Melbourne’s New Development: 20-Minute Neighbourhoods

The Victorian Government’s long-term planning strategy, Plan Melbourne, is set to increase the value of existing Melbourne neighbourhoods. The plan, formed in 2017 is a long-term strategy to develop Melbourne between now and 2050. The plan is supported by the principle of ‘20-minute neighbourhoods’, living ‘locally’ and giving people the ability to meet their needs within a 20-minute walk from home.

Urban redevelopment tends to do good things for the value of property in those areas, creating real new estate investment opportunities and higher equity in the home for mortgaged home owners. By facilitating the installation of bike paths and transport, and by providing ready access to life’s basic amenities, the Victorian Government aims to create a sustainable urban ecosystem for people to live, work and play. These idyllic urban renewal projects will be sure to deliver a good ROI for anyone lucky enough to invest at the right time.

Plan Melbourne was piloted in three Melbourne suburbs, Strathmore, Croydon South and Sunshine West. Pilot councils reported that ‘the overall relationship with the community had improved due to the partnership approach.’ Data demonstrated members of the communities engaging more than usual with their neighbourhoods.

There is a need for increased capital investment in urban renewal synonymous with the Plan Melbourne proposal. Existing development in Melbourne has been reportedly too rapid, which has led to poor-quality buildings and a lack of community integration with the neighbourhood. Investors shouldn’t freak out, though, existing trials of sustainable high-density design have been facilitated by relatively affordable investment which has resulted in an environmentally-sustainable environment integrated with its community.

There are a number of steps that need to be taken before Plan Melbourne starts to proceed full-steam ahead:

  • Take advantage of existing infrastructure projects.
  • Improve investment in neighbourhood activity centres.
  • Streamlined Approval of innovative development.
  • Investigate Scaling Up Pilot Programs.
  • Ongoing Planning, Support and Marketing.

With increased financial infrastructure and development approval processes, the opportunities to turn a profit in Melbourne’s 20-minute neighbourhoods are rife. Investors should keep an eye on the project to understand where the developments are planned: most-likely places close by existing transport infrastructure development, according to the report. Long-term investors may benefit from this project too, given the proposed roll-out timeline.

With increased access to education programs for all students, improved neighbourhood character and evidence of sustainability, Plan Melbourne looks like a promising program that will deliver reward both for long-term residents of the suburbs undergoing transformation and those lucky enough to acquire assets in the area during its development phase.

Other enhancements that were successful components of the pilot program were encouragement of pop-up stores and street trading, investment in street art and public installations as well as analysis of housing diversity options. This last point in particular is interesting when considering Melbourne investment opportunities and seems to indicate equitable investment opportunities available to a scale of investors.

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