Let's heed Infrastructure Australia's message: be more ambitious with Melbourne's public transport network

Infrastructure Australia's (IA's) recent release of its Future Cities paper included 15 recommendations which overwhelmingly called for the Federal Government to play a greater role in the growth of our cities and similarly, the recommendations called for a paradigm shift. The federal agency like its state counterpart, Infrastructure Victoria, highlighted road pricing and the need for it to change and there were other cross-over themes like...

Fitzroy's C.F. Row comes up trumps

The marriage of old and new can be a difficult process, particularly when the existing structure has intrinsic heritage value. In previous times Fitzroy's 237 Napier Street served as the home of furniture manufacturer C.F. Rojo and Sons. Taking root during 1887, Christobel Rojo oversaw operations though over time the site would become home to furniture manufacturer Thonet. As with many significant buildings around Fitzroy, 237 Napier Street...

Toorak Park delivers where it matters most

Toorak Park is the outcome of a decade of development overtones for an expansive and formerly underutilised site abutting Toorak Station. Few projects across Melbourne are larger in terms of site size, with developer Lendlease over recent months applying the finishing touches to 446 apartments and 18 townhouses across a host of buildings. What makes Toorak Park particularly impressive though is the extensive greenery and public permeability...

Thoughts on new metro station names

Over the weekend, the Premier announced a naming competition for the five 'new' stations that are to be built on the route of the Metro Tunnel project. The Melbourne Metro Rail Authority has reported, via its twitter account, they've received 10,000 suggestions as of Tuesday. In what looks like an effort to avoid a situation akin to the 'Boaty McBoatface' that occurred in the UK, name suggestions will be shortlisted before being decided upon by...

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...


Development & Planning

Friday, March 16, 2018 - 00:00
As reported in The Age late last month speculation is growing that developer Cbus Property is leading the charge to acquire a combined development site at 140-150 Queen Street and 27 McKillop Street. This would follow what would appear to be a pre-emptive purchase of a neighbouring site at 423 Bourke Street, which an 11-storey office block currently occupies.

Policy, Culture & Opinion

Sunday, March 11, 2018 - 13:00
The Victorian Government has announced it will ban the use of aluminium cladding panels that have a polyethylene core of more than 30% and expanded polystyrene will also be banned on buildings with 3 or more levels. The changes were announced by the Planning Minister, Richard Wynne, on Saturday morning along with new guidelines for building surveyors.

Visual Melbourne

Monday, February 5, 2018 - 12:00
The various spaces and elements which combine to form RMIT's New Academic Street (NAS) have progressively begun to open to students and visitors alike. I was recently fortunate enough to be part of an informal group tour through the completed spaces within NAS, led by Harrison and White which had a hand in the project.

Transport & Design

Friday, March 16, 2018 - 17:00
Comment There's much to admire about Rodney Maddock's advocacy piece in The Conversation - ' Our growing big cities need new centres of employment - here's Melbourne's chance ' - the three projects he advocates for have been in the public domain for quite a while now.

Sustainability & Environment