By Gerry McLoughlin, Architect, Urban Designer and Secretary of IMPA.
PLAN Melbourne is the Victorian Government’s strategic plan for metropolitan Melbourne to 2050. It sets out directions, initiatives and short, medium and long term actions for infrastructure, housing, employment, the environment, an integrated land use, transport and social infrastructure to meet the demands of population growth and climate adaptation.
IMPA supports the general principles of
- A more connected city – a public transport rich connected city
- Housing choice and affordability including social, affordable and the full range of housing types
- Liveable communities and neighbourhoods – the 20 minute neighbourhood
- Sustainable environment and water
- Growing rural cities where infrastructure and natural resources can tolerate it
However, IMPA calls for the introduction of detailed urban design processes which currently do not occur and are not required by the Planning & Environment Act. Without detailed research and design processes the aspirations of PLAN Melbourne with not be achievable
1. The formation of a Metropolitan Planning Authority that is bipartisan, and hence arm’s length from government and independent , with a strategic policy and long term planning brief
2. The establishment of the 5 metropolitan subregions including the central subregion which takes in the IMAP Councils (ie the Cities of Melbourne, Port Phillip, Stonnington, Yarra and Maribynong).
3. The development of a central sub region strategic framework plan as a priority. This framework should be in sufficient detail and have the planning clout to identify and secure key strategic public interests sites and opportunities in a timely fashion for the Expanded Capital City Zone and other urban renewal areas.
4. Halting of the E-W Link process until a thorough review can be undertaken for Part A and B of the proposed link (see IMPA Briefing Note on E-W Link) We note that Part B (Parkville to Port Melbourne) is premature and support the City of Melbourne position that there are a number of more pressing transport infrastructure priorities in the short to medium term such as Melbourne Metro, tram network development and airport rail
IMPA notes the following issues and opportunities with key aspects of PLAN Melbourne
- The establishment of the ‘Integrated Economic Triangle by 2050’ (linking the Hastings Dandenong corridor with the Hume corridor and the Wyndham-Geelong corridors to the south-west, expanded capital city with major corridors of Hastings Dandenong corridor with the proposed E-W Link through the Expanded Capital City) will consign the state to a road based freight system with substantial freight traffic (2 million more freight journeys) through central Melbourne. The two key current infrastructure projects; the $1.6b Upgrade of Port of Melbourne and the $6-8b E-W Link have substantially had no. or limited. community involvement.
IMPA calls for a review (inclusive of all stakeholders) of these projects in light of the Eddington Report (2008)
- A Pipeline of Investment Opportunity to the private sector to finance soft and hard infrastructure to FBURA, E Gate, Arden Macaulay, City North, Dynon, the Flinders St and Richmond station corridor and major transport initiatives such as Metro 1.
IMPA calls on the state government to share the load of providing for infrastructure, as it has traditionally done, to complement the newly proposed development DCP in order that infrastructure is delivered in a timely fashion and leads renewal programs
- A more sustainable city in the areas of water and waste management, building performance, energy generation, urban farming and climate change adaption.
IMPA supports elevating this to a high priority across all new buildings and public space projects in the city growth program
- Housing Choice and Affordability to be developed into a Plan as a short term priority
IMPA supports the development of a social housing and affordable housing Plan elevated to a short term priority for the urban renewal areas.
- Protecting existing suburbs by delivering density in defined areas of FBURA, E Gate, Arden Macaulay, City North, Dynon, the Flinders St and Richmond station corridor.
IMPA calls for a refinement of the definition of density models to best suit the needs of a liveable city. Such definition should be developed with all stakeholders, including community representatives