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Opinion

My top 5 city changing projects

The amount of construction in Melbourne's central city is reaching fever pitch with a number of large scale towers either topping out or rising out of the ground, forever changing the face of the city. But that's not what today's article is about. Instead I'd like to focus on five city changing projects which direct the eye to the street rather than the sky. 1. Melbourne Metro Rail Project CBD North Station Franklin Street entry. Image: MMRA I...

Is Melbourne full?

Ever since the 2016 census data was released, there's been an explosion of articles written across many different outlets. Some are tackling quite broad range of topics and others somewhat perplexingly focused on 'liveability', a construct of a foreign economics magazine whose original purpose was to inform managers on good places to live and expand businesses in. As is always the case, the comment sections are equally as informative and in many...

Population shock: we now, more than ever, need to radically re-think Melbourne's transport network

The headlines might be screaming about our 'liveability' being under threat with high levels of population growth in Victoria, but that's just noise. No, Melbourne's population problem is that we have a cabal of industry, politicians and some segments of the media who up until this point have been wedded to the notion that we can continue to 'balance' the infrastructure investment in both freeways and public transport. It should come as no...

Reflections on doing it right: Alphington, Williams Landing and Fishermans Bend

Two important stories which traverse both transport and housing topic areas were highlighted on Urban Melbourne this week. The news that the medium and high-density components of Williams Landing will ramp up highlight what some might gloss over but what I think is the correct 'order' of doing things: the rail station is built first, developers then piggyback off the new infrastructure second. Likewise, this morning's report on XO Project's...

Unlocking the public interest

In January a review by former police commissioner Neil Comrie found that the Melbourne Youth Justice Centre (MYJC) in Parkville was no longer fit for purpose. The facility which first opened at the site in 1955 has now reached the end of its useful life as a juvenile detention centre. With the Victorian government now planning a new purpose built facility in Werribee, the future use of the site has become uncertain. For those unfamiliar with the...

The Queen Victoria Market Renewal Project: The Case for

As part of the enabling stage of the Queen Victoria Market Renewal Project, the City of Melbourne has finally revealed their plans for the former Munro site, to be developed by PDG Corporation into a mixed-use development comprising a 58-storey Bates Smart designed-tower of 308 dwellings and a 300-room hotel, after the developer was awarded the rights to develop the site on CoM's behalf. The Council will sell the site known as Lot B (refer plan...

Rise of the microbrewery, fall of the pub and the demise of Melbourne's historic built form

It seems many of inner Melbourne's pubs are in trouble. Times have changed, but more specifically the core demographic, entertainment options and the city itself have changed. Long gone are the days where the corner pub was the staple (and in some cases the only) option of previous generations; Melbourne is now a 24 hour city with a multitude of entertainment options. And so in this respect it should come as no great surprise that many of inner...

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...

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Development & Planning

Thursday, August 17, 2017 - 12:00
The City of Melbourne's Future (Planning) Committee this week resolved to issue conditional approval for a 10-storey building at 1071-1081 Hoddle Street in East Melbourne. The building would rise to a height of 31.54m and accommodate 26 apartments on a triangular shaped site with a total area of 311 sqm.

Policy, Culture & Opinion

Wednesday, August 9, 2017 - 12:00
Carolyn Whitzman , University of Melbourne Liveability is an increasingly important goal of Australian planning policy. And creating cities where residents can get to most of the services they need within 20 to 30 minutes has been proposed, at both federal and state level, as a key liveability-related mechanism.

Visual Melbourne

Thursday, August 10, 2017 - 12:00
Part Three follows on from the Part One: Yarra's Edge and Part Two: Victoria Harbour. The focus of today's piece will be NewQuay and Harbour Town, the northern most precincts within Docklands. NewQuay NewQuay was the first precinct to open way back in 2003 and has probably evolved the most.

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Transport & Design

Thursday, August 17, 2017 - 07:15
CBRE in recent weeks has begun marketing a development site at 118 City Road in Southbank which has been branded as 'Flagship'. The 6,191sqm site is currently home to a BMW dealership and showroom, and has significant potential to add to what is set to become on of the densest city blocks in Melbourne, boasting towers of 200m through to over 300m.

Sustainability & Environment

Thursday, July 20, 2017 - 12:00
The greening of Southbank is a step closer to reality following the endorsement of the draft concept plan for Southbank Boulevard and Dodds Street by the Future Melbourne Committee on Tuesday, 18 July, 2017.