Victoria Minister for Planning Matthew Guy
Bold Vision For Expanded Melbourne CBD
Victor P Taffa
A bold new vision for Melbourne’s central business district could see an expansion of high density living beyond the Hoddle Grid, Docklands and Southbank.
Major opportunities would be made available in Fishermans Bend and E-Gate on its western edge, St. Kilda Rd in the south, and towards Melbourne University on the northern side.
Planning Minister Matthew Guy announced the proposal for an expanded capital city zone today.
“We want to hear Melburnians’ views about where high density housing is best located.” Mr. Guy said.
“Many people are concerned about high rise towers dominating quiet suburban streets, so we need to ask if high rise should be primarily concentrated in the inner city to take growth pressure off Melbourne’s existing suburbs, while also capitalising on existing infrastructure.”
Mr. Guy stressed this was a long-term vision that needed bipartisan support and was a prelude to consultation on the new Metropolitan Strategy which would be taking place over the course of the year.
“It is important to realise this is a 20 to 50 year vision it will not happen overnight, but we need to provide leadership and opportunities.” Mr. Guy said.
“Melbourne’s Hoddle grid was designed in 1837 when Melbourne’s population was only a few thousand. With a population of four million and growing, we need to have a vision for the central city that matches our growth. We know we cannot only expand in the outer suburbs, but need to also extend the beating heart of the city.”
“Melbourne’s CBD only had a few hundred residents in 1990. Today, over 30,000 people call the CBD, Southbank and Docklands home. We need to continue the discussion about how to provide inner city living opportunities for those who desire it.”
“This proposal could cement Melbourne as the best CBD for growth and investment opportunity in Australia. Maintaining our advantage is vital for retaining important construction jobs, as well as an affordable city for residents and businesses.”
“It doesn’t mean we will have Rialto-size buildings in every part of it, but what you will have is greater density and greater height throughout an expanded CBD.”
“Concentrating high rise, high density growth takes development pressure off existing suburbs and can maintain liveability in existing residential areas while providing a large, vibrant heart to a growing central city area.” Mr. Guy said.
All of the areas proposed are within walking distance of the Hoddle grid.