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Policy

Becoming more urban: attitudes to medium-density living are changing in Sydney and Melbourne

Peter Newton , Swinburne University of Technology Australia is increasingly linked to a fast-growing global population . The populations of Sydney and Melbourne are both expected to exceed 8.5 million by 2061 . What will Australia’s cities look like then? Will they still be among the world’s lowest-density cities ? Such sprawling cities result in economic (productivity), social (spatial disadvantage) and environmental weaknesses (including a...

Victorian Government takes wrapping off its rental reforms

Spring Street on Sunday unveiled its package of rental reforms that will see a variety of changes to the Residential Tenancies Act (1997). The state government has branded the reforms 'Rent Fair Victoria' and set up a website outlining the changes. Minister for Consumer Affairs Marlene Kairouz said 'these changes will crack down on rental bidding, make it easier and faster for renters to get their bond back, and will hold landlords and agents to...

The hot topic: Beller's Andrew Fawell on the intricacies of the Build-to-rent model

No doubt about it, the emerging build-to-rent model has the property media in a tizz at the moment. What may in part become a solution to the housing and rental affordability dilemma has garnered immense media attention of late. The Australian Financial Review has referred to it as a game changer , a key for Australian housing affordability and a boon for property industry big investors . Whilst the new model of project delivery holds great...

How the NDIS is using the market to create housing for people with disability

Di Winkler , La Trobe University ; George Taleporos , La Trobe University , and Luke Bo'sher , New York University Housing for people with disability is being transformed from grants-based funding to a market-based system where people with disabilities control their own funding. This market has the potential to grow in size by around A$5 billion over the next five years in the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). PwC and the Summer...

‘Build to rent’ could be the missing piece of the affordable housing puzzle

Matthew Palm , University of Melbourne Australia’s state governments, as well as some ambitious local councils, community housing providers and forward-looking private developers, are finally taking note of the housing affordability crisis in our cities. One proposed solution is to provide relief to cash-strapped households that cannot afford skyrocketing deposits by incentivising a new “ build-to-rent ” affordable housing sector. Build to rent...

Beyond bollards: protecting crowded places means not letting the exceptional become the norm

Jon Coaffee , University of Warwick The Australian government’s new strategy for protecting crowded places from terrorism draws heavily on other countries’ experiences of implementing similar strategies as part of a broader national counter-terrorism agenda. The US and UK have had similar crowded places policies for a number of years due to persistently high threat levels. Places such as Abu Dhabi have adopted versions of such approaches and...

A 20-minute city sounds good, but becoming one is a huge challenge

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. The previous federal government’s 2010 National Urban Policy stated: Liveable cities are socially inclusive, affordable, accessible,...

It's not just Melbourne developing westward, our electricity network is too

It's big, it's complex, it has many moving parts and the debate has been raging for a long while now. Escalating energy prices, our commitment to international agreements on emissions reduction and political inaction have all played a part in an at times ugly debate on Australia's energy generation and where it's headed in future. Regardless of where you do fit inside or outside of the debate, things are changing quite a lot. Renewable energy...

Social mix in housing? One size doesn't fit all, as new projects show

Kate Shaw , University of Melbourne A recent suggestion that new housing on inner-city public land should start from a presumption of 100% social housing prompted indignation in government circles. “We can’t condemn another generation of Victorians to live in housing poverty,” huffed the housing minister, Martin Foley. It’s curious, then, that we heard barely a peep about the latest government announcement that the height of an apartment tower...

Is this the end of the West Melbourne skyscraper?

To be fair, there isn't a particularly large number of genuine skyscrapers planned for West Melbourne, yet should a new structure plan for 3003 be ratified, the likes of 420 Spencer Street seen below will be the exceptions and not the norm. The West Melbourne Structure Plan (WMSP) last night went before the Future Melbourne (Planning) Committee at City of Melbourne with the intent of seeking endorsement prior to a period of community and...

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Development & Planning

Thursday, November 23, 2017 - 00:00
The City of Melbourne earlier this week agreed to provide conditional support for MAB Corporation's NewQuay West Development Plan via its Future Melbourne (Planning) Committee. The revised development plan prepared by DKO Architecture and Aspect Studios was driven by the development of the Ron Barassi Senior Park which necessitated a revisiting of the precinct layout and urban structure.

Policy, Culture & Opinion

Monday, November 20, 2017 - 12:00
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.

Visual Melbourne

Friday, August 25, 2017 - 07:00
The former site of John Batman's home, Batman's Hill is entering the final stages of its redevelopment. Collins Square's final tower has begun its skyward ascent, as has Lendlease's Melbourne Quarter Commercial and Residential precinct already. Melbourne Quarter's first stage is at construction and involves a new 12-storey home for consultancy firm Arup along with a skypark.

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Transport & Design

Tuesday, November 21, 2017 - 12:00
Earlier this month the State Government announced a new station between Rockbank and Melton would be built at Toolern. The announcement is one of many which are slowly creating a picture of how an electrified metro line between Sunshine and Melton will look.

Sustainability & Environment

Tuesday, October 24, 2017 - 12:00
Cbus Property's office development for Medibank at 720 Bourke Street in Docklands recently became the first Australian existing property to receive a WELL Certification, Gold Shell and Core rating. The WELL rating goes beyond sustainable building features with a greater focus on the health and well-being of a building's occupants.