Planning and Development were significantly impacted by the pandemic which put the mahority of projects and community planning behind schedule with some projects collapsing.
A year on and the construction boom has started to mitigate COVID19 and operate at a reduced capacity, fortunately we know now that COVID19 does not spread as easily out doors or in summer periods which has provided the construction industry the much needed boost to get projects moving.
Prior to the pandemic this growth corridor which is infill land between Melbourne's Western Suburbs and Melton which was once a shire but changes expanded Melbourne's boundaries to include Melton, was to see 1 million plus people move into it by 2030. Extensive town planning and investment backed by both Private and Government sectors set away to build 20 minute communities.
The 20 minute community is a plan set out by the State Government of Victoria that will enable people to have access to everything they need within 20 minutes of their home. Barriers still exist in regards to employment hubs as the brunt of high wage roles still remain in the Melbourne CBD area. COVID may have altered ways that work maybe in the future but at current employment opportunities in these areas remain within Construction, Trades and Services, retail and health care.
This pocket is still a low socio-economic area with houshold incomes below $1000 per month but with the construction boom and housing developments the demographics will be changing dramatically. Land in this pocket is not cheap commencing at $350 - $450k for 400+ square meters it is a tale of the ever growing costs of housing within Australia.
However, where land costs may seem expensive the finance does not simply go to government or private investors as town planning is done differently compared to previous generations where they would just build a road and release a number of blocks and away people went. Today a number of requirements are included in new age developments which bridge technology, nature, infrastructure, education, leisure and a primary focus of enjoyment.
Paths, wetlands, activity centres, education and health precincts are also planned into developments. residents who move to these new developments should, in theory be able to be within walking distence of schools, shops, health services and leisure activities. Public transport hubs also within walking distance enable residents ease of access to trains that will get you into the city within 35 - 45minutes. Express services are planned for operation in years to come including an outter ring road to enable vehicle access and avoid congestion, though due to low population the outter ring road isn't planned to commence for another decade.
The area also is strategically positioned to be a great launch pad to outter regional areas and within driving distance are the old gold mining towns of Ballarat and Bendigo to the North West and coast country town Geelong in the South West. Having quick access to these ares also increases employment opportunities without focusing on the CBD
The Wet Lands and lake featured in the area is more than just a water feature it is environmentally designed to capture water run off and through natural processes collect and clean the water prior to it being released into the water streams ensuring clean, safe water for the native plants and animals. A series of deep pools collect finer fragments and in time will be dredged and as the water moves from each pond to the next more of the dust particles are captured. Fish will also be stocked to enable recreational fishing and I am hearing Red Fin and Rainbow Trout will be the preferred fish for this pond. I am not sure how safe they will be to eat but it will be fun heading out with the kids to try our hand at game fishing.
Each house in the area also is required to meet 6 star energy and efficency standards which include solar power, water collection and energy saving measures such as double glazed and increase insulation to ensure heat and cooling doesn't escape the home requiring the use of less coal powered electricity. All houses now built in Melbourne pretty much come stock standard with solar hot water systems with a gas or electricity back up.
I'll continue to map the growth of this area and as more suburbs prop up I will head across and film their developments.
What are your thoughts of this new style of development and community designs? What would you do differently and what do you think works well? .