The planning process for the future of city-centre development, which has been underway for more than two decades, has been dominated by a city-centric vision for what the city should look like.
But now the Government has taken a fresh look at the process and is recommending that all but five areas in the CBD be developed with a view to making the city more sustainable.
This new approach will allow the city to have a greater say in the planning of its neighbourhoods.
“The City of Melbourne is committed to supporting the development of new places to live and work and we are determined to make sure that every community, every city is built to last,” Minister for Planning and Development Andrew Constance said.
“It is a time for reflection.
It is a new chapter in Melbourne’s development history and the City of Sydney’s vision is an exciting one.”
The new plan for CBD development will set out the steps the Government is taking to deliver the “core” and “bipartisan” values of the CBD, including “strengthening our social fabric”, improving the city centre and making Melbourne more inclusive.
But the plan will also outline how the city will continue to evolve.
It will be led by a new group of commissioners, who will include a city manager, a chief planner and an urban design consultant.
It will also consider recommendations from the new City Development Review Panel (CDR) that will be headed by the Mayor of Melbourne.
The CDR is a group of city planners and urbanists who will review city-related planning for the next 10 years.
In a statement, Mayor Andrew Barr said the plan “sets out a clear and coherent framework for future growth in Melbourne”.
“The City’s vision for the city is an ambitious one and this report demonstrates how this vision is achievable,” he said.
“I look forward to seeing what the next few months bring.
I am confident that the City will take forward its vision of a strong, vibrant, inclusive, and sustainable Melbourne and we will make Melbourne one of the best places to work, live, visit, visit family, and live in the best cities in the world.”
In its latest submission to the City Development Report, the CDR said the vision for a more inclusive, vibrant and sustainable city would be a key component of the plan.
The CDR’s chief planner, Michael Brown, said the Government’s plan “is a strong signal that the CDRs priorities are aligned with the city”.
It’s not just the CBD that has been scrutinised, with the CDRS also recommending “a focus on providing a better and more sustainable city”, “a strong focus on promoting social inclusion” and a “new approach to urban planning”.
The report’s recommendations will be reviewed in 2018.
With the focus on building more sustainable cities, the Government hopes to see the city move to a “bespoke” planning system in the future.
But for now, the new planning system will mean that “a significant number of areas in Melbourne will be in a transition to an urban planning system”.
That will be done in two phases: phase one will “help ensure the city remains more sustainable in the long term by aligning the City with the core values of sustainability and diversity”, Mr Brown said.
This phase will involve “streaking” areas to be developed around public transport, green spaces, public housing and “streaks” to be built around the CBD.
Phase two will “set out how the CBD can be used to improve and transform the city, through a process of integrated development”.
For now, only five of the 13 areas the City wants to develop with a CBD plan will have been formally developed by the CDRR.
This is because the CDRP has yet to identify a plan for the rest of the existing CBD.
The Government said it wanted to ensure that these areas could be “part of the next phase of the planning process”.
However, there is one area the CDRC recommended to be incorporated into the CDRM.
That would be the CBD itself, which would “enable more community engagement and greater public participation” in the development process.
For the time being, the City said it was looking forward to a discussion with the Department of Planning and Land use about the details of the proposed new system.
Follow Paul Delaney on Twitter: @pdelaney.