Precinct planning for active and public transport in growth suburbs


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Goals for increasing walking, cycling and public transport use are widely adopted in contemporary Australian planning. However, new and outer suburbs are often car-dependent and comparatively poorly served by other transport options. These suburbs, therefore, warrant special attention when planning for active and public transport. In Victoria, Precinct Structure Planning (PSP) is one instrument to influence active and public transport usage from the beginning. Drawing on relevant literature, document analysis and 30 interviews with stakeholders involved in the process, this paper investigates to what extent the PSP process includes active and public transport provision. The analysis is based on elements identified in the literature as being conducive to public and active transport: such as local destinations, mixed land uses, dwelling density and street connectivity. Moreover, we identify some key points of apparent tensions and trade-offs in the current PSP process concerning transport. While the PSP process is well established and has improved, there are some clear limitations to the effectiveness of planning for active and public transport, such as the low ambition for density goals. Importantly, there are also major issues beyond the actual planning process, concerning implementation, which need improvement if goals for facilitating walking, cycling and public transport use are to be met in new suburbs.
Growth area planning, active transport, public transport, Melbourne, growth suburbs
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