After years of unprecedented disruption and upheaval, we are faced with new challenges for planning how we live, work and play.
One of the greatest and seemingly most enduring impacts of the pandemic is a shift in people’s relationships with their local neighbourhood and their commute to work. With this comes challenges and opportunities in planning for suburban jobs and housing growth, winning hearts and minds and delivering on more dynamic and vibrant polycentric cities.
Futures Thinking is a VPA event series where we host our friends and partners across government and industry to discuss the key themes and issues facing the future of growth planning in Victoria.
This month we held our latest Futures Thinking event on ‘The Triumph of the Centres: Towards a Polycentric Melbourne’. We hosted an expert panel of leaders in the planning field to discuss what the future of a poly-centric Melbourne can look like, and how we can get there.
Our panel was hosted by our Executive Director Peter Sagar, and consisted of Sheena Frost, CEO of Hume City Council; Frankie Carroll, CEO of the Suburban Rail Loop Authority; and Elizabeth Mildwater, CEO of the Greater Cities Commission in Sydney.
Mr Sagar set the scene with the strategic backdrop of a polycentric Melbourne, showing us what a network of centres across Melbourne could look like and why it’s important for our city’s growth. You can view his presentation slides here.
Ms Frost spoke of the role that local government has to play in delivering local centres, highlighting the importance of accommodating the right jobs in the right places for a municipality. You can view her presentation slides here.
Mr Carroll discussed the role transport infrastructure investment can make in decentralising a city, as the SRLA plans for new activity centres around its new stations across Melbourne’s suburbs. You can view his presentation slides here.
Ms Mildwater shared Sydney’s approach to polycentricity, with the Greater Cities Commission now tasked with a regional approach to planning for Sydney’s six major urban centres. GCC’s approach is for each of the six cities to build on its own signature strengths and character, acknowledging each centre needs a distinct attribute to set it apart. You can view her presentation slides here.
On behalf of our Board Chair Jude Munro, we would like to thank the panelists and attendees for their questions and insights on what a polycentric Melbourne could look like and how we can get there.