Liveable Yarra

The City of Yarra recently undertook an engagement programme to canvass community opinion on future planning. The programme, Liveable Yarra, gathered local residents together for four half-day sessions to discuss and analyse the built environment, transport, housing and business. It asked participants to consider the shape of Yarra 20 years from now, by which time the local population is expected... Continue Reading →

The new architecture of Carlo Ratti

Who is he? An italian architect and "urban change agent"[1] who divides his time between Carlo Ratti Associati, the innovation and design studio he runs from Torino, and SENSEable City Lab, the research laboratory he leads out of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Boston. Ratti's design and research work overlap significantly, both focussing on the transformative effect of new technologies on... Continue Reading →

Streets Without Cars

What is it? An unsolicited project our architecture practice, Mihaly Slocombe, recently completed. We redesigned a segment of Drummond Street in Carlton North, the street where we live and practice. The project began with conversations with around two thirds of our neighbours, who helped us understand the cross section of the community for whom we were designing, as... Continue Reading →

Walkability squandered

A typical Carlton North green median strip We consider ourselves very lucky to live in Carlton North. Walkscore ranks its walkability in the top 20 of Melbourne's 346 suburbs, awarding it 88 out of 100 total points. The Walkscore summary states that "most errands can be accomplished on foot" while residents "can walk to an... Continue Reading →

Stalinist architecture?

Palace of the Soviets by Boras Iofan (1932) What is it? Michael Gurr wrote an opinion article in The Age recently condemning the Footscray Station Precinct development by SJB and McBride Charles Ryan as Stalinist. "If the communist bloc still existed, Footscray's apartment buildings are what their security headquarters would look like. These buildings are big,... Continue Reading →

Flinders Street Station Design Competition

Flinders Street Station from the northeast, courtesy of Major Projects Victoria What is it? An international design competition to redevelop Flinders Street Station, Melbourne's busiest train station and home to 200,000 passenger visits a day. With a site area of over 40,000sqm and a significant presence between the Hoddle grid and Yarra River, the competition... Continue Reading →

Density and the Suburbs

What was it? A seminar organised by Justine Clark on behalf of the Australian Institute of Architects recently that discussed Melbourne's suburbs and its disconcertedly low housing density. Rather than propose specific solutions, it sought to broadly articulate the scope of the issue and how our understanding of it might help us chart a course... Continue Reading →

Future vision for Victoria

What is it? The State Government released a media statement a couple of weeks ago announcing a new metropolitan planning strategy for Melbourne and Victoria. According to the statement, it "will be focused on land use and transport options that respond to and integrate social, economic and environmental issues facing the metropolitan region. The strategy will take... Continue Reading →

Regulating sustainability

What is it? A proposal is currently before the Victorian State government that recommends abandoning mandatory 6-star thermal efficiency requirements for housing as part of a broader agenda to cut government red tape. Documents obtained by The Age newspaper reveal state Treasurer Kim Wells has suggested that "consideration could be given to a voluntary thermal... Continue Reading →

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