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Policy

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...

Explainer: what's really keeping young and first home buyers out of the housing market

The current parliamentary inquiry into home ownership (link is external) is in the midst of public hearings, questioning, among other things, the decline in home ownership among younger Australians. This, however, is not a recent issue. For a long time young people have found it difficult to purchase their first home. Home ownership rates for households aged 25-34 began to decline close to 40 years ago; declines for those aged 35-44 followed a decade later.

Making apartments affordable: moving from speculative to deliberative development

The following is an abstract from the " Making Apartments Affordable - moving from speculative to deliberative development " paper published by Swinburne University in late June. Urban Melbourne will let the paper do the talking and we likewise recommend all development industry participants from the CEO level to the analyst level download the paper from Australian Policy Online . The paper's authors are Dr Andrew Sharam - Research Fellow at...

A Ministerial Advisory Committee appointed to oversee Fishermans Bend

The State Government has unveiled a team of experts and community representatives to guide Fishermans Bend beyond its formative stages, with emphasis placed upon achieving planning success. The Ministerial Advisory Committee has been assembled post an assessment period where in excess of 100 expressions of interest were fielded. Forming a Ministerial Advisory Committee is in line with the Labor Government's intent to reform Fishermans Bend's...

Australians love tiny houses, so why aren't more of us living in them?

Housing affordability is a perennial problem in Australia and has worsened significantly over the past three decades. Multiple reasons exist for the the lack of affordable housing. On the demand side these include population growth and increased migration to urban areas, easily accessible housing finance, tax incentives and a “strong cultural preference for owner-occupied detached houses”. On the supply side, affordability problems are exacerbated by inflexible and slow responses to the need for new housing stock, lack of infrastructure and generally inefficient planning processes and development assessment by local governments.

Does Melbourne's CBD need density controls?

Planners and urban designers have mostly sought to increase densities in Australia’s cities. Society’s low-density love affair has brought us unending sprawl, with all its social, environmental and economic ills. Attempts to rein in our metropolises’ spreading girth and create more sustainable, liveable and economically-efficient cities have focused on strategic increases in density to support public transport use and reach viability thresholds...

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Development & Planning

Thursday, July 27, 2017 - 12:00
A developer new to the Urban Melbourne Project Database is seeking a berth within the bustling West Melbourne apartment scene. 137-157 Adderley Street as a tri-fronted 1,606sqm site headed to planning during May on behalf of Auburn Land Group.

Policy, Culture & Opinion

Friday, July 28, 2017 - 00:00
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.

Visual Melbourne

Wednesday, February 22, 2017 - 07:00
Once again Melbourne has turned it on for the spectacular cultural juggernaut that is White Night. A crowd of around 600,000 took part in the all night festival of projections, performances, artworks and installations. Stealing the show again this year was the extraordinary projections upon the Royal Exhibition Building.

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Transport & Design

Wednesday, July 26, 2017 - 08:00
Student accommodation and design prowess don't necessarily go hand in hand, in fact many of Melbourne's dated student accommodation buildings are an affront to the senses. Generally very repetitive in every aspect of their design, very few cut through and resonate with a sense of design nous.

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.