Melbournes green developments: a market cop-out?
Under a "Green" label, the developer Delfin Lend Lease is proposing the largest housing development in Victoria. This new development would be located outside Melbourne 2030's growth boundary. According to the media, the Victorian government has not yet given the go ahead.
The Victorian government has produced and promoted Melbourne 2030 on the basis of sustainable development and controlled urban sprawl. Is the government going to meet its commitment to the public?
We vote, we trust (kind of) that they will represent our interests, they tell us that there will be a boundary to urban sprawl
Green mega-suburb push !
If green means to have lots of trees
, wetlands, and parks, ok, Delfin Lend Lease does all these.
If green is on the other hand a social approach to sustainability
, Delfin Lend Lease does not do this. Why should they in any case? They are a business, not the government.
Here my test:
Note: I have suggested some results from my experience working with those developments--applicable to most developers (it is by no means tested but you will get an idea. Better still, visit these places)
Number of corner shops in their developments = I would dare to say 0
maybe one, someone who escaped the by-laws. Now, why such by laws? What is the role of large supermarkets chains in these decisions? Back to you journalists!
Walkable cities???? I think I remember that each household performs an average of 12 car trips a day! From buying the milk to dropping kids to schools. Believe it or not, these green developers almost invariably will say something along the lines of, walking is not how people like to buy the milk today.
Walking as part of the day-to-day activities (outside organised recreation) = minimum to 0
Children cycling as part of their day-to-day activities (outside organised recreation) = minimum
Therefore, children's chances of spontaneous socialisation and becoming street-wise= 0
Health and overweight = ????
Number of cars in each house= 2, 3, 4
Civic public spaces (not to be confused with shopping malls or green wedges) = 0
Regular buses regular means every 10 minutes max. (as for any other developed city), everyday including Sunday and nights (part of the week too) = 0
Number of sole parents = pretty much 0
Number of unemployed= pretty much 0, maybe 1, 2?
" syndrome? (By this I mean aspirational economic pretence): full of it, this is how the developer views economic sustainability. People move within the development. From a village labelled and themed wooden cottages, to a village labelled and themed golden arches (my fictitious names, but very close). These developments actually use arches and gates to accentuate the theme and to give people a fabricated sense of belonging and of moving up the housing market. A bit cynic? Yes, they are.
Size of houses = the largest possible is still a preferred option. Waste of natural resources and space = very high
Relationship between the development and the rest of the city = poor to extremely poor. Most of these developments look inwardlarge continuous fencing along their sides demonstrates how much they value the rest of the city. This has something to do with not wanting to spend on building roads in which they can only develop on one sidean economic decision.
Can anyone live there as it would be for the rest of the city? The answer is NO. People (families) are interviewed to assess their suitability to the new community. It is difficult to know exactly what the suitability criterion is.
So, is this a suburb like any other in the city = no. As far as I know no city council interviews people before admitting them in their "community".
Then how can public transport be integrated to this new development and still serve the interest of the larger population???? Will there be conflicts of interest????
Are the issues highlighted above the fault of developers? This is my opinion and I hope you want to debate it
. No, developers are businesses and do what businesses do bestmaximise their profit. Governments are there to provide and care for the interests of society and the city. Governments are supposed to be educated and to be able to lead social and environmental sustainability through democratic processes.
The following article by Royce Miller provides information about this proposed new development, outside Melbourne 2030s growth boundary :
Green mega-suburb push
Royce Millar and Ben Schneiders
September 24, 2007
Continue reading this article: The Age, Green mega-suburb push
AUSTRALIA'S largest property developer wants to build a new suburb the size of Shepparton 30 kilometres to the north of Melbourne that would controversially stretch the city's boundaries.
The $4.5 billion Delfin Lend Lease project, one of the largest single developments in Melbourne's history, is just beyond the State Government's urban growth boundary.
The scheme, known as Lockerbie, would involve turning farmland next to the Hume Highway at Kalkallo into 13,000 lots to house up to 35,000 people. That is more than 50 per cent bigger than Delfin's other large-scale Victorian project at Caroline Springs in Melbourne's west.
Delfin is pitching Lockerbie to the Government as an innovative, green community. As a sweetener, it is offering to pay for public transport infrastructure, including a V/Line railway station and a bus network....