Urban design - September 2018

About urban design

On large projects like North East Link urban design involves many areas including:

  • Engineering and architectural design - such as bridges and noise walls
  • Landscaping - such as planting
  • Open space design - such as parks
  • Water management - such as ponds to manage storm water
  • Transport planning - such as walking and cycling paths and networkds
  • Public space design - such as plazas or street spaces


How is urban design shaping North East Link?

We're developing a reference (functional) design for North East Link to take through the planning approvals process.

The reference design, together with an urban design strategy, will be given to the builders we invite to submit designs and construction bids for North East Link.

The urban design strategy gives the builders ideas for their designs and helps us to select the best one.

The images of the project you can see now are artist impressions that show how some elements of the urban design strategy could be applied to the current design. The final design could look different.

We're interested to hear your feedback on the urban design strategy so far.

Feedback will close at 12 am (midnight) on Sunday 28 October 2018.

There will be more opportunities to give feedback on the urban design strategy when it goes on display with the EES next year.


North East Link character areas

The North East Link project is more than 25 km long and passes through different landscapes, communities and built environments - each with their own look and feel.

A 'one size fits all' approach to urban design won't work, so we're developing an urban design strategy that responds to the look and feel of three distinctively different character areas.

What makes the Ridgeline unique?

Its suburban setting high above Melbourne, rolling hills, canopy of leafy mature trees, and views towards green, treed ridgelines including King Lake National Park and the Great Dividing Ranges that are rarely interrupted by buildings or other structures.

Colours in this area are defined by golden sandstone rock, natural greens of native vegetation and layered greens and blues of distant horizons.

The local community in this area have strong associations with the large Australian Army facility at Simpson Barracks, with many families of army personnel working and living in the local community.


What makes the Yarra River Valley unique?

The wide green corridor of the Yarra River, low-lying wetlands, swamps and floodplains and woodlands, and the Wurundjeri songlines and Dreaming that links these ancient waterways.

Visual character is also defined by the natural sandstone rock escarpments, tall light masts, elegant bridges, leafy landscape and wide landscaped embankments of the Eastern Freeway.

Key cultural places include the Yarra River, Bolin Bolin Billabong and Heide Museum of Art.


What makes the Koonung Creek Valley unique?

The path of Koonung Creek, its culverts, network of shared paths, open spaces and parklands that, together with the Eastern Freeway, carve through sandstone escarpments and the rocky valley floor connecting communities in all directions.

Drivers’ views along the Eastern Freeway are generally enclosed and framed by vegetated mounds, tree canopies, and interconnected architecturally designed noise walls.

Residents are generally screened and buffered from the freeway by the sections of green ribbons of parklands, mature planting, noise walls and sculpted earth walls and architecturally designed noise walls.


About urban design

On large projects like North East Link urban design involves many areas including:

  • Engineering and architectural design - such as bridges and noise walls
  • Landscaping - such as planting
  • Open space design - such as parks
  • Water management - such as ponds to manage storm water
  • Transport planning - such as walking and cycling paths and networkds
  • Public space design - such as plazas or street spaces


How is urban design shaping North East Link?

We're developing a reference (functional) design for North East Link to take through the planning approvals process.

The reference design, together with an urban design strategy, will be given to the builders we invite to submit designs and construction bids for North East Link.

The urban design strategy gives the builders ideas for their designs and helps us to select the best one.

The images of the project you can see now are artist impressions that show how some elements of the urban design strategy could be applied to the current design. The final design could look different.

We're interested to hear your feedback on the urban design strategy so far.

Feedback will close at 12 am (midnight) on Sunday 28 October 2018.

There will be more opportunities to give feedback on the urban design strategy when it goes on display with the EES next year.


North East Link character areas

The North East Link project is more than 25 km long and passes through different landscapes, communities and built environments - each with their own look and feel.

A 'one size fits all' approach to urban design won't work, so we're developing an urban design strategy that responds to the look and feel of three distinctively different character areas.

What makes the Ridgeline unique?

Its suburban setting high above Melbourne, rolling hills, canopy of leafy mature trees, and views towards green, treed ridgelines including King Lake National Park and the Great Dividing Ranges that are rarely interrupted by buildings or other structures.

Colours in this area are defined by golden sandstone rock, natural greens of native vegetation and layered greens and blues of distant horizons.

The local community in this area have strong associations with the large Australian Army facility at Simpson Barracks, with many families of army personnel working and living in the local community.


What makes the Yarra River Valley unique?

The wide green corridor of the Yarra River, low-lying wetlands, swamps and floodplains and woodlands, and the Wurundjeri songlines and Dreaming that links these ancient waterways.

Visual character is also defined by the natural sandstone rock escarpments, tall light masts, elegant bridges, leafy landscape and wide landscaped embankments of the Eastern Freeway.

Key cultural places include the Yarra River, Bolin Bolin Billabong and Heide Museum of Art.


What makes the Koonung Creek Valley unique?

The path of Koonung Creek, its culverts, network of shared paths, open spaces and parklands that, together with the Eastern Freeway, carve through sandstone escarpments and the rocky valley floor connecting communities in all directions.

Drivers’ views along the Eastern Freeway are generally enclosed and framed by vegetated mounds, tree canopies, and interconnected architecturally designed noise walls.

Residents are generally screened and buffered from the freeway by the sections of green ribbons of parklands, mature planting, noise walls and sculpted earth walls and architecturally designed noise walls.


  • This survey is now closed. If you'd like to get in touch to talk about North East Link please give us a call on 1800 105 105 or write to us at community@northeastlink.vic.gov.au
    Read the urban design approach for the Ridgeline and give feedback.

    We’re planning to ask the project builders who submit designs for North East Link to create a transport project that sits sensitively within the landscape, responds to the unique treed, hilly ridgelines, values local identity, improves walking and cycling connections and integrates seamlessly into the M80 Ring Road.

    Design guidelines we're considering asking the project builders to follow are:

    Identity
    • Maintain and take advantage of scenic views where possible (this could include using elements such as viewing platforms on walking and cycling bridges)
    • Acknowledge and celebrate connections to the

    Read the urban design approach for the Ridgeline and give feedback.

    We’re planning to ask the project builders who submit designs for North East Link to create a transport project that sits sensitively within the landscape, responds to the unique treed, hilly ridgelines, values local identity, improves walking and cycling connections and integrates seamlessly into the M80 Ring Road.

    Design guidelines we're considering asking the project builders to follow are:

    Identity

    • Maintain and take advantage of scenic views where possible (this could include using elements such as viewing platforms on walking and cycling bridges)
    • Acknowledge and celebrate connections to the Simpson Barracks

    Connectivity and wayfinding, and Accessibility

    • Improve east-west connectivity by maintaining, enhancing and creating quality walking and cycling links alongside and across the project corridor, particularly around local centres such as Watsonia station and shops
    • Improve existing and provide new pedestrian crossing points to connect communities to either side of the project corridor
    Amenity, Vibrancy, and Safety

    • Reinforce the character of the green treed ridgelines and urban forest by planting trees and other vegetation along the project corridor
    • Enhance existing open spaces and create additional open space where possible
    • Design built elements such as bridges and noise walls to be elegant, uncluttered and respond to the character of the area
    Resilience and sustainability
    • Support local biodiversity and habitat corridors by planting additional indigenous vegetation and extending existing local habitat links

    Urban integration
    • Consider local Council's future long term plans for improvements to Watsonia Village

    Image: New walking and bike riding bridge with screened viewing platform at Macorna Street, Greensborough

    Image: Green bridges, open space and new walking and bike riding paths next to Greensborough Road, Watsonia

    Image: New walking and bike riding underpass under Lower Plenty Road, Yallambie

    Take Survey
  • This survey is now closed. If you'd like to get in touch to talk about North East Link please give us a call on 1800 105 105 or write to us at community@northeastlink.vic.gov.au

    Read the urban design approach for the Yarra River Valley and give feedback.

    We’re planning to ask the project builders who submit designs for North East Link to respond to the distinct and unique qualities of the Yarra River (Birrarung) area, its indigenous history, respect the original design intent of this section of the Eastern Freeway and enhance connectivity for commuters and locals.

    Design guidelines we're considering asking the project builders to follow are:

    Identity
    • Respond to and celebrate the Yarra River’s natural qualities, water flow, seasonal cycles, migration patterns, Indigenous history and vegetation
    • Celebrate local cultural heritage, especially

    Read the urban design approach for the Yarra River Valley and give feedback.

    We’re planning to ask the project builders who submit designs for North East Link to respond to the distinct and unique qualities of the Yarra River (Birrarung) area, its indigenous history, respect the original design intent of this section of the Eastern Freeway and enhance connectivity for commuters and locals.

    Design guidelines we're considering asking the project builders to follow are:

    Identity

    • Respond to and celebrate the Yarra River’s natural qualities, water flow, seasonal cycles, migration patterns, Indigenous history and vegetation
    • Celebrate local cultural heritage, especially around Bolin Bolin Billabong, the Yarra River, the Indigenous Garden, Heide Museum of Modern Art and the Heidelberg Artists Trail
    • Respect the original design of the Eastern Freeway including minimalistic, elegant and streamlined structures, textured rock escarpments, restrained colour and material palette and buffers of native vegetation
    Connectivity and wayfinding, and Accessibility
    • Provide enhanced and more convenient cycling routes to Melbourne’s CBD 
    • Make it easier for pedestrians to cross over Bulleen Road to access open space next to to the Yarra River
    • Improve north-south walking and cycling connectivity between Banksia Park, along the Yarra River corridor and across the Eastern Freeway to Kew
    • Maintain and enhance public access to and throughout the Yarra River corridor including access to the river
    Amenity, Vibrancy and Safety
    • Maintain and re-establish a canopy of mature trees and vegetation as the dominant visual element along the project corridor 
    • Maintain the open space function of the parklands that run along the Eastern Freeway, and use planting to filter views of the road and noise walls
    • Minimise the visibility of road infrastructure, particularly from public places including the Main Yarra Trail and Bolin Bolin Billabong

    Resilience and Sustainability
    • Support a clean and healthy Yarra River and waterways by using wetlands and/or raingardens to improve stormwater runoff and by using indigenous vegetation when planting near rivers

    Image: New bike bridge over the Yarra River

    Image: Upgraded walking and bike riding paths and new signalised crossings, Bulleen Road 
    Take Survey
  • This survey is now closed. If you'd like to get in touch to talk about North East Link please give us a call on 1800 105 105 or write to us at community@northeastlink.vic.gov.au

    Read the urban design approach for the Koonung Creek Valley and give feedback.

    We’re planning to ask the project builders who submit designs for North East Link to respect the original design of 'a freeway that moves through a valley floor', recognise the important green open spaces that run along the Koonung Creek and continue to support active transport along the Koonung Creek Trail and across the freeway.

    Design guidelines we're considering asking the project builders to follow are:

    Identity
    • Respect the original design of the Eastern Freeway including architectural walls, elegant bridges, exposed rock, restrained colour palette and materials

    Read the urban design approach for the Koonung Creek Valley and give feedback.

    We’re planning to ask the project builders who submit designs for North East Link to respect the original design of 'a freeway that moves through a valley floor', recognise the important green open spaces that run along the Koonung Creek and continue to support active transport along the Koonung Creek Trail and across the freeway.

    Design guidelines we're considering asking the project builders to follow are:

    Identity
    • Respect the original design of the Eastern Freeway including architectural walls, elegant bridges, exposed rock, restrained colour palette and materials that age gracefully

    Connectivity and wayfinding, and Accessibility
    • Replace the pedestrian bridges over the Eastern Freeway with improved crossings for cycling and walking
    • In high-use areas within the Koonung Creek parklands consider providing separate paths for walkers and bike riders where there are opportunities
    • Consider new facilities to support walking and cycling along Koonung Creek Trail such as regular rest stops, signs, shade trees along pathways, lighting, drinking fountains and bicycle repair stations
    Amenity, Vibrancy, and Safety
    • Maintain the open space function of the Koonung Creek parklands including considering upgrades such as seating, landscaping, shade trees or exercise equipment
    • Maintain and/or plan new buffer vegetation to filter views of the freeway and noise walls from surrounding houses and public spaces
    Resilience and Sustainability
    • Support the biodiversity and wildlife corridors in Koonung Creek parklands by planting indigenous vegetation
    • Maintain wetlands and waterways in the Koonung Creek parklands as focal points for the community and as places for reflection in a naturalistic setting
    Urban integration
    • Consider improvements to Doncaster Park and Ride to create an enhanced public transport user experience

    Image: New Disability Discrimination Act compliant walking and bike riding bridge connecting to Koonung Creek Wetlands, Doncaster

    Image: Landscaping combining open space and planting to filter views of the Eastern Freeway and noise walls, Koonung Creek Reserve, Balwyn North

    Image: Noise walls and planting along the Eastern Freeway, Doncaster

    Take Survey