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.
The carpet rollers now have a licence to build from the current metro boundary all the way out to Melton/Toolern in the North West, and to Whittlesea in the North. As well as carpeting 4,000 ha of fertile market gardens in Casey.
These areas are always a bit abstract. So I have shown the actual area as a square measuring 20.7 km by 20.7 km, overlaid onto our dear city. It would extend from Melbourne’s CBD to Nunawading in the East and Mentone in the South.
That’s enough grassland for another 18 Toolerns . Odd then that Toolern will jam in 22,000 mostly low density houses (9.1 dwellings/ha.), but the new UGB areas are only expected to fit 134,000 (3.1 dwellings/ha.) I hope my maths is a bit rusty, as that’s just wrongtown. 10 dwellings per hectare is about the norm for the established area shown in the map above.
The Housing Industry Association, Urban Development Institute of Australia, and Property Council of Australia are all predictably ecstatic, though the spokesperson for the latter suggests we should have a talk about density soon. Looks like that won’t be necessary for quite a few years.
Some startling news out of Monash University questions whether the compact city rhetoric of Melbourne 2030 bears much resemblance to reality. In the 2009 paper “SPATIAL PATTERNS OF URBAN COMPACTNESS IN MELBOURNE: AN URBAN MYTH OR A REALITY”, researchers have noted a “hollowing out” of inner suburbs between 2001 and 2006 – the real densification is happening in the outer ‘burbs. “A negative change in dwelling density has been noted in 55 activity centres out of a total of 104.” Most of the offending activity centres were in inner areas – Prahran is an example. Food for thought.
Posted by Peter on 29.07.10 in urban planning
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