Responsible Urban Development – Densification with Benefits

Plan Melbourne 2050 projects a future population of 8 million with 1.6 million homes to be developed. To achieve this projection, whilst protecting the liveability and sense of community, the high-density living response needs to be such that vertical communities replace urban sprawl.

The transition from a Melbourne CBD purely as a workplace destination to a thriving residential hub has been extraordinary over 35 years. Recent pandemic city withdrawal is seen by most experts as a minor road bump in the longer-term centralised urban expansion.

Vertical cities in Melbourne plan to deliver more residences with proximity to the workplace, maintaining and enhancing Melbourne’s heritage and liveability. Building-up also offers the opportunity to maximise public realms with high-quality biodiversity that reduces embodied carbon associated with supporting elevated gardens.
Stage 1 of the transformational Melbourne Square development strives to create this community-centric environment.

Image 1 – Melbourne Square, Melbourne

Cox Architects, with commissioning from Yarra Park City Pty Ltd, worked in collaboration with Robert Bird Group to enable 2 striking residential towers that rise out of community gardens. The green space acts as a transition from traditional streetscapes to an elevated podium with abounding amenities.

The development epitomises Melbourne’s need to create 20-minute neighbourhoods that support safe and healthy communities with local green spaces. Additionally, Melbourne Square’s public space transition sympathetically and seamlessly integrates a design to face future environmental hazards such as the sea-level rise and the need to make the city greener, cooler, and more resilient.

Moving forward on our 2050 urbanisation net-zero journey we need to balance the embodied carbon of taller buildings through new technology, material optimisation, and offsetting to greener public realms. Robert Bird Group has pledged to be a 1.5Degree Company and is embracing the net-zero journey. As well as reducing its operational footprint Robert Bird Group is actively using in-house digital tools to monitor and assist our clients in understanding their project’s net-zero progress.

Michael Grey
Operations Manager (Southern Region)