“The long awaited release of the Metropolitan Strategy has been worth the wait,” said Environment Victoria spokesperson John McPherson at the report launch today.
“The strategy offers Melbourne a comprehensive vision for more sustainable growth over the next 30 years. We are particularly pleased that the importance of transport and land use planning has been recognized and the preservation of the green wedges highlighted.”
The strategy detailed that new growth corridors in the outer areas will be limited to five zones, Cranbourne, Pakenham, Werribee, Caroline Springs and the Hume Epping corridor. Each new zone will be planned to have an extensive activity centre and benefit from existing rail connections to other parts of Melbourne. A growth boundary will be placed on all other areas of Melbourne that are not included in these zones.
“Melbournians were very concerned that their city stop endlessly spreading. It was simply unsustainable to continue housing development where there were no services and where valuable agricultural land was being built over” he said.
Growth in existing metropolitan regions will be based around designated activity centres that will have enhanced public transport, cycling and walking features. The aim is to provide localized centres for people to access all their daily needs.
“Local centres enhance people’s sense of well-being, both physical and mental. People can have a local community to relate to. Locality based planning also has the potential to improve people’s travel choices. For example if the centre is nearby you can walk, cycle or ride public transport.
Currently many of our activities are so dispersed that this is difficult to achieve” he said.
“The strategy announced today embraces a shared vision incorporating community, local and state government and all the stakeholder’ views. At last Victoria has a planning vision with community input. We must hope that all sides of politics embrace the plan and seek to enhance its implementation, not score petty party political points. This is a excellent beginning, a blueprint for a more sustainable and livable city,” concluded Mr. McPherson.