Asking questions such as “would our forefathers be proud of what we are creating in the suburbs of Victoria today?”, and “can urban planning be done better?”, Fleming recommends a holistic and collaborative approach.
Not suggesting the answers are all his, Fleming does approach these questions with the recommendation for a collaborative approach to developing a true master-planned community that considers entire regions and their future as an overriding community, as opposed to individual green-fill projects within a growth corridor.
By establishing an over-arching plan we could consider large stretches of parks and community gardens, where water retention, drainage and services can be best placed to serve the community as well as the environment, satisfy long term infrastructure objectives and seek out areas that suit housing, shopping, environmental protection, public services such as schools, hospitals, fire stations, police and more.
Why not look to our past and the forethought of the establishing planners of Melbourne and consider their methodology, which has enabled this great, cultural and very liveable city to flourish and grow, and become an understatedly beautiful and highly functional modern Australian city.
Within a two kilometre radius in the Melbourne CBD there are 157 hectares of open space and public gardens. On top of that there are large areas dedicated to sports facilities such as stadiums, football fields, bowls, netball, basketball and tennis courts, aquatic centres, walking and bike networks to name a few.
Some key features are our large wide tree-lined streets, the esplanades where we can walk, run or ride, and the huge gardens we casually enjoy, take our children to explore, exercise in, and have a meal or be entertained in. We have an amazing central city with alleyways and quirky little areas for shops, cafe’s, nightlife and so much more.
So the question is... can we replicate these great aspects of Melbourne City?
With a current population of approximately 4.4 million people, set to double to 7.7 million by 2051, it is anticipated that greater Melbourne will become Australia's largest city by 2056. This is our chance to make it not only the biggest but the best!
Fleming asks us all, no matter what aspect of the overall job of creating communities we are in, to consider if we have our priorities in order. Are we seeking the best outcome for our kids and their kids? Will the places they live reflect the quality of lifestyle we have enjoyed? What can we do today to ensure that their tomorrow is as bright as our yesterday?