Introduction

The Discussion Paper has been developed to consolidate the key issues, opportunities and challenges to be addressed in the development of Urban Design Framework for the Monash Boulevards. The paper builds on research and analysis that has been undertaken for the study area.

The Discussion Paper will be used in consultation with key stakeholders to help shape the draft Urban Design Framework.

Purpose

Structure

  • Executive summary (page 2)
  • Introduction (pages 3-5)
  • Context (pages 6-11) Includes metropolitan and local strategies, and existing planning controls
  • Creating sustainable communities (pages 12-13)
  • Key issues and opportunities (pages 14-51) Includes general topic areas (pages 13-27) and specific issues and opportunities for each sub-precinct (pages 28-51)
  • Appendices (separate document)

Context

The key strategic influence comes from the Monash Housing Strategy (2014), which identifies residential areas along both Boulevards as areas for potential growth and change. However, other strategic documents such as Plan Melbourne 2017-2050 (and the concept of 20 minute neighbourhoods) also guide the approach to the UDF.

The strategies support some of the key urban design pillars required to sustainably support higher housing densities, including:

  • Affordability, variety, and housing choice (apartment, townhouse, etc) through multiple housing density
  • Proximity and access to other land uses, including education, retail, employment, healthcare, and leisure opportunities
  • Access to transport, including private, public, and active transport opportunities
  • Access to open space, and the impact on physical health, mental health, and wellbeing that coincides with utilise green open spaces,
  • Responding to existing sense of place, and how development can be accommodated in a way that is complimentary to the place, and
  • Including sustainable building materials/systems in new buildings to minimise the ecological impact of higher density living.

The disconnect between the strategies and the detailed planning policy (mostly located within the planning zones, and lack of detailed design guidelines for built form) highlights the need for the UDF to bridge that gap between vision and delivery.

In addition to the Discussion Paper, more information about the zones and overlays that apply to the Boulevards is available in the Appendix - parts A & B.

Creating sustainable communities

The vision will include creating sustainable communities along the boulevards. There are several opportunities to create sustainable communities identified in the Discussion Paper for each of the themes listed below.

  • Water

    • Capture, store and re-use of water within the built form and surrounding landscape
    • Passive irrigation of garden beds and street trees via diverted stormwater
    • Water re-use and detention to aid in reducing downstream impacts.
  • Buildings

    • Encourage ESD and high-quality architecture
    • Abundant communal space and deep soil zones for landscaping.
  • Land use

    • Mixed use in appropriate locations
    • Flexibility and adaptation of land uses to address future needs.
  • Safety

    • Lighting of public spaces
    • Facilitating passive surveillance
    • Planting to consider Crime Prevention through Environmental Design (CPTED) principles.
  • Public realm

    • Inclusive public realm areas, with active and interactive components
    • Encouraging of social interaction and providing comfort
    • Creating distinct neighbourhoods defined by landscape and built form.
  • Environment

    • Regular planting of trees with overlapping canopies
    • Eduction of urban heat island effect through landscaping (canopy trees, and green walls and roofs)
    • Planting of native species for low ground cover
    • Planting of edible varieties where appropriate.

Project area and sub-precincts

Each of the boulevards is broken up in to 6 sub-precincts based on their location and overlap with the accessible areas around activity centres.

There are specific issues and opportunities for each sub-precinct identified in the Discussion Paper.

Key issues and opportunities - questions for consideration

The Discussion Paper includes a number of key issues and opportunities under the following topic areas:

  • Capacity analysis: development activity, lot width, and development typologies
  • Urban character and public realm: gateways, built form character, landform and views, landscape character, and access to open space
  • Movement and access: walking, cycling, public transport, private motor vehicles, future transport projects, and service road improvements

The tabs below list the key questions that accompany each topic area.

Capacity

  • How can lot consolidation be incentivised to support denser forms of development in line with the policy strategies for the Boulevards?
  • Where lot consolidation is unachievable, what other mechanisms and controls are required to deliver denser housing models?
  • What impact does the absence of a service road have on development opportunities because of access difficulties?
  • What land use, public realm and transport improvements can be provided to incentivise development?

Character

  • How can neighbourhoods with a strong sense of place be created along the Boulevards? How can the identified gateways contribute to these neighbourhoods?
  • Are there elements of existing the existing built form character that should be retained and strengthened in the UDF?
  • How can adjoining residential interfaces be sensitively managed?
  • How can the service roads be enhanced to provide a stronger landscape character and help to fill the gaps in open space provision along the Boulevards?
  • What opportunities exist to enhance the landscaping and tree planting within the VicRoads managed areas of the Boulevards?
  • How can the ‘Garden City’ character of the Boulevards be enhanced whilst allowing higher density forms of housing?

Movement

  • Where are the opportunities to support pedestrian movement along and across the Boulevards?
  • How can the service roads be enhanced to provide higher priority to pedestrians, cyclists and public transport users whilst maintaining adequate access for private motor vehicles?
  • How can a continuous and safe cycling route along both Boulevards be provided?
  • How can access to public transport access be improved including amenity at public transport stops?
  • How can the amenity impacts of high traffic volumes be mitigated to create the Boulevards as attractive housing destinations?