction rate with the increased area of each item. None of the standards are for free. They all come at a cost. The yield of each site will also decrease by 20% to 40% as a result, with the impact on...

Winter Escape Episode III: Dublin

Dublin was a city that really impressed me, particularly for its size and with little reliance on major landmarks unlike other cities. It's relatively flat, much like Melbourne and very walkable. It's airport in particularly the relatively recent T2 is also quite impressive: clean, modern and generally easy to navigate around. Again the Airlink bus service is once again probably your best bet for traveling into the city centre. The next day I...

Winter Escape Episode II: Edinburgh

Upon my arrival early on a Sunday morning, Edinburgh greeted me with the kind of weather I thought I had left behind back in Melbourne. Grey skies, 14 degrees and light drizzle. This was in stark contrast to the 45 plus degrees I had encountered in Abu Dhabi only a day earlier. While my initial impressions were of a grey city, with grey skies there was definitely more to Edinburgh than 50 shades of grey, which I discovered over the course of two...

Apartment standards: $145K extra and it's not about the size

If all of the apartment standards being considered are brought to Melbourne, apartments will cost approximately $115,000 to $145,000 more. Perhaps the most misunderstood aspect of this, is that the proposed increase in apartment sizes means an additional $15,000. Where then does the extra $100,000 come from and what is contributing to this spike in price? Working with Rider Levett Bucknall, the global property and construction practice...

Federal election aftermath: the changing face of Melbourne's (federal) electoral map

Having fun yet? Saturday's federal election has delivered a result that loosely tracks what all the polling was saying right up until July 2nd and now the waiting game - similar to the election back in 2010 - begins. The Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) put out a media release on Sunday stating that counting will continue once postal and absentee votes are returned to the respective electorates. This is likely to occur on Tuesday (July 5)...

Winter Escape Episode I: Abu Dhabi

The first stop on my six week break happens to be Abu Dhabi. The temperature on the first day reached a maximum of 48 degrees which was not ideal for someone who prefers discovering cities on foot. I also knew that I would be visiting during the holy month of Ramadan which made it difficult to remain hydrated when outdoors. These factors also contributed to fairly quiet streets and attractions, with tourists steering clear and locals who are...

Is the Federal Government blinkered when it comes to Victoria?

Is the Federal Government blinkered when it comes to Victoria? That was the first question that came to Urban Melbourne's mind upon seeing the breakdown of allocation of infrastructure spending in Tuesday night's Federal Government budget. Among the list of projects the Federal Government will spend money on in the coming financial year, the Victorian section had a caveat: "the Australian Government remains committed to the East West Link and...

The case for 447 Collins Street

Following on from Mark's article on Planning Minister Wynne's rejection of CBUS Property's proposal for 477 Collins Street, I have decided to look at the case for the contentious Woods Bagot + SHoP designed scheme and add my two cents to the debate. Firstly it's worth noting that the scheme as presented - albeit with some adjustments to setbacks - was ready to be submitted for assessment the week just after Planning Minister Wynne introduced...

No pants and no park: where to now for 447 Collins Street?

Upholding a long standing political tradition of announcing newsworthy items just prior to extended break periods, news surfaced last Thursday evening of Planning Minister Richard Wynne's decision to reject Cbus Property's proposed skyscraper at 447 Collins Street. This is the second such refusal for the developer on what is a marquee development site. Referred to as the 'Pantscraper' in Fairfax publications due to the unique shape of the now...

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Development & Planning

Friday, December 2, 2016 - 06:00
Almost three years to the day of Urban Melbourne covering Eq. Tower's planning application , ICD Property's 62-storey tower at 127-141 A'Beckett Street has held its topping out ceremony. The event held onsite yesterday coincided with the first round of residents settling on apartments within the Elenberg Fraser designed scraper.

Policy, Culture & Opinion

Monday, October 31, 2016 - 09:00
The New Urban Agenda was officially adopted in Quito, Ecuador in the last plenary of the Habitat III conference. The agenda provides a 20-year “roadmap” to guide sustainable urban development globally. The text of the New Urban Agenda itself was agreed well before Habitat III at the UN General Assembly in September, during an extraordinary informal negotiation session that lasted for more than 30 hours.

Visual Melbourne

Wednesday, August 31, 2016 - 17:00
Melbourne’s architectural landscape is a wonderful juxtaposition of modern and Victorian architecture. Although the CBD has been peppered with many skyscrapers, its historical structures have won Melbourne the title of “Australia’s most European city”.

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Transport & Design

Wednesday, November 30, 2016 - 08:30
The recent approval of Sterling Global 's mixed-use tower at 383 La Trobe Street adds to the influx of towers with international influence leaving their mark not only on Melbourne's skyline, but the city's streetscapes. The $700 million mixed-use tower, a collaboration between French design architect Ateliers Jean Nouvel and local Australian executive architect Architectus, has been designed with people at its core.

Sustainability & Environment

Tuesday, November 29, 2016 - 12:00
Timber mid-rise buildings are becoming the preferred choice for many stakeholders in Melbourne, due to a combination of factors, including cost-effectiveness, liveability, ease and efficiency of construction. Within the recent National Construction Code change, Deemed-To-Satisfy provisions allow mid-rise timber construction for buildings up to 25 metres “effective height” (typically, eight storeys).