Melbourne changes direction – a new era of urban development
Melbourne is growing up. For the first time in the city’s history, urban infill development is outpacing greenfield development on the city’s fringes.
This is one of the key insights to emerge from the analysis presented in our free eBook: The Rise of Victoria.
To a large extent, this refocusing of growth was inevitable. Sooner or later cities bump up against physical or planning limits to their footprint.
As these limits are approached, growth pushes back towards the inner city, and urban consolidation drives an intensification of existing suburban areas through higher-density developments, and a re-purposing non-residential land.
This dynamic is now the dominant influence on the shape of Melbourne’s future. Melbourne is growing up, not out (… as much).
In some ways this change has been overdue. In the first decade of the new millennium, dwelling growth was driven by Greenfield development.
At the same time, dwelling growth in established areas barely changed. New dwelling construction between 2001 and 2006, and between 2006 and 2011, was no more than it was between 1996 and 2001 (Chart 1).
Chart 1: Dwelling growth, established versus greenfield, Melbourne, 1991-2036
However, the current inter-censual period marks a pivoting point. Growth in established areas will almost double, while greenfield development will fall for the first time in 20 years.
And for the first time in Melbourne’s history, growth in established areas will outweigh greenfield development. (Note that there is very little projection in this result. Most of this data is already locked in.)
Going forward, this balance of growth will define the coming 20 years. At .id, we project that development in established areas will continue to dominate, before coming back into line with greenfield development in 2031-36.
High-rise development in inner-Melbourne accounts for a large share of this growth in the near term, but it is not the only story. We anticipate that the inner-city growth pattern will extend broadly outwards from the CBD into the middle ring areas like Maribyrnong and Moreland and Stonnington.
Growth in these suburbs will be driven by consolidation through higher density developments and change in land use (e.g. old industrial areas converted to housing).
As a result, .id expect growth in all LGAs throughout metropolitan Melbourne in the coming decade – even in places like Boorondara, which have traditionally seen very low growth.
However, no two suburbs share the same fate. At .id we specialise in developing high-definition pictures of how growth in Melbourne and Victoria will be distributed at the suburban, and even the street-by-street level.
For an insight into how .id see growth being distributed across Melbourne, and how such high-definition insight could empower your business, take a look at our free eBook: The Rise of Victoria.
.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.