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Policy

Melbourne’s residential development: what’s really going on?

The Victorian Government has recently released a series of detailed reports to inform the ‘Managing Residential Development’ Advisory Committee submissions process. They raise many important questions not only about the residential zones but the wider issue of ‘who and what are we planning for’ over the coming decade and beyond. What follows is a summary of some of the more attention grabbing parts of the reports, together with our own...

Red and Black Architect interviews the Planning Minister

It is almost 1 year since the Andrews Labor Government swept to power in Victoria. As noted at the time, the 2014 election was dominated by built environment issues. The then Planning Minister, Matthew Guy, had recently rezoned Fishermans Bend had been given the title of ‘Mr Skyscraper’ from certain sections of the mainstream media. Tony Abbott was in the action too, by proclaiming the state election as ‘a referendum on the East West Link’...

A national affordable housing strategy: necessary, attainable and maybe on its way

At the National Housing Conference last week, there was considerable optimism about the newly appointed federal minister for cities, Jamie Briggs, whose infrastructure mandate includes housing. New energy is coming from the states with the largest affordable housing deficits – a social housing initiative from the New South Wales government and a “refreshed” metropolitan planning strategy in Melbourne with a stronger emphasis on affordable housing.

Comment: Plan Melbourne must enshrine steps to purge our insidious car culture

We are nearing the first anniversary of the Andrews Government, they certainly have hit the ground running and set a lot of inter-related policy areas in a different direction. It is just a pity that the public debate around planning has boiled down to high-rise or skyscraper canyons versus monotonous "European" style development sham. The two sides of that debate are analogous to the typical trench warfare of "left" versus "right" politics. It...

Spring Street announces inaugural board members for Infrastructure Victoria

The Victorian Government today announced the appointment of board members to Infrastructure Victoria, an agency which will be tasked with assessing Victoria's infrastructure needs in an apolitical way. The distributed media release announced Jim Miller being appointed as the inaugural Chair. Jim Miller was an Executive Director at Macquarie Capital from 1994 to 2015 and has extensive experience in the infrastructure sector. He is currently the...

Urban policy: could the Federal Government finally ‘get’ cities?

The appointment of a federal minister for cities and the built environment is a signal moment in urban policy in Australia. It is a much-needed portfolio for an overwhelmingly urban nation but will need new policy capacity if the government’s urban goals are to be realised. Australian cities are among the fastest-growing in the developed world. They face problems of poor housing affordability, growing inequality, inadequate and inefficient...

C262 clarification session with the DELWP: what I learnt

If you read the Schedule to DDO10 you probably have some questions, like many of my clients do. Most of the controls are very clear in the Schedule to DDO10. They include height, set back and plot ratio. Some are unclear and dangerously open to interpretation. On September 16 I attended an information session with the highly articulate Larry Parsons, Director of Development Approvals & Urban Design Development at the Department of...

Australia now has an urbanist Prime Minister

Judging by reports observed on various media platforms over the past 24 hours, it seems there are a lot of people and lobbyist groups waiting to tap the new Prime Minister on the shoulder and talk about their cause. From people hoping for change on issues such as marriage equality and climate change - which Malcolm Turnbull is well known for having a different view from his party - to more traditional lobbyists such as the Australian Chamber of...

Interim Central Melbourne planning controls: the detail

While you were sleeping on Friday night, the Victorian Government gazetted new interim planning controls for the CBD and parts of Southbank, chief among them is the re-introduction of site plot ratios. A media release distributed at midday on Saturday states the City of Melbourne has been made a referral authority, after the council signed a memorandum of understanding with the Victorian Government. The Central City Study Area. Image supplied...

And on the third day... Infrastructure Victoria was born

The Legislative Assembly yesterday agreed to the amendments proposed by the Legislative Council after the third reading of the Infrastructure Victoria Bill 2015 . Once the Governor has lent her signature to the bill, the way will be paved for the creation of Infrastructure Victoria. The Parliament passed 5 bills today http://t.co/V75wHdEdsq Next they go to the Governor for royal assent #springst — Victorian Parliament (@VicParliament) September...

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Development & Planning

Tuesday, September 26, 2017 - 00:00
During July, Urban Melbourne reported on City of Melbourne's positive response to Salta Properties' bid to have a skyscraper approved at 63 Exhibition Street. Last week a permit for the mixed-use, Bates Smart-designed tower was granted by the Minister for Planning, concluding a lengthy three-year stint at planning for the application.

Policy, Culture & Opinion

Monday, September 25, 2017 - 00:00
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.

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, September 26, 2017 - 12:00
Andréanne Doyon , RMIT University ; Joe Hurley , RMIT University ; Susie Moloney , RMIT University , and Trivess Moore , RMIT University Australia’s building and land-use policy settings fall well short of what’s needed to make meaningful progress toward creating sustainable cities. You will find environmental sustainability goals and objectives in government strategy documents.

Sustainability & Environment

Monday, September 4, 2017 - 12:00
The recent BDAV Building Design Awards once more showcased the talents and expertise of Victoria's building designers. 2017 was the 22nd year of the BDAV Design Awards, which aims to "profile excellence in building design, as well as profiling the importance of the building design profession to both the building industry and to the broader community." One project that ticked the boxes was Green Edge.