Opinion

Is 'getting it done' good enough for the Monash cluster?

Last week when Spring Street announced it would be allocating $3 million for the planning work on a tram line between Caulfield and Rowville, the concept of a heavy rail line to Rowville was given its marching orders. The Monash region - what the Victorian Planning Authority calls a National Employment and Innovation Cluster (NEIC) - hosts the highest concentration of jobs outside of central Melbourne and the tram/light rail planning money...

City of Melbourne's Transport Strategy refresh. It's time to walk the walk

Just over a week ago the City of Melbourne released the first two discussion papers as part of its Transport Strategy Refresh . These focused on the themes of 'Walking' and 'City Space' with Urban Melbourne providing commentary via this article and during Episode 10 of the Weekly podcast. The ambitious plan will look to examples from abroad such as Barcelona's proposed "superblock" strategy which creates a series of small neighbourhoods around...

Let's heed Infrastructure Australia's message: be more ambitious with Melbourne's public transport network

Infrastructure Australia's (IA's) recent release of its Future Cities paper included 15 recommendations which overwhelmingly called for the Federal Government to play a greater role in the growth of our cities and similarly, the recommendations called for a paradigm shift. The federal agency like its state counterpart, Infrastructure Victoria, highlighted road pricing and the need for it to change and there were other cross-over themes like...

Fitzroy's C.F. Row comes up trumps

The marriage of old and new can be a difficult process, particularly when the existing structure has intrinsic heritage value. In previous times Fitzroy's 237 Napier Street served as the home of furniture manufacturer C.F. Rojo and Sons. Taking root during 1887, Christobel Rojo oversaw operations though over time the site would become home to furniture manufacturer Thonet. As with many significant buildings around Fitzroy, 237 Napier Street...

Toorak Park delivers where it matters most

Toorak Park is the outcome of a decade of development overtones for an expansive and formerly underutilised site abutting Toorak Station. Few projects across Melbourne are larger in terms of site size, with developer Lendlease over recent months applying the finishing touches to 446 apartments and 18 townhouses across a host of buildings. What makes Toorak Park particularly impressive though is the extensive greenery and public permeability...

Thoughts on new metro station names

Over the weekend, the Premier announced a naming competition for the five 'new' stations that are to be built on the route of the Metro Tunnel project. The Melbourne Metro Rail Authority has reported, via its twitter account, they've received 10,000 suggestions as of Tuesday. In what looks like an effort to avoid a situation akin to the 'Boaty McBoatface' that occurred in the UK, name suggestions will be shortlisted before being decided upon by...

My top 5 city changing projects

The amount of construction in Melbourne's central city is reaching fever pitch with a number of large scale towers either topping out or rising out of the ground, forever changing the face of the city. But that's not what today's article is about. Instead I'd like to focus on five city changing projects which direct the eye to the street rather than the sky. 1. Melbourne Metro Rail Project CBD North Station Franklin Street entry. Image: MMRA I...

Is Melbourne full?

Ever since the 2016 census data was released, there's been an explosion of articles written across many different outlets. Some are tackling quite broad range of topics and others somewhat perplexingly focused on 'liveability', a construct of a foreign economics magazine whose original purpose was to inform managers on good places to live and expand businesses in. As is always the case, the comment sections are equally as informative and in many...

Population shock: we now, more than ever, need to radically re-think Melbourne's transport network

The headlines might be screaming about our 'liveability' being under threat with high levels of population growth in Victoria, but that's just noise. No, Melbourne's population problem is that we have a cabal of industry, politicians and some segments of the media who up until this point have been wedded to the notion that we can continue to 'balance' the infrastructure investment in both freeways and public transport. It should come as no...

Reflections on doing it right: Alphington, Williams Landing and Fishermans Bend

Two important stories which traverse both transport and housing topic areas were highlighted on Urban Melbourne this week. The news that the medium and high-density components of Williams Landing will ramp up highlight what some might gloss over but what I think is the correct 'order' of doing things: the rail station is built first, developers then piggyback off the new infrastructure second. Likewise, this morning's report on XO Project's...

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