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Developing the Community: The Contentious Plan to Redeve...

Developing the Community: The Contentious Plan to Redevelop Melbourne's Crisis Housing Towers

Ghettos, projects, and slums are some of the names given to lower income areas. In Melbourne, the housing commissions have provided housing to lower income classes since the 1960’s. Major housing commissions positioned within inner Melbourne are included in the following areas: Carlton; Richmond; Flemington; South Melbourne; Prahran; and North Fitzroy. Their role in Melbourne

Ghettos, projects, and slums are some of the names given to lower income areas. In Melbourne, the housing commissions have provided housing to lower income classes since the 1960's.

Prahran's commission housing is one of the biggest in Melbourne

Major housing commissions positioned within inner Melbourne are included in the following areas:

  • Carlton;
  • Richmond;
  • Flemington;
  • South Melbourne;
  • Prahran; and
  • North Fitzroy.

Their role in Melbourne has provided much debate during the gentrification of the city’s inner suburbs. All the commission flats have a common threat in that they are all in historic Melbourne suburbs that have begun to shrug off their working class identity as housing prices have boomed. Furthermore, all areas have great accessibility to public transportation and have been signalled for high density zoning by state and local government authorities.

Multi Storey mix use developments have become popular with developers, Melbourne

The dynamic of housing commissions are unique. Unlike a lot of similar community housing developments in the developed world, in Melbourne housing developments do not have a profound effect on the surrounding area of residence. Though some issues regarding crime and drug use is associated with some of the residences, the majority of them do not act as a major deterrent in the ability for middle and upper class demographics to live alongside them. This gentrification has led to developers twisting the arm of councils for these sites to be redeveloped. The attractiveness of these developments is not only in their location, but also in their existing density’s that would be able to be easily restored and fits the city’s model for high density living. However, talk of housing commissions being developed has upset residents as well as the public, as they believe that there are no alternative options for residents and that their sale to developers would only segregate the lower class from the middle and higher class further.

How does your city approach sustainable urban planning for housing commissions in areas experiencing gentrification?

Credits: Images by Steven Petsinis. Data linked to sources.

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Steven Petsinis is an Urban Planning graduate from Melbourne, Australia. He has been involved in Urban Research and Development projects in Medellin, Colombia and Saigon, Vietnam and is currently pursuing his masters in Melbourne, Australia. His m...

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