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Tract Consultants

VincentCare's Flemington Road project a boost for homeless housing

St Vincent de Paul Society's VincentCare has proposed a major inner city development that will go some way to meeting the needs of inner city Melbourne's most disadvantaged individuals. The care provider has proposed a large-scale redevelopment of 179-191 Flemington Road, located opposite Melbourne's hospitals precinct. Under the plan, VincentCare's rebuilt facility would lead to expanded crisis accommodation capacity and a relocation of its...

‘Getting it Done’ …with a surplus

Pragmatically themed and titled ‘Getting it Done’, Tract has put on its reading glasses to investigate what the Victorian Budget 2016/17 seeks to ‘get done’ for city building and regional development. Set against a discourse of job creation and infrastructure building, big spends include infrastructure investments in the Metropolitan rail network and the Western Distributor Tunnel while smaller but vital reforms include shifting the planning...
A render of a proposed residential apartment building in the suburb of Box Hill

H & F Property enter Box Hill with 12-14 Nelson Road

Emerging local developer H & F Property is seeking a slice of Box Hill's booming apartment market with a current planning application for a substantial residential building. Submission of the planning application follows H & F Property's earlier pursuit of rezoning for the relevant site which was initially tagged as Commercial 2. Now consistent with the Box Hill Activity Centre Transit City Structure Plan, H & F Property are chasing...

Fishermans Bend: how to avoid another Docklands

It seems that nobody is happy about Fishermans Bend. My first impression was that the design guidelines were quite good, but the public response has been scathing since the Strategic Framework Plan was released in late July. The usual old chestnuts of building height and transport provision dominate mainstream coverage of Australia’s biggest urban renewal project, just like they do whenever somebody tries to build above two storeys in suburbia...

Will free parking save Bridge Road?

Working at Tract Consultants near Bridge Road in Richmond gives me a front-row seat on the city's sad trend of high-street decline. Every day, I watch one of the city's key retail strips slowly lose tenants. Walking to get my lunch, I often pass three or four empty shops in a row - and the ones that are still open are having closing-down sales. My guess is that 30% of the shops are vacant. This decline has been going on for a while, but...

Could money one day grow on rooftop trees?

Lately, I’ve been spending a lot of time staring at blank brick walls. Whenever I’m in Melbourne, I find myself doing this, and the question that always springs to mind is the same: “Why is nothing growing on these walls?” In a city that’s generally quite efficient at filling empty spaces, the uncounted hectares of unutilised vertical space stay largely barren, year after year. This is despite an abundance of ways to cultivate vegetation...
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Development & Planning

Friday, July 21, 2017 - 00:00
Last week's joint announcement by Planning Minister Richard Wynne, Premier Daniel Andrews and Lord Mayor Robert Doyle that the Amendment C245 planning controls have been adopted, paves the way for work to commence on the $250 million dollar redevelopment of the Queen Victoria Market. Concept for Munro site (subject to change).

Policy, Culture & Opinion

Friday, July 14, 2017 - 00:00
It is so much easier to knock a building down than it is to build one. Building is a long and involved process of dreaming, planning, scheming, and the wonderfully gritty bit that is actually constructing a physical manifestation of these things, while getting rid of a building sometimes takes no more than a bit of paperwork, some heavy machinery, and the stroke of a pen.

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

Tuesday, July 18, 2017 - 13:00
Little by little we're getting closer to the money and shovels-in-the-ground end of the Melbourne Metro Tunnel project with the announcement that the Cross Yarra Partnership is the successful bidder for the Tunnel & Stations availability-based private-public partnership (PPP) contract.

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.