What’s Next for Melbourne: Victorian Planning Authority Urban Renewal Director Emily Mottram Looks at the Big Picture

Emily Mottram practices what she preaches. The city planner is an enthusiastic inner-city dweller. She likes to walk to work and seldom uses her car.

“My son gets excited when he gets into the car because it happens so rarely he thinks it’s a special occasion,” she says, laughingly.

Mottram is the director of urban renewal at the Victorian Planning Authority, the government body that looks after the big-picture planning for the state and she focuses on inner-city projects.

Coincidentally she was one of the pioneers of CBD living and moved into Majorca Building on Flinders Lane in the 1990s.

“Melbourne is such a magical, amazing place to live – it’s so diverse and fantastic.”

She now lives in North Carlton and feels like the city’s parks, gardens and museums are in her backyard.

“It’s a city of hidden gems – all the work around the laneways that the City of Melbourne has done so well in terms of reframing the city is fantastic.”

Working in the VPA offices at the top of Collins Street means that Mottram knows all the best places for coffee. Walking down Flinders Lane, she peers into Cumulus Inc – too busy – then ducks into Tom Thumb cafe for a chat.

Photo: article supplied

The city planner reveals she had a very urban upbringing, growing up in a London terrace house in the 1970s. She remembers idyllic childhood days playing outside in the terrace’s triangular communal garden.

Her dad was an architect who often brought her along to see his work. Later on, the family lived in Oman for eight years when her dad was converting a fort into a museum.

Not surprisingly, Mottram developed an interest in cities and buildings and decided to study social and environmental planning when she moved to Melbourne.

“I was very passionate about environmental issues,” she says.

Her first job was as a social planner for Hobsons Bay City Council, then on the edge of Melbourne, where she oversaw the development of the Seabrook Community Centre.

“The city I came to in the mid ’80s has changed so dramatically,” she says.

She returned to the UK in the early 2000s to provide advice to councils on redeveloping public housing estates.

“When I flew in the last time to Gatwick Airport, I could see out of the window of the plane part of the city that I had a hand in.”

One of the difficult things about working as a planner is that it takes so long before you see your projects completed, she says.

This was originally published by Domain.

Click here to read the entire article.

Hear Emily Mottram speak at the 2017 International Urban Design Conference this November!

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Translating Policy to Place: Planning High Quality Precincts in the World’s Most Liveable City

The 10th International Urban Design Conference will be held at Surfers Paradise Marriott Resort & Spa, Gold Coast, Queensland from Monday 13 – Tuesday 14 November 2017.

Emily Mottram, Director of Urban Renewal at Victorian Planning Authority is a keynote speaker at this year’s Conference, presenting “Translating policy to place – planning high quality precincts in the world’s most liveable city”.

Emily Mottram

Melbourne trades on its legacy of good planning by the Victorians and its title of the world’s most liveable city. It is also experiencing record breaking population growth, economic restructuring and climate change. Infrastructure investment is reshaping and reframing the city as we know it.

There is a strong policy basis set out through Plan Melbourne 2017-2050 to focus 70% of residential growth into established areas. The Victorian Planning Authority is working in precincts across Melbourne to translate this policy intent into high quality place based outcomes. A key challenge is to achieve exemplary contextual design to ensure we have a social licence to act.

This presentation will use a series of case studies from inner and middle Melbourne to reflect upon the opportunities and evolving tools for precinct renewal.

This year the International Urban Design Conference offers optional tours available on Wednesday 15 November. These will include visiting two of the precincts that have been designed and built for the 2018 Commonwealth Games held on the Gold Coast in April 2018.

Find out more here.

Melbourne could be stripped of ‘world’s most liveable city’

THE world’s most liveable city should be small with a population of around a million and easy to get around.

And that’s not Melbourne. It’s a city where transport is delayed, urban sprawl keeps creeping further and high density apartments are rife.

According to RMIT environmental planning professor Michael Buxton, these are the things that could cause Melbourne to be stripped of its “world’s most liveable city” title this year. Melbourne has held the title on The Economist’s liveability ran

kings for the last five years but Prof Buxton said it could be the end, with European cities doing it better than Melbourne. “We are moving from a city with a population of four million to six million and that’s putting massive strain on existing services,” he said.

Austria’s capital, Vienna, was ranked number two on the liveability list last year and Prof Buxton said Melbourne may be overtaken and never catch up. “European cities value a high number of amenities and that means a lot to the citizens of these areas and they attract tourism, which is very important. Melbourne is not doing well on that at all,” he said.

“European transport systems also may not be as expensive as Melbourne’s and they function much better.”

Prof Buxton believes Melbourne has held on to its liveability title for the past five years because the city looks good on paper.

RMIT professor Michael Buxton believes Melbourne needs to catch up to European cities. Picture: Josie HaydenSource:News Corp Australia
RMIT professor Michael Buxton Source: News Corp Australia

The climate is not as miserable as some European cities and Melbourne’s tram and rail systems appears to cater well to the city.

“But it’s expensive and the problem is it doesn’t function that well,” he said.

Most of Melbourne’s problems came from a rapidly growing population, and smaller scale cities, like Helsinki, Stockholm and Berlin, were more appealing cities to live in.

Prof Buxton said city size had been debated for years and he believed once the population surpassed 1.5 million, that’s when difficulties could arise.

Earlier this year a report from BIS Shrapnel revealed there would be an oversupply of more than 20,000 homes in Melbourne in 2017.

The new liveability ratings are expected to be released this month.

Read more.

 

 

Two new “grand” suburbs planned for Melbourne’s west

urban design new developmentsLand surrounding an old goldfields route near Rockbank will soon be transformed to make way for two new “grand” suburbs expected to house more than 55,000 people.

The state government last week released Precinct Structure Plans for the two suburbs, which will be between Caroline Springs and the emerging suburb of Rockbank North.

The new suburbs are expected to cater for Melbourne’s booming population and the demand for affordable housing in the western suburbs.

Metropolitan Planning Authority (MPA) chief executive Peter Seamer said the new suburbs would be enhanced and characterised by large open spaces.

“Our growth areas will be home to a significant amount of Victoria’s future population and we need to plan for these communities to have access to jobs, services and great open space,” Mr Seamer said.

“The MPA is committed to providing affordable housing choice for all Victorians in urban renewal areas and the established and new suburbs of Melbourne.”

The area, spanning almost 2000 hectares, could, according to the MPA, provide up to 14,000 post-construction jobs, have 10 schools and a town centre accessible by the former Beattys Road goldfields route and close to the Caroline Spring train station.

Hume Drive will be extended to connect with Tarletons Road in the west and to connect the new suburbs to Taylors Hill West.

According to the MPA, the state government is expected to reap more than $180 million in developer levies, while Melton council is expected to receive more than $385 million.

Natural landscape features, including local plants and native grasslands, will be maintained.

Melton council city design, strategy and environment manager Laura-Jo Mellan said that while the new suburbs would help create jobs, state and federal governments needed to invest in infrastructure needs.

“The challenge is to ensure that required infrastructure – such as the future Hopkins Road upgrade, upgrades of Melton Highway and the Western Freeway, and the delivery of the planned Kororoit Regional Park, along with investment in schools and community facilities – is delivered in a timely way,” Ms Mellan said. For more information about the new suburbs, visit www.mpa.vic.gov.au

The 9th International Urban Design Conference; Smart Cities for 21st Century Australia – How urban design innovation can change our cities  will be held at Hyatt Canberra from 7th-8th November 2016 with optional tours available on Wednesday 9th November.

Registrations are now open. CLICK HERE to register for the Conference. Early bird closes 26th September 2016 so be quick to receive a discounted rate.

This years’ theme, will focus on an understanding of what makes a city ‘smart’ from a urban design perspective and how the built environment develops during the city planning process.

Authors or organisations interested in presenting at the 9th International Urban Design Conference are invited to submit an abstract. To submit an abstract CLICK HERE. Abstracts close 25th July 2016.

Thousands of new apartments placing pressure on city’s north (Melbourne)

Article originally published by The Age 6 April 2015 by Clay Lucas, City Editor

Bruce Echberg bought into the CBD in the first wave of apartment development in Melbourne, in the early days of Melbourne City Council’s Postcode 3000 program – designed to bring residential living to the central city.

Now, in a rich irony, Mr Echberg – a city architect and urban designer – and his co-owners in their modest four-level office and apartment tower have found themselves at the epicentre of the biggest and most rapid skyscraper-building frenzy Melbourne has seen.

… Melbourne City Council has acknowledged the rapid growth in the area, noting in its City North structure plan there were 12,000 new households built or expected around the Queen Victoria Market precinct.

Lord Mayor Robert Doyle said there was no problem with the proliferation of apartments in the area – quite the reverse.

“I am pretty comfortable with the rate of increase there at the moment,” said Cr Doyle, stressing that the huge growth in population meant there was urgency to construction of infrastructure like the proposed Melbourne Metro rail tunnel, and the upgrading of trams running on Elizabeth Street.

View the full article here.

Follow Clay Lucas on Twitter  or The Age @theage