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Urban Industry

UDIA Forum - Apartment Design and Affordable Housing

Guidelines and standards for apartment design are being debated rigorously in the planning industry with the release in May by the State Government of the Better Apartments discussion paper. A panel of four industry experts engaged in a lively debate at a UDIA forum on July 9th. Christine Wyatt, Deputy Secretary of DELWP, introduced the topic and gave a brief overview of the process thus far. She encouraged everyone to get involved in the...

Three assumptions limiting Australian aged care design

The currently ingrained ‘business as usual’ approach to retirement living and residential aged care requires radical transformation to suit Australia’s ageing population. Approximately 12 per cent of Australia’s population are over the age of 65, a statistic that’s expected to increase to 16 per cent by 2030. The next generation of retirees - the baby boomers - are expected to be the wealthiest cohort of retirees the nation has seen yet. These...

Beller's 2015 Commercial Retail Research results are in

Beller Commercial recently completed their annual Commercial Retail Research, a matrix of Melbourne’s notable shopping strips which judges their performance over the last year. A unique initiative spearheaded by Beller Commercial Director, Fred Nucara, the Commercial Retail Research report is a detailed run down of the fluctuating fortunes of Melbourne’s famously fickle retail high streets and their performance. The information in the report is...

Victoria's Push for Better Apartments (Part 2)

Victoria is currently undergoing a substantial consultation process targeted at improving the design quality of apartments being built across the state. Part 1 of this post discussed the main aspects of the Better Apartments discussion paper released by the state government. Part 2 of this discussion will focus on why the state government should step in to guide the future development of apartments. Many commentators on this subject are fiercely...

Discussing apartment living with BKK's Simon Knott

Following on from last week's piece on Cirqua comes the second installment of Urban Melbourne's chat with BKK Director Simon Knott encompassing aspects of the practice's work, the lure of apartment living and the ever changing landscape of the apartment market. Laurence Dragomir: We touched on the focus being on the owner occupier market with relation to the Cirqua development, but have you found that coming to the fore in the types of multi-res...

Victoria's Push for Better Apartments (Part 1)

In May, Victorian Planning Minister Richard Wynne released the government’s discussion paper entitled Better Apartments . This document is the next stage of the process that began under the previous government looking at how to improve the design quality of Victoria’s apartment dwellings. The Office of the Victorian Government Architect (OVGA) has been concerned for some time about the poor quality of amenity offered in new apartment...

Smart Cities Habitat Master Planning Framework

Cities the world over are facing difficulties in waste management, scarcity of resources, air pollution, human health concerns, traffic congestion and inadequate, deteriorating and ageing infrastructure. These are among the more basic technical, physical and material problems. These challenges require an urgent response and smart ways to manage them. In the past systems in industrial cities were mostly skeleton and skin. Post-industrial cities...

An interview with Milieu's Michael McCormack

Urban Melbourne recently spoke with Milieu Property co-founder and Director of Milieu Built (Milieu’s associated construction company) Michael McCormack about the company's ethos and values, their work and how Milieu was conceived. The discussion with Michael began with his career post schooling as a carpenter; despite enjoying the trade wanted to become far more involved in the entire development process. He subsequently went back to study...

Apartment standards should be based on performance

The proposed implementation of standards across Melbourne apartments is strongly supported by ClarkeHopkinsClarke, a Melbourne architecture firm committed to the creation and support of vibrant communities. Contrary to recent media arguing the proposed standards in the Victorian Government’s ‘Better Apartments’ discussion paper will only lead to increased housing prices, we believe the implementation of standards has the potential to encourage...

Internal Amenity, one for all and all for one?

Internal amenity is delicate, multifaceted and, most of all, subjective. The uncertainly and often changing goal posts as to what is an ‘appropriate level of internal amenity’ have long created frustration within the development community. Perhaps as a response to this or, despite all of this, the recent proposition by the new State Government for apartment standards has prompted a lot of new debate and opinion on all things ‘internal amenity’...

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Development & Planning

Tuesday, February 28, 2017 - 12:00
Box Hill continues to rack up significant planning applications, with the eastern hub showing no sign of slowing in its skyward progression. Three significant proposals are in the works, potentially adding hundreds of new apartments to the Box Hill market, which has well and truly blossomed over recent years.

Policy, Culture & Opinion

Tuesday, February 28, 2017 - 07:00
It seems many of inner Melbourne's pubs are in trouble. Times have changed, but more specifically the core demographic, entertainment options and the city itself have changed. Long gone are the days where the corner pub was the staple (and in some cases the only) option of previous generations; Melbourne is now a 24 hour city with a multitude of entertainment options.

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.

Transport & Design

Monday, February 27, 2017 - 12:00
In a not-so-surprising move, the commencement of construction on the level crossing removals at Edithvale (Edithvale Road) and Bonbeach (Bondi Road) have been delayed by at least a year due to the Level Crossing Removal Authority determining an environmental effects statement (EES) must be conducted for the two sites.

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).