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Urban Affairs

The new St Albans and Ginifer stations - in pictures

The Minister for Public Transport, Jacinta Allan, has held a re-opening of St Albans and Ginifer stations ceremony this morning with trains now running on the new grade separated alignment. In both cases, the rail line was lowered beneath the road grade. Before the metro services were extended to Watergardens (and subsequently Sunbury), St Albans used to be the terminus and had a third, terminating, platform. This legacy terminating and stabling...

Melbourne's development by tram: the 11

The route 11 tram not so long ago used to be known as the route 112 which ran from West Preston to St Kilda. The old 112 route was split in two (routes 11 and 12) and route 11 now runs from West Preston and terminates at Victoria Harbour in Docklands. Route 11 is the primary public transport mode on Brunswick Street in Fitzroy and along St Georges Road through Fitzroy North, Northcote, Thornbury and Preston; this is the region we're looking at...

Dear Malcolm, let's talk about a city deal for Fishermans Bend

Dear Prime Minister, I note that your government is keen to get the concept of 'City Deals' up and running in Australia, with the recent focus on Western Sydney, the Emerald City's second airport and associated infrastructure. I would like to draw your attention toward the ongoing planning work underway in Victoria; the redevelopment Fishermans Bend as well as the large-scale upgrades to Melbourne's rail network. Our state government released...

Next generation of Melbourne's train fleet unveiled

This morning at a media conference in the historic Newport Workshops, the Premier, Minister for Public Transport and Minister for Industry and Employment announced the Evolution Rail consortium was the successful bidder for the contract to supply the next generation of Melbourne's train fleet: High-Capacity Metro Trains (HCMT). Keen to emphasise the employment opportunities, 15% of the expected 1,100 jobs created through the awarding of this...

There's never been a better time to be a rail-loving urbanist in Melbourne & Victoria

Refreshed stations delivered as part of the ongoing level crossing removal project, the new Melbourne Metro tunnel, ballsy private sector-lead high-speed rail proposals like CLARA and now the Rail Futures 'InterCity' paper. It's a good mix of shovels in the ground and an eye on the future of rail in the state. The Consolidated Land and Rail Australia (CLARA) high-speed rail and InterCity paper by Rail Futures have a true statewide focus through...

Infrastructure Victoria releases metro and regional citizen jury reports

Foreshadowed recently in an interview with Michael Smith , Infrastructure Victoria - as part of one phase in its community consultation process - empaneled two citizens juries to "give a voice to the people" as CEO Michel Masson put it, and the authority has now released the metro and regional jury reports. Michael Smith: How does this [citizens juries] work? What have they been deciding upon? Michel Masson: We were very keen to ensure that in...

Tick tock: Melbourne airport records 5.1% FY16 passenger growth

Melbourne's Tullamarine airport published its latest passenger numbers on July 20th and announced it had achieved 5.1% passenger growth in the financial year ending June 30. This comprised 9.5% in international passenger growth compared to the same time last year and 3.7% passenger growth in the higher volume domestic segment. At June 30th 2015, 32,192,000 passengers either originated or terminated a trip at Tullamarine's terminals and a further...

High-speed rail? At $200 billion we'd better get it right

Peter Newman , Curtin University As an urban rail activist, academic and commentator, including a spell on Infrastructure Australia, I can say from the start I was delighted that we have a consortium prepared to have a go at high-speed rail using value capture . Consolidated Land and Rail Australia (CLARA) is the first group in Australia to suggest that a major rail option can be funded without government capital. This fits with what we have...

The level crossing removal information & picture blitz

Construction watchers rejoice: Victoria's Level Crossing Removal Authority is catering to your every desire through the prolific use of its facebook page. Whilst locals have the opportunity to peer into the massive construction site on the Frankston line, at Bentleigh, McKinnon and Ormond stations, for those of us not in the neighbourhood, the authority's facebook page is turning out to be a useful tool. Fresh off the digital camera is the lead...

Red & Black interviews the CEO of Infrastructure Victoria - Part 1

Ever since the East West Link fiasco there has been substantial talk about removing the politics from Victoria’s infrastructure planning. The perception has been that politicians choose infrastructure projects that best suit their political agenda, rather than the projects that meet the objectives of a broader plan for a city. One only needs to read the East West Link report from the Australian National Audit Office to see how politics can...

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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).