The Age has published two articles by Jason Dowling and Clay Lucas that highlight problems with City of Melbourne planning and urban design. Issues that the the City has failed to tackle.
Ask any resident in South bank or South Yarra and they will tell you that the lack of basic amenity and infrastructure is the main drawback of inner city living south of the Yarra
There is no central focus for daily shopping in South Bank The City Council has allowed the Domain Road precinct to deteriorate to the point where it no longer fulfills its intended use.
Most notably is the lack of quality delicatessens or small supermarkets. There are numerous seven elevens and a few small convenience stores that provide milk and basics. Residents of South Bank and South Yarra are forced to either travel to South Melbourne or Prahran to buy daily produce South Bank lacks a residential amenity commercial precinct or square. What business there are cater for the office workers not residents. This lack of amenity and planning has an impost and cost on inner city living.
The decline in Domain Road and other inner city residential commercial precincts are expected to further deteriorate as a result of inactivity and failure to act in behalf of the City Council. The changes to planning schemes introduced by the Minister in July 2013 will only exacerbate the decline further . The shift from Business 1 zones to Commercial 1 zones will remove controls over planning and development designed to inner city residential development.
It comes as no surprise that the article in the Age reports that up to 8% of houses surveyed are empty.
The CIty Council has wiped its hands freom responsibility to plan or develop South of the Yarra. the recent budget and 4 year plan has no projects or expenditure spent on South of the Yarra. The Council Urban design team and planners have abandond this poart of teh city for the new precincts and new projects. Projects such as Docklands and Gishermans Bend that are also doomed to fail in the same way as South bank has. As long as property hold and increase their value the Council will ontinue ti hide in the shadow of inactivity and complacently and Inner City remain captive to the car as a node of transport. Eff9rts by the City Council to lock down the city by exempting developers from car p0arking requirements without a fee will not help. Money collected from a car0-parking levy could and should be used to encourage more development of amenity and supporting residential use.
Rob Adams and Geoff Lawler and the City Urban Design and Planning departments turning a blind eye and ignoring the problems will not make it any better. Part of the problem is the organisational disconnect between the two departments.