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Railroaded

Magritte - time transfixed 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 

Comment [2]

The missing link

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.

20.08.13 in urban-planning cities

Comment [5]

To infinity and beyond

“I want architectural excellence and height … I want buildings that inspire Victorians. If this can be done in the right place, and with beauty, then the sky’s the limit.” Matthew Guy, April 2012

06.03.13 in urban-planning urban-design

Baillieu bowls tower blocks

Of the many policies being released by Victoria’s new Liberal government, one caught my ear (oh, and the announcement that train stations are so dangerous they need armed guards).

01.12.10 in urban-planning 

Melbourne MSS say

Melbourne City Council and the State overnment have a new Municipal Strategic Statement in the works. Its vision is for a Melbourne that is:

26.08.10 in urban-planning 

From green wedge to green short back and sides

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 

Melton gets even bigger

Melton North plan
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 

Toolern - what is medium density anyway?

Maybe it’s worthy a closer look at the density types in Toolern, as the presence of medium and high densities are something that differentiates it from other ‘burbs in the ‘hood.

10.05.10 in urban-planning 

Toolern update

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 

New town, old ideas?

toolern map
Toolern

13.04.10 in urban-planning cities

Comment [4]

Freeways not timesavers

A study released today compares 1990s predictions of massive timesavings if new freeways were built in Melbourne, with current data taking into account all the new freeways. The report concludes that car travel times in Melbourne are slower than ever. New roads mean new traffic.

04.09.09 in urban-planning 

Let's spend some money

At the Planning Institute of Victoria forum on Wednesday, Professor Rob Adams announced some startling findings, from a report commissioned by the DPCD.

17.07.09 in urban-planning 

Comment [1]

The thin end

This is the last week for public submissions about the Victorian Government’s proposed changes to the Urban Growth Boundary. You can have your say to them here, before July 17th.

11.07.09 in urban-planning cities

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