In May’s Victorian state budget, the Metro Rail Capacity Project was officially abandoned and relaunched as the smaller, Southern-focused Melbourne Rail Link. It’s been under consideration for less than three months, and looks to have been rushed out in time for the November state election. They’ve earmarked $8.6B – $11B, which includes (a bit like steak knives) a distant airport rail link branching off the Sunbury line.
20.06.14 in urban-planning
The term “missing link” was originally applied to old fossils. It’s fitting that it is now being used to describe Melbourne’s East West Link. This little project has been floating about since the 1950s, but in it’s current form it can be traced back to a suggestion from Premier Jeff “the quiff” Kennett in 1999. It’s been looked into since, but has always been a political impossibility, and a waste of money… until now. The planets are aligning and Dr Napthine and Tony Abbott can see the project’s “electoral” potential. As long as it’s sold in the right way to the right voters. These voters live in Melbourne’s East, in some of the most marginal electorates in the country. They’re been tempted with a big carrot – a faster run down the Eastern Freeway in the morning rush. We’re told that this run has slowed down 20kph since 2001, which is true, but only because there was a short-lived speed spike in 2001 after the opening of City Link.
This Fairfax video link is promotion masquerading as information. Nonetheless it is worth a look if only for the theatrical performance of garden wall guru Patrick Blanc. The topic is the Central Park development in Sydney – the Atelier Jean Nouvel building in particular.
Kevin McCloud’s “Slumming it” is currently running on the ABC (available at iview for short whiles). I had been turned off by its name but in the end decided to switch on. The word ‘slum’ has always had a derogatory slant to it that doesn’t help these towns and neighbourhoods at all. It can even provide instant justification for the wholesale demolition of them, so that they can be replaced by much posher and much less dense condominiums – it’s happening in Cambodia right now.
08.11.10 in urban-planning
Geelong Advertiser’s lead editorial today toasts the Committee for Geelong’s Vision II, which will engage with Deakin architecture students to bring about architecture with a ‘wow-factor’. The editorial states: “Geelong has been slow to utilise the grey matter of its built-environment experts.”
10.08.10 in urban-planning
Victorian Planning Minister’s long proposed 430 square km extension to the Urban Growth Boundary for Melbourne has just received the “green” light from government, in a rare show of bipartisan unity from the major parties.
29.07.10 in urban-planning
ABC News announced tonight that the Melton North subdivision is proceeding. 1,300 houses spread over 106 hectares, this suburb will be much smaller than Toolern , just East of Melton, where 2,500 rural hectares are currently being suburbanised. The Precinct Structure Plan is also a lot smaller. It has a few words to say about encouraging higher density living around Neighbourhood Activity Centres, but the detail paints a different picture. Lots between 250 and 300 square metres will not require a planning permit for a single house. So smaller lots will require a planning permit? Is that encouraging?
04.07.10 in urban-planning
A new 90 hectare suburb in Tianjin, China, is set to get a Melbourne theme. This doesn’t mean that it will be encouraged to sprawl with inadequate public transport, we ‘re talking more of a postcard version of Melbourne.
The Growth Areas Authority has revised its planning documents for the 2,400 hectares of new suburbs at Toolern, Melbourne. There is no summary document to explain the reasoning behind the changes, and it seems that what little is good about the plan is being slowly whittled away with stakeholder input. Increased construction costs for the many community facilities also seem to have caused a reduction in expenditure in other areas.
10.05.10 in urban-planning