Melbourne Urban Renewal Review of Urban Renewal Framework

The brief: The Department of Planning and Community Development (DPCD) developed an urban renewal framework for Melbourne as part of the Metropolitan Planning Strategy.

To support the preparation of this Strategy, HillPDA was engaged to provide their industry experience and to review the models of other urban renewal authorities across Australia so as to identify key elements that contributed to successful outcomes and elements that impeded progress. The project also required the identification of innovative tools, mechanisms and governance structures that could enhance the feasibility of urban renewal in Victoria.

Our role: HillPDA’s role was to undertake research and provide expert advice in relation to:

  • The levers and tools that could be used by the Victorian Government, in partnership with industry and local councils, to enhance the feasibility of development in urban renewal areas whilst providing positive social, economic and environmental outcomes; and
  • Governance structures and models that could be successfully established and operated within urban renewal areas to enable these outcomes in a Victorian context.

The results: The report concluded that implementation levers need to be selected specific to their suitability for each urban location so as to respond to particular issues and property development opportunities relevant to each location. In most urban renewal areas a combination of levers must be applied simultaneously or at different stages to be effective.

The report also found that use of floorspace incentives was a key lever used in most Australian states and internationally to achieve economic and in turn social and environmental outcomes. The application of that tool in a performance based planning system was however considerably constrained.

Key learning’s: There is no one ‘silver bullet’ to ensuring development is financially viable and maximises community benefits in urban renewal areas. Rather, co-ordinated application of a suite of policy levers and implementation tools is required to facilitate holistic and sustainable urban development outcomes. This is due to the vastly varying characteristics of urban renewal areas and their communities.

Summary of services: Urban Renewal, Strategic Governance Advice, Economic and Demographic Analysis, Property Market Research, Strategic Land Use Planning