Share of urban development in greenfield versus established areas
We recently had an enquiry from a client in Cardinia regarding the share of development in Melbourne in greenfield versus established areas. Scott and I have spent some time and we have crunched the numbers for your interest.
|Share of development||1991-96||1996-01||2001-06||2006-11|
|Total dwelling growth|
Interesting eh? Share of development in greenfield areas is actually going up over time. Possibly not surprising, as the growth of Melbourne has accelerated, the ability to bring on more development in established Melbourne is far more constrained than greenfield areas in somewhere like a Wyndham or Whittlesea.
Find out how we see this unfolding in the future by visiting our interactive map of Melbourne’s population growth to 2036.
What impact will the new Victorian planning zone changes have?
A recent article “Developers dig in heels over Victorian planning zone changes” in the Sydney Morning Herald posited that planning zone changes in Victoria will only exacerbate the problem by providing councils in established neighbourhoods with the ability to limit housing diversity and densification within their suburbs.
As Simone explains, our recent experience undertaking population forecasts across Melbourne tells us that the story is very localised. So for example, when we finalised the Whitehorse City Council population forecasts, they had implemented the new zones and some areas like Mont Albert were essentially 100% covered by the neighbourhood zones. This means we had to be very conservative in terms of the amount of future infill we assumed because the zoning is quite restrictive. On the other hand, the area around Box Hill station allows for higher density housing than previously. It makes good planning sense to zone this way around public transport. And there can indeed be an argument for protecting existing low density neighbourhoods to ensure there is a good selection of family housing near the city centre in future. The key is making sure there is housing choice.
The other important point is the demand factor. You can zone areas of land as growth zones, but if they’re not in places that people want to live, then there probably won’t be a demand for new housing there. In other words, just because it’s zoned growth, doesn’t mean it will come.
You can see what assumptions we have made about the future population in our interactive map of Melbourne’s population growth to 2036.
How did we do it?
We categorised areas in the 31 Melbourne Statistical Division LGAs based on amalgamating .id profile geography. (We also have an analysis based on GCCA, but the Victorian Government still seems to use the 31 LGAs as ‘Metropolitan Melbourne’.)
All areas within the MSD were categorised as either greenfield, established or rural / lifestyle. Most of the rural / lifestyle areas were located in Yarra Ranges, Mornington Peninsula and Cardinia. This included the predominantly holiday / retirement areas of southern Mornington Peninsula Shire as a large share of new dwellings are not occupied for permanent use.
Problematic areas: Most areas are easily divided into greenfield or established, but some areas are difficult to categorise. These tend to be in the outer and fringe areas, where there is development in established parts of the area, as well as new greenfield development. Examples include Central Werribee or Melton. We have categorised these areas according to where the majority of dwelling gain occurred. Areas that have now completed their development cycle were still counted as greenfield, providing they had added at least 5% to their dwelling stock over one of the inter-censal periods between 1991 and 2011. These include areas such as Dingley Village, Altona Meadows, Hillside and Hampton Park.
Large ‘infill’ sites that were developed in a traditional greenfield format in outer areas caused the greatest headache. These areas tended to be counted as greenfield if they did not achieve at least a density of 20 dwellings per hectare. Examples include Heatherton, Cairnlea and Yallambie. In these areas, we decided that the development was generally just more of the same low density development on vacant land, rather than attempting to utilise land more efficiently. Obviously it could be argued that these areas are ‘established’ development. However, there is a large problem in categorising areas that had ‘urban’ uses such as racetracks or golf-courses on them. Many of these uses can relocate and are relocating to the Green Wedge Zone Areas and therefore cheating the constraints to ‘urban development’ in these areas.
Anyway, some food for thought. Hope you enjoy.
.id is a team of population experts, who use a unique combination of online tools and consulting to help organisations decide where and when to locate their facilities and services, to meet the needs of changing populations. Access our free demographic resources here.
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