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Topic: activity centre
Could major housing developments be outside activity centres?

Could major housing developments be outside activity centres?

We need to start thinking about new ways of increasing housing supply in the established suburbs. As I’ve noted a number of times now, activity centres aren’t delivering much and infill housing, though it’s putting in a sterling effort, is probably at full stretch. These strategies are still important, but additional sources of supply are […]

Can Melbourne depend on infill housing?

Can Melbourne depend on infill housing?

We know that the inability to increase significantly the supply of dwellings within established suburbs is a key failing of strategic planning in Melbourne. Simply put, there’s not enough housing to make established suburbs affordable for all the people who would like to live in a relatively accessible location. We also know that activity centres […]

Why is Acland St becoming "Chadstone by the Bay"?

Why is Acland St becoming "Chadstone by the Bay"?

Carol Nader wrote an article in The Age on the weekend bemoaning the decline of St Kilda’s famous Acland Street. She reports there are eight shops with “for lease” signs: The strip that used to have everything is now bereft of a newsagent and a florist. Kinki Gerlinki has shut down and the Quick Brown […]

Are these planners planning ahead?

Are these planners planning ahead?

The familiar story of residents pushing back against higher density development hit the press again this week, this time in Ivanhoe, where Banyule Council is seeking feedback on its draft Structure Plan for the Ivanhoe Activity Centre. Council is proposing that some areas be zoned to permit development – largely residential – up to five […]

Malls & strips: what’s the difference?

Malls & strips: what’s the difference?

Whether you like them or not, malls have been pretty successful in capturing a sizeable share of the retail dollar in Australia since the first ones opened in 1957 at Chermside in Brisbane and Top Ryde in Sydney (Chadstone opened in Melbourne in 1960). Much of that success historically came at the expense of strip […]

What’s so bad about regional malls?

What’s so bad about regional malls?

I’m always a little surprised by the ill-feeling many planners, architects and educated elites show toward regional managed shopping centres (a.k.a malls). The alternative isn’t always articulated but in most cases seems to be some notion of the traditional strip shopping centre, or ‘High Street’**. The vast majority of Australians – the 90% plus who […]

Is big-box bad for the Modern Family?

Is big-box bad for the Modern Family?

Professor of Urbanism at the University of Pennsylvania, Canadian-American architect Witold Rybczynski, has this interesting slide show at Slate titled Ordinary Places. He subtitles it “rediscovering the parking lot, the big-box store, the farmers market, the gas Station” and observes: At first glance, the big-box store doesn’t foster sociability. The no-frills environment sends the message […]

Are the suburbs dormitories?

Are the suburbs dormitories?

There are many misconceptions about the suburbs. A common one is that they are dormitories for workers who commute to the CBD. Another is that jobs in the suburbs are mostly low skill and low pay. The reality is most economic activity in our capital cities takes place in the suburbs. In Melbourne, for example, […]

Is 13 storeys right for Coburg?

Is 13 storeys right for Coburg?

This 520 unit development in Coburg reaches up 13 stories to make good use of a rare, large inner suburban site. It is the kind of development we need to see more of.

Do firms want to be in suburban centres?

Do firms want to be in suburban centres?

We know that most jobs in Melbourne are now in the suburbs. There’s also an increasing understanding that large metropolitan areas are now generally polycentric rather than monocentric in form i.e. there are significant activity centres outside the CBD with large numbers of jobs. The strategic planning update to Melbourne 2030, Melbourne @ 5 Million, released in […]