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...

Places Victoria board expands by three

Places Victoria received three new independent board members on Monday with the appointment of Tamara Brezzi, Robert Goudswaard and Graeme Parton. The Planning Minister Matthew Guy said of the new board members "the Board and management team at Places Victoria, led by CEO Gregory Anderson, has continued to drive the organisation’s transformation. I am delighted to announce the appointment of three new independent board members, Tamara Brezzi,...

Working from the outside in at Essendon Junction

It's always somewhat concerning when the heart of any sub-precinct is defined by two large open air car parks, and this is the case at Essendon Station, within the greater Essendon Junction precinct. Conversely the opportunity exists to transform said car parks into a worthwhile urban experience if the process is handled correctly. Owner VicTrack considers the land around Essendon Station surplus, indicating that the land parcels should be...

Public forum, City in Crisis?

The Inner Melbourne Planning Alliance (IMPA) presented a public forum titled "City in Crisis?" earlier this evening. A free event, it was held at the Deakin Edge theatre at Federation Square from 6pm until 7:30pm, consisting of a panel of speakers and a Q&A session. The questions of concern What mechanisms will be in place to ensure the design quality and diversity of new residential developments and the associated public spaces that are...

Fishermans Bend Strategic Framework Plan released

After the release of the draft Fishermans Bend vision in September 2013, on Monday (28/07/14) the Planning Minister, Matthew Guy, announced the approval of the Fishermans Bend Strategic Framework Plan (FBSFP). This will be the primary development guide throughout the four different Fishermans Bend precincts, which will eventually double the size of central Melbourne. Regular readers of Urban Melbourne will be aware of the many different...

City of Melbourne's new view on Heritage

In response to community feedback regarding City of Melbourne's heritage strategy, a number of steps have been taken to ensure Council are at the forefront of heritage strategy and conservation. Last week City of Melbourne endorsed The Local Heritage Planning Policies Review Paper, which is now open to public feedback. After identifying a number of areas where heritage conservation tools could be improved, the Paper seeks to enhance the way...

Homes for People - influencing apartment living for tomorrow

The City of Melbourne last week released their draft housing strategy that fundamentally deals with the expected challenges, requirements and future expectations for Australia's fastest growing municipality. Council maintains that housing, which into the future will predominantly consist of apartment living, plays a large role in the health and quality of life for residents, communities and the economy. As such City of Melbourne considers it to...
Source, Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/39551170@N02/8215959691

Will the Commission of Audit lead to another 'new federalism'?

The Commission of Audit has not flinched from making a tranche of bold recommendations to the Abbott government, but nothing in its report trumps the call for the Commonwealth to withdraw from areas that were once essentially state responsibilities, including education and health. This would be nothing less than a major recalibration of Australia’s federal system, reversing decades of steady centralisation.


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