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Public transport, quality urban design and green open space top Melburnians’ wish list for creating better urban communities

New findings from Infrastructure Victoria show Melburnians are willing to embrace greater urban density if the area has good access to public transport, quality urban design and green open space.

Infrastructure Victoria worked with a diverse group of residents from Footscray, Camberwell and Heidelberg to understand community views on the concept of density done well.

The community engagement report released today is an important input into our work as we update the state’s 30-year infrastructure strategy.

The first 30-year strategy, released in 2016, called for increased density across Melbourne and in regional cities, in areas already well serviced with infrastructure. It also recommended unlocking urban renewal sites – such as Fisherman’s Bend – with catalyst infrastructure.

“Relative to new greenfield developments in outer areas, increasing density in established areas can save infrastructure costs and is a more sustainable and equitable approach to managing population growth,” Infrastructure Victoria CEO Michel Masson said.

“But it’s important we continue to listen to a range of views to ensure our advice aligns with what communities tell us makes a great place to live, work, and visit.”

The community engagement, conducted in October last year, sought advice from residents from three established Melbourne suburbs.

“While there were some areas of difference among the participants, our conversation highlights that people are willing to embrace increased density under the right conditions. Melburnians of all ages want to live in homes ranging from houses, townhouses and apartments, which can all be possible if density is done well. 

“These communities told us they want to live in areas with good access to public transport and jobs, quality urban design, plenty of green open space, and walking and cycling options.”

A range of housing options, accessibility, inclusion and safety were also named as necessary to supporting healthy, thriving communities.

Participants noted that increased numbers of people working from home could contribute to better cities by reducing congestion and supporting greater flexibility, as the recent coronavirus pandemic has since demonstrated.

In addition to its work on Melbourne’s established areas, Infrastructure Victoria will provide advice on growth areas and regional Victoria.

All Victorians will be invited to provide feedback on the state’s draft 30-year infrastructure strategy later this year.

You can read the final Density Done Well consultation report here.

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