L5 / 358 Lonsdale Street
Wurundjeri Country
Melbourne, VIC 3000

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Greening The Greyfields

Type: Research, Urban Strategy
Location: Maroondah, Wurundjeri Country
Client: Centre for Urban Transitions Swinburne University, Maroondah City Council

Status: Planning Amendments In Progress

Greening the Greyfields is a planning pilot project that looks at new ways of redeveloping aging housing stock in Melbourne’s middle ring (greyfields), to provide for our growing population in a more environmentally and socially sustainable way. In particular it addresses issues related to ad-hoc, knock-down-rebuild development producing suboptimal housing outcomes.

By working together with local property owners, local developers, and the broader community, the pilot program explores and identifies opportunities for landowners to work with their neighbours to amalgamate individual housing lots to create ‘precinct scale’ redevelopments. This “precinct” approach not only provides benefits for landowners and residents, but through careful design, can transform our local neighbourhoods into vibrant, active, healthy places to live.

This involved design research and testing to propose a series of suitable housing typologies for amalgamated sites that could deliver on the objectives of sustainably, liveability and diversity. The designs were tested for viability and environmental performance, and further interrogated in council and community engagement processes, before being formulated into a ‘Design guide’ manual for all future developments in the precinct.  

This was the basis upon which to amend a series of key planning provisions, to be implemented through rezoning and a Development Plan Overlay for the two precincts. Supplementary to this was a precinct concept plan that addressed the public realm through redesign of public interfaces and the reorientation of developments to face public park and laneways. Two planning scheme amendments to help implement the greyfield renewal approach are now on public exhibition until 26 February 2021.

Prof. Peter Newton
Steven Glackin
Jennifer Witheridge
Matthew Tibballs