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East West Link

East-West Link shows miserable failure of planning process

Two cheers for resolving the East-West toll road project mess. The agreement reached by the Andrews Government in Victoria to pay the consortium $339 million for its bid costs and early work is unprecedented, but also honourable and transparent. It was always going to involve considerable pain on all sides, because it was created by Labor, by the Coalition and by the consortium in the first place. But what a tangled government-business ‘partnership’!

Highlights from Engineers Australia transport year in review

On Monday night, Engineers Australia held their annual Transport: year in review event at the Park Hyatt which included four panelists in front of a 100+ strong audience. Commentary was broad-based and thoroughly interesting if politics and city building piques your interest. The panelists included The Age Transport reporter Adam Carey , Grattan Institute CEO John Daley , Member of the Ministerial Advisory Committee for Plan Melbourne Professor...

The East-West Link is dead - a victory for 21st-century thinking

Labor’s state election victory in Victoria has fatally undermined Melbourne’s most controversial tunnel, the now-doomed East-West Link, with new Premier Daniel Andrews pledging to rip up the contracts for the project. His decision is a victory for anyone who values 21st-century urban thinking over the outdated car-first mentality. It’s also a financial relief, because – as the project’s back story shows – the East-West Link was always more about politics than economics.
The western portal

East West Link and the Secret Development Plans

In an eight-page, plastic-wrapped newsletter released late last week, the Linking Melbourne Authority announced amongst spin and puff that the development plans required as the final step of the planning permit had been endorsed by the Planning Minister. On any other planning permit these development plans, or ‘endorsed drawings’ as they are also known, will detail all the design modifications from the permit conditions and essentially finalize...

Transport infrastructure and electoral cycles: isn't it time to end the madness?

Transport infrastructure and electoral cycles, they go hand in hand like beer and burgers, wine and cheese and the Labor and Liberal parties. Well maybe not the last pairing but infrastructure projects are inherently the play-things of political parties when it comes to election time and with the news reports today on the ALP's shift in stance on the East-West link, the merry-go-round looks set to continue.

Atelier Red + Black and Safety Net deliver an alternative East West proposal

With the State Government's East West Link project recently achieving planning approval, the community mission to save West Parkville from destruction has further intensified. Two inner city councils have announced that they will be launching legal action in an attempt to halt the project. In addition, the City of Melbourne have agreed to investigate further options to reduce the damage to be caused by this rushed and poorly conceived project...

Fixing the Victorian Planning System in the wake of East West Link

As previously reported , Matthew Guy has used his extraordinary powers as Planning Minister to approve the East West Link permits. In doing so he has ignored the majority of recommendations put to him by the independent Assessment Committee. This project was a major test case for how well planning law functions for major infrastructure projects. Unfortunately for those wanting a rigorous, logical, evidence based and transparent process the...

Planning to Fail: East West Link (Part 2)

Continuing from yesterday's repost of part one from the Red and Black Architect blog. The suburb of West Parkville is arguably the most impacted by the East West Link reference project. The proposal put forward by the LMA involves the destruction of the Ross Straw Field, sensitive ecosystems and 55 homes to provide the ‘western portal’ to the tunnel and connection to Citylink.

Planning to Fail: East West Link (Part 1)

Last Monday the largest and most destructive planning permit in Melbourne’s recent history was granted by Planning Minister Matthew Guy. The contentious East West link toll road is now approved to cut a swathe of destruction through Melbourne’s inner north. Coinciding with the announcement was the public release of the Assessment Committee report, the outcome of the 30 day hearing into the project. The Assessment Committee’s findings contain...

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Development & Planning

Friday, December 9, 2016 - 08:00
Ballarat's station precinct is set to be transformed, following last week's announcement that the Pellicano Group has been awarded the rights to develop a new conference centre and hotel facility.

Policy, Culture & Opinion

Monday, October 31, 2016 - 09:00
The New Urban Agenda was officially adopted in Quito, Ecuador in the last plenary of the Habitat III conference. The agenda provides a 20-year “roadmap” to guide sustainable urban development globally. The text of the New Urban Agenda itself was agreed well before Habitat III at the UN General Assembly in September, during an extraordinary informal negotiation session that lasted for more than 30 hours.

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

Thursday, December 8, 2016 - 12:00
Melbourne’s tram network may hold the key to providing the dense network of high frequency rapid transport that would provide world class connectivity in the inner-city and CBD. Melbourne and New York are very different cities. Drawing too close a parallel between any two cities can be a folly; however New York and Melbourne share some near similarities where it counts.

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).