Urban design

Urban design is the practice of shaping the built environment to improve the quality and overall liveability of cities and towns. Good urban design employs a multidisciplinary approach to create integrated and considered environments and often involves transport, planning, architecture, landscape architecture, engineering and finance expertise.

Urban design is important because of its potential to significantly influence:

  • The functionality, character and spirit of public places for individuals and communities
  • The levels of comfort, accessibility, safety and inclusiveness of places
  • The expression of social and cultural values associated with places
  • The socio-economic composition, diversity and economic vibrancy of urban areas
  • The sustainability and resilience of urban environments
  • Community connectedness, health and wellbeing, and pride of place.

The Victorian State Government and Local Government Authorities wish to develop local communities around Melbourne that are prosperous, safe and vibrant – great places to be. The level crossing removal project is a significant infrastructure asset for Melbourne. As a major legacy project, it is critical that the best possible outcome for the transport network is achieved, and that all users benefit through the experience of better public places.

LXRA is working closely with the Office of the Victorian Government Architect (OVGA), and other government agencies, to develop a design approach that consists of:

  • A common vision: create a lasting legacy for Melbourne through great urban design and place making in our major transport infrastructure projects.
  • Accountability: prepare urban design documents to guide the planning, design and evaluation of major transport projects.
  • Transparency: undertake a program of stakeholder and community engagement to inform the design of major transport infrastructure projects, including identifying key local considerations and opportunities to involve the community, including young people, in the projects.
  • Governance: seek expert design advice through the whole of project life-cycle, retaining consistent design expertise from the OVGA, industry and stakeholders at all stages of the project including development, procurement and delivery.
  • Independent design review: use the Victorian Design Review Panel at key milestones throughout the project lifecycle.

LXRA, in consultation with the OVGA, has developed the Urban Design Framework PDF, 1.8 MB. The Urban Design Framework sets out principles and objectives with the aim  of achieving high quality urban design response which enhance urban amenity and minimises any adverse impacts which may result from the proposed project and its associated structures. Level crossing removal projects should result in an improved quality and a positive, authentic contribution to existing urban character and amenity.

This process seeks private sector expertise and innovation in creating outstanding urban design outcomes, through an integrated and collaborative design approach in developing technical proposals.

The role of the Urban Design Framework is to guide the planning and design of the proposed project infrastructure, and to evaluate urban design proposals. Rather than providing prescriptive urban design solutions, this UDF articulates what is to be achieved in terms of urban design quality and performance.

If you require assistance in accessing or understanding this report, please contact us via email or call 1800 762 667.