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Policy

Better Apartments? Says who?

The recent release of the State Government's discussion paper has provoked a strong response from the industry and here on Urban Melbourne. Rather than focusing on a general overview of the Better Apartments discussion paper and the questions it raises, I have instead decided to focus on one particular aspect of the debate: apartment sizes. There would appear to be a number of negative connotations generally associated with smaller apartments...

Making the City of Melbourne a better place for people

City of Melbourne have initiated a third installment of the Places for People study. The study seeks resident, worker, student and visitor feedback on a variety of issues and experiences that relate to everyday life in the heart of Melbourne. According to the study website, the key aim of Places for People is to gain a greater understanding of how people are using the city. The feedback collected will in turn allow City of Melbourne to work...
Melbourne Urban Design Meetup logo

Melbourne Urban Design Meetup #1: City of Melbourne's Urban Forest Strategy

Last week saw the first in hopefully many more Melbourne Urban Design Meetups (MUDM). The focus of the night was a presentation by City of Melbourne's Yvonne Lynch who leads the Urban Ecology and Urban Forest Team at the City of Melbourne. The team focus is ecosystem led adaptation for climate resilience and citizen engagement through transparency and participation. She has developed and led some of the most progressive climate change policies...

We subsidise road and rail commuters - why not bikes too?

Australian governments heavily subsidise car, bus and train commuting, but not cycling. Yet a new survey shows many workers would consider riding to work if they got paid for it, and most would even support it if they didn’t participate, because of the wider benefits for cutting road congestion. The list of existing transport subsidies is long. Fuel tax receipts have fallen so low that they now fail to pay for road-building programs as they once did. Company car concessions remain one of the largest distortions in the Australian tax code and a severe hit to the federal budget.

State Government reneges on new Residential Zone in Bayside

In June the Minister for Planning approved approximately 82 per cent of Bayside’s residential land for inclusion within the Neighbourhood Residential Zone (the most restrictive zone). In doing so the Minister requested that Council apply the Residential Growth Zone, which allows development up to 4 storeys to 3 per cent of its residential land. Reluctantly Council proposed draft Amendment C125 allocating 3 per cent of residential land around...

Aviation Impact on Building Development in the Melbourne CBD

Airspace regulations surrounding Essendon Airport are placing a restriction on the maximum height for high rise building developments being planned for the Melbourne central business district (CBD). The development community is fast learning the impact of these regulations and contemplating how to undertake proposed developments in light of these restrictions. By way of background, the state planning laws administered by the Department of...

CoM responds to release of DTPLI documents

The central city's two planning bodies have been on other sides of the ledger in recent years, with Lord Mayor Robert Doyle and State Planning Minister Matthew Guy both publicly butting heads over many contentious planning applications. As far back as 2012 when Lord Major Doyle referred to ' urban ghetto ' higher density living precincts, and either side haven't quite been able to find common ground. During September 2014, City of Melbourne...

Planning Minister releases departmental officer reports

The Planning Minister, Matthew Guy, today released departmental officer reports relating to the decisions made regarding all central city planning applications. An anaylsis supplied within a media release (see below) shows all permits approved by the minister were recommended by the department; the City of Melbourne supported 46 out of the 70 approved applications, and no permit has been approved where the Department of Transport, Planning and...

City of Melbourne's community engagement stance pays dividends

During the week City of Melbourne was heralded as a world leader in community engagement by winning recognition for its feats. Scooping the Australasian and International Organisation of the Year at the International Association of Public Participation (IAP2) Core Values Awards, it is kudos for the steps taken by City of Melbourne to engage its constituents and the wider public. Key platforms for City of Melbourne's success has seen the public...

Prescribed rules and discretionary guidelines: it's the discussion we need to have

Discretionary guidelines and prescribed planning rules - it's a discussion we need to have. That's the view I formed after attending the Melbourne Conversations Urban Heritage / New Architect - where to now? event held on Monday night at the Capitol Theatre. In many more words that what I have used above, an audience member posed that question to the panel toward the end of the 90 minute session. It was prefaced by a discussion on the sheer...

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Development & Planning

Monday, January 23, 2017 - 00:00
Prominent builder Hickory Group has added a third Melbourne project that will utilise the Hickory Building System (HBS). A proponent of prefabricated construction methods, Hickory Group's latest HBS-driven project will be Brisbane outfit Blue Sky Funds' 42-50 La Trobe Street.

Policy, Culture & Opinion

Tuesday, January 17, 2017 - 00:00
On 2 January 2017, it was reported that several popular eateries and bars in Footscray had been vandalised, including the perennially successful 8 Bit Burgers on Droop Street, and Up In Smoke on Hopkins Street. 8 Bit had the warm new year's welcome gift of 14 smashed windows and the words “F**k off hipster scum” spray-painted on their entrance.

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

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).