The City of Melbourne has just released plans for new city-wide design standards, the ‘Central Melbourne Design Guide’. The document is to be used as a reference to guide tasteful and functional design in the City of Melbourne’s public spaces.
The guide is intended to be a resource ‘to aid pre-application and application discussions between applicants and development planners’, also aiming to assist Melbourne’s urban designers with a clear framework and hopefully provide clarity to assist with their work. The document includes design standards for typical features of streets and other public spaces such as paving, kerbs, tree pits, lighting and furniture to raise the bar on the design quality of development outcomes in the Central City and Southbank area.
“We have let too much crap be built,” shared Melbourne City Council’s Planning Chair, Nick Reece, “…and instead we want to see more buildings that give back to the public realm.”
The guide uses illustrations and photographs to visually communicate the desired outcomes of the proposed Design Objectives, Design Outcomes and Design Requirements, with additional images of outcomes that the City of Melbourne are seeking to avoid.
The policy attempts to push developers to design better street frontages and avoid street walls or podiums that present a continuous monotonous facade. The document was also created to provide direct and convenient connections within walkways, as well as new arcades, and intends to reduce the urban block size and improve walking distances. Each of the chapters is designed to assist new developments in responding appropriately to what the City of Melbourne values and to contribute to the city’s future vibrancy and economy.
“We need to be more sophisticated than thinking everything built before 1900 was beautiful and everything since 1960 is ugly. We all love Town Hall, the Exhibition Building and the Manchester Unity Building. But there have also been some amazing buildings built this millennium that we should acknowledge and celebrate. We have many beautiful buildings, designed by contemporary architects,” commented Reece.
The full document can be found here.