Old industrial area of Melbourne to get green, affordable, transit-oriented rebirth

In Australia, the Victorian Planning Authority (VPA) and the City of Melbourne are leading the planning the multi-billion-dollar revitalization of an old industrial area into a green, walkable, transit-oriented neighborhood with affordable housing and a high quality of life.

The area as it looks now.

It’s called the Arden Urban Renewal Precinct, and it’s being done in partnership with other government departments and agencies.

Minister for Planning Richard Wynne explained, “We’re getting on with growing Arden to be a great place to live and an exciting place to work and visit. “Matthew Guy botched inner city planning. We’re getting it right to create jobs, and deliver the public transport, homes and services Victorians need.

On July 25, 2018, Wynne joined Minister for Major Projects Jacinta Allan and Lord Mayor Sally Capp at North Melbourne Station to release the final Arden Vision, following consultation on the Draft Arden Vision and Framework in 2016. This vision will guide the development of Arden over the next few decades. The Arden Vision sets out state and local governments’ concepts for the renewal of the Arden precinct and identifies the priorities that will guide its more detailed planning.

Arden will become a thriving new jobs hub with affordable housing, directly connected to turn-up-and-go train services at a brand new underground train station being built as part of the Metro Tunnel project.

The Vision sets out a plan to transform Arden from an industrial precinct into a major employment and residential destination across 50 hectares of land between Macaulay Road, Dryburgh Street and the Moonee Ponds Creek. The new precinct will create up to 34,000 jobs and house up to 15,000 people.

The new station, being built as part of the Andrews Labor Government’s $11 billion Metro Tunnel, will connect this new suburb on the doorstep of the city to Parkville, the CBD and Melbourne’s booming western suburbs.

The Vision is the result of extensive community consultation since 2016, and provides a set of actions to guide the redevelopment of Arden.

Actions include providing an accessible precinct for young and old, facilitating the change from an industrial precinct to an innovation precinct and delivering a strong investment in community infrastructure. A future Arden will be environmentally sustainable with well-connected open spaces, and cycling and walking paths, for the local community to enjoy.

The Labor Government and City of Melbourne will now work together to prepare detailed planning for the precinct. Local community members and businesses will have the opportunity to have their say as planning for this vital project for Melbourne continues.

Minister for Jacinta Allan said, “The Metro Tunnel will be in the heart of the Arden precinct – making it a great place to live and work, and connecting it to the rest of our city and state.”

Arden will be a new destination for Melbourne. Located less than 2 kilometers from the Central Business District (CBD), Arden is strategically placed to be an innovation precinct, with a focus on technology, life sciences, health and education sectors.

The goal is to create a lively public realm, high-quality and affordable places to live, community hubs, new schools, and diverse open spaces.

At the centre of the precinct will be a new underground train station, due to open by 2025. This new North Melbourne station will provide direct links to the CBD and the Parkville National Employment and Innovation Cluster (NEIC).

Arden is being designed to:

  • Create a new destination for Melbourne that is a great place to live, learn, work and visit;
  • Accommodate more than 34,000 jobs and 15,000 residents by 2051;
  • Deliver a major transport hub around the new North Melbourne Station;
  • Enhance the Moonee Ponds Creek corridor to become a valued asset for existing and new communities and the natural environment;
  • Create two new urban boulevards which will create a civic heart for Arden;
  • Build on Parkville’s growing role as a technology, life sciences, health and education precinct;
  • Provide at least 6 per cent of all new housing in the precinct as affordable for low to moderate income households;
  • Reinforce natural and built heritage to create a new character for the precinct;
  • Be developed under urban design guidelines that build on Arden’s evolving character;
  • Be protected by innovative solutions to manage flooding, make better use of water and expand spaces for recreation and biodiversity; and
  • Deliver innovative community hubs and two to four new schools.

Renderings courtesy of the Victoria Planning Authority.

See the complete Arden Vision (PDF).

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