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Dr Carolyn Whitzman on plans to increase housing density in Melbourne's CBD

Increasing Melbourne's housing density along its major tram lines would help achieve the planning goals of Melbourne 2030 according to Dr Carolyn Whitzman at the University of Melbourne.

The plan would add a lot of certainty, because right now decisions are being made council by council about what max heights are going to be, while this plan is talking about a maximum height of 8 stories. Studies in Europe and North America show that if you increase density, you also increase services. So building along tram lines can lead to more trams more often, better shopping, more taxes to get better parks and recreation centres and so on.
(originally published by Unimelbvisions)

More than that it would help achieve goals of Melbourne 2030 and provide a more environmentally sustainable city and a more socially sustainable city, as people living there would be closer to public transport, jobs, recreation areas and shops. It would also help economically as state governments wouldnt have to provide transport and infrastructure to outer lying areas.

Right now, were eating up farmland at an unsustainable rate, economically bound to put in roads and train lines to service this increasing urban sprawl. Socially were building the slums of tomorrow in places like Casey and Point Cook, where were building areas that are all residential, with no jobs nearby, that are almost entirely dependent on cars. Its a bad deal for individuals but this provides an alternative solution. I havent been as excited about a planning idea as this one in the 6 years Ive been here.

Dr Carolyn Whitzman is a Senior Lecturer in Urban Planning at the University of Melbourne, and is a world leader in violence prevention planning.

PAL footage and an MP3 audio clip of the above can be downloaded from our FTP server:

Video preview: wsroom/whitzmanc_mr_20090430.m4v
Broadcast footage: wsroom/
Audio stream: wsroom/whitzmanc_mr_20090430.mp3

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this video can be found here. Permission to republish this article has been granted by the University of Melbourne, unimelbvisions.


louissauer said...

I agree with Dr. Whitzman as far as she goes. What's missing is an overall plan for how the Melbourne metropolitan area will meet its projected population increase while decreasing its energy consumtion.

Yes, increasing residential density in existing neighborhoods may be part of a plan. Missing ingrediants are the other land use sectors that should embrace employmet, social services, recreation, education and transportation.

Its difficult for me to understand how an overall plan could be effective just for Melbourne. I believe any plan, to meet the challanges of today and tomorrow, will have to embrace the entire State.

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