I live just off Lygon St in Brunswick and every few months, we lose a bit more sky. The old clothing factories are disappearing and apartment towers are rising in their place. After an old theatre was demolished at the end of our street, for a year we woke to the rumble of construction trucks outside our bedroom window.
At seven storeys high, the resulting apartment block now looms over its neighbours and holds more people than live in our little street.
Population growth needs to be combined with Public Transport upgrades
Surprisingly we don’t get many extra cars down our street, probably because the new residents squeeze onto the crowded trams. But the thousands of people moving into Brunswick this decade are not being matched by improvements in public transport and cycling.
It makes sense to house more people along public transport routes, but only if the facilities we all use are upgraded to cope with demand.
Making Your Opinions Heard and make Development Work for our City
With many more towers planned, some developers will continue to build ugly projects crammed full of tiny apartments, which don’t meet future residents’ and community needs.
What can be done? Most of the real power in planning lies with the state government and VCAT enforces it, often overruling local government: that’s why we need:
- Local councils with more power to stand up to developers;
- Higher design standards, stronger heritage protection and height limits enforced by councils;
- New apartments to provide a mix of sizes to accommodate families;
- A mix of public and affordable housing so nobody misses out;
- A greater contribution to public open space from large developments; and,
- Sustainable, energy efficient buildings to lower the cost of living.
There are already developments in Brunswick that do many of these things, such as the Commons near Anstey station.
To shape our city on a human scale right here in Brunswick we need a strong voice in Spring St [see Greens Planning Policy]. And as a party staying true to its values we don’t accept donations from developers.