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 Post subject: Density along tram lines
PostPosted: 29 Apr 2009, 11:14 
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I've noticed this topic being popular with the media at the moment ...

In fact, the sheer number of planning issues being raised at the moment in my mind highlights Justin Madden's lack of vision and overall failure to handle the portfolio.

Personally I think this one is a very bad idea.

Basically it is a poor man's Melbourne 2030. Melbourne 2030 was based around train and heavy rail stations. Instead it was implemented around freeways. Now they're talking trams.

What's worse with this plan is that so much of Melbourne's character and heritage is centred along the tram lines. With such a plan you would completely ruin this.

The history of St Kilda Road is a failed experiment that shows that it simply can't be done properly without sticking to very strict controls.

And what the planners don't realise is how overcrowded our tram lines already are. Many are already running over capacity. This plan relies on more tram stops to achieve optimum ped shed, yet currently governments and public transport operators are reducing the number of stops. And there are no plans to fund the minor extensions required to extend tramlines to major railway stations to make proper modal change possible.

Basically flood them and the system becomes unworkable.

The plans look ok on paper but are definitely not the right way to go.

Quote:
Density near tram lines 'key to stopping sprawl'

* Clay Lucas
* April 20, 2009

A NEW metropolitan authority should be established to help Melbourne deal with the population influx expected in the next two decades, a leading economist and planner will tell a forum on land use tomorrow.

A Greater Melbourne Authority could take control of the city's public transport and help push through multi-storey buildings along tram and train corridors, in a bid to stop the suburbs sprawling further.

Marcus Spiller is director of SGS Economics and Planning, which did much of the economic modelling in the Government's recent Transport Plan.

In a speech tomorrow to a conference on the Brumby Government's Melbourne@5Million planning policy, Mr Spiller will argue that building along tram and train corridors will help address the city's population and transport problems.

Citing the plan by Melbourne City Council's design director Rob Adams for building along public transport corridors, Mr Spiller said it was crucial for Melbourne to become more dense in key zones.

But local governments and the state planning department were not up to the task, he argued. "Our current institutional arrangements are not capable of delivering this revolution," he will say in the speech.

Councils were in charge of these sites, he said, and their agenda was about looking after local interests, not the wider metropolitan area.

The State Government was equally unable to make decisions for metropolitan Melbourne, because almost 40 per cent of elected MPs in the State Parliament were from rural electorates, Mr Spiller said.

"The state is (therefore) hopelessly compromised in making decisions on behalf of the metro community," he said.


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PostPosted: 29 Apr 2009, 19:58 
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A good point, Mr Pitt. The overcrowding presently occurring on trams hasn't really rated a mention in the media compared with the consistent publicity given to rail overcrowding. It's about time that the state government got serious about giving real priority to road-based public transport, for example the urgent need to implement undertakings to give traffic light priority to trams and buses.


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PostPosted: 30 Apr 2009, 11:21 
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If there was ever a candidate for such a plan, it would be this proposal:
viewtopic.php?f=11&t=4723

The area is ripe for the picking. There is practically nothing there. You could rezone the entire stretch from Monash Uni to East Brighton and have 10 storey buildings the whole way whilst being serviced by 3 rail lines.

Hodge podge development is already happening at the south end of Murrumbeena and Ormond. This sort of thing would make is consistent and uniform.

I don't see the point of going to medium density to high density when with something like this you could go from low density to high density and leave the other suburbs untouched !


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PostPosted: 30 Apr 2009, 13:58 
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http://www.theage.com.au/national/highrise-plan-to-halt-the-sprawl-20090429-angx.html?page=-1

From The Age

High-rise plan to halt the sprawl
Kate Lahey
April 30, 2009

MELBOURNE could house an extra million people within existing boundaries by accelerating multi-level development on main tram and bus routes, according to an ambitious plan before the State Government.

A draft report, obtained by The Age, proposes a radical rethink of the urban planning system in a bid to overcome persistent obstacles to higher-density housing development.

The report says just 10 per cent of the existing urban area could be used to accommodate projected growth in Melbourne's population from about 4 million to 5 million by 2030.

About 34,000 sites on major corridors could be suitable for multi-level development, it says.

These include more than 12,400 sites along tram lines and 22,000 along priority bus routes such as Johnston Street. The sites could accommodate about 500,000 new dwellings in total.

Significantly, given the history of local resistance to multi-level housing in suburbs, back streets - covering 90 per cent of Melbourne - would be protected from high-density building.

Instead, they would become "the green lungs of the city through increased street tree plantings, water collection, passive solar energy generation and productive backyards".

The report, jointly funded by the Government and City of Melbourne, was prepared by prominent planner Rob Adams.

The state budget next week is expected to include a plan aimed at cutting bureaucracy and speeding up housing development. But Planning Minister Justin Madden would not comment yesterday on the draft report and whether it would be covered in the budget.

The report says the planning process "is not well equipped to handle rapid development approvals". The existing Melbourne 2030 strategy had failed because it was unable to be implemented fast enough. The key to success, it says, would be to provide simple, pragmatic guidelines.

Development corridors must be clearly identified and the appropriate level of development, up to eight storeys, must be determined up-front, it says.

It establishes criteria including rear access to new buildings, no change to any building on the heritage register and a mandatory percentage of affordable housing.

The report's target of 500,000 new dwellings would be a big advance on the Government's Melbourne@ 5 million strategy, which aims for 315,000 new dwellings in established areas and 280,000 in growth areas.

Under the new plan, main corridors such as Lygon Street, Nicholson Street and Riversdale Road could carry a population density of 180 to 400 people per hectare, compared to existing suburban densities of about 30.

The report says housing the extra million people in established areas would be $110 billion cheaper over 50 years than building new suburbs.

"This figure does not take account of the indirect benefits to society of factors such as increased social capital and economic productivity as a result of better health and closer knit communities," it says.

The report did not examine development on rail corridors because, it said, much work had already been done in that area.

Last week, economist and planner Marcus Spiller argued councils were incapable of accommodating major growth on transport corridors because they were more focused on local interests than wider needs.

Bill McArthur, president of the Municipal Association of Victoria, said yesterday increasing populations along transport routes had merit but councils must have a say in decisions.

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PostPosted: 01 May 2009, 21:16 
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http://www.theage.com.au/national/build ... ml?page=-1

Quote:
Build it and they will see: MCC
Kate Lahey
May 1, 2009
MELBOURNE City Council is planning to build examples of the high-density housing it has proposed for suburban tram and bus routes to encourage other councils to follow suit.

But the idea, being considered by the State Government, may struggle to win support from other councils, which are determined to maintain planning control over their own areas.

MCC chief executive Kathy Alexander used a Property Council breakfast to push the plan yesterday and urged developers to get involved.

She would not identify which sites were being considered.

"What we will be trying to do is look at some of the land we actually own and we will be putting some proposals to our council and to the Federal Government to try to put some models in place to show what could be done along tram tracks," she said.

The draft strategy would allow buildings between four and eight storeys.

Dr Alexander said it should be implemented across the suburbs because the MCC alone could not address issues of congestion or air quality.

The strategy was developed by council planning director Rob Adams, jointly funded by the Department of Transport. It has identified 34,000 roadside sites that could hold an extra 1 million residents without stretching Melbourne's boundaries further.

Melbourne is expected to grow from almost 4 million to 5 million people before 2030.

The Government is preparing a draft urban growth boundary for public comment. A spokeswoman for Planning Minister Justin Madden said final details of the boundary were expected this year.

Moving it would meet the Government's policy of ensuring at least 15 years of "developable land", she said.

The report and planning industry figures say the strategy will work only if the rules are applied across the board. But others warn against a blanket approach.

Monash Mayor Paul Klisaris said it was not enough to plan more housing at tram stops. The Government needed to help councils provide services.

"We know we have a shortage of doctors, of good teachers, … of major things like maternal health, pre-schools and day-care centres," Cr Klisaris said.

"When we talk about high-density living, they have to be part of the discussion, they have to be part of the solution, otherwise we're creating big black holes for ourselves."

He also warned against removing the community's power to oppose developments.

"They don't want to be going to the ballot box with that kind of attitude, they'll be booted out," he said.

Jason Black, of the Planning Institute of Australia, said loosening planning controls was essential to the strategy's success. He said councils would get more money from rates and the boost to their populations would become a critical mass for services and increased jobs.

Mary Drost, convener of Planning Backlash — a network of 150 Victorian resident action groups — called for Premier John Brumby to hold a summit on population growth.

"What are we going to end up with? Mexico City, 20 million?" she said


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PostPosted: 12 May 2009, 18:36 
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Quote:
Councils at front line of high-rise plan
Kate Lahey
May 12, 2009
DAREBIN and Moreland are at the front line of a State Government proposal to put higher-density housing along tram lines.

Since mid-2008, the two northern suburbs councils have been in talks with the Department of Planning and Community Development about the strategy and have joined a departmental steering committee.

A department spokesman said research by the committee included looking at opportunities and constraints in developing along tram lines, including "urban design, infrastructure servicing and development economics".

It is separate to the report prepared for the Department of Transport by planner Rob Adams, which found 34,000 sites available for high-density living along tram and bus routes and advocated blanket planning rules to clear the way for housing up to eight storeys tall.

This way, Melbourne could accommodate the extra million people it is expecting by 2030, using just 10 per cent of the existing metropolitan area, the report says.

The department's Halvard Dalheim told a transport forum yesterday work had begun in those areas under a "pilot project" in Darebin and Moreland.

A department spokesman later said there was no pilot program but research had been done in line with government planning blueprints, Melbourne@5 Million and the Victorian Transport Plan, on the role tram corridors could play in accommodating future population and jobs growth.

"DPCD has been working with both councils to explore how more housing and employment can be accommodated in the inner-north sub-region of Melbourne," spokesman David Wolf said. "Potential development along the tram corridors is a part of this work along with the activity centres such as Preston, Coburg and Brunswick and the reuse of old industrial land."

Senior staff from both councils confirmed their involvement to The Age.

Darebin's Michael Ballock, manager of urban development, said the council had been working with the DPCD "to better understand the opportunities that tram corridors provide in creating places where additional people can live".

Professor Adams is a director at the City of Melbourne, which is also looking to pilot the strategy.

Mr Wolf said the research was in line with concepts already expressed.


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