New vision for city of 5 million people in Melbourne

The Age reports that Melbourne- one of Australia’s fastest growing cities is likely to grow even more if the State Government has its way:

 A 40-year vision for Melbourne expected to be released shortly will outline four employment clusters at La Trobe University, Parkville, Monash Clayton and Sunshine and moves to reduce urban sprawl with tighter urban boundaries.

A draft of the Napthine government’s long-awaited metropolitan planning strategy is tipped to be released on Wednesday outlining key housing and employment growth areas, transport priorities and a vision for Melbourne as it races towards 5 million people.

The blueprint is the government’s strategic replacement for the former Labor government’s Melbourne 2030 plan and will be the launch pad for its infrastructure priorities heading into the 2014 state election. The draft is expected to expand on a vision in the earlier discussion paper for a ”20-minute city” with jobs, services and recreational attractions within 20 minutes of home.

RMIT planning expert Michael Buxton said the strategy could not produce a hard urban boundary because it was a ”fictitious beast”, with governments unwilling to permanently prevent urban sprawl.

He said sprawl was likely to pause in coming years because of the large amounts of land already released for development, not because of a new hard boundary.

Melbourne is one of the largest cities in the world in geographic area, stretching 150 kilometres east to west. ”There is already enough land for a generation,” Professor Buxton said.

He said the strategy should push for the ”concentration of development in nominated transport-friendly, mixed-used centres”.

Professor Buxton said the strategy’s transport vision could be undermined by the $6 billion-$8 billion east-west link. ”This government has given up on public transport before it starts,” he said.


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