The Victorian Department of Planning and Community Development commissioned a planning, urban design and market feasibility research study into residential intensification in Tramway Corridors. The study was intended to contribute to the debate and understanding of the role of tramway corridors in meeting future housing needs, a central issue given recent higher revised population projections for metropolitan Melbourne. The project was led by SGS Economics and Planning, together with Design Urban and the City of Melbourne.
The project focused on developing a model to explore the capacity of tramway corridors to accommodate housing; identifying barriers and opportunities; identifying preferred urban design and built form outcomes; and evaluating the feasibility of development. The analysis was applied to two case study areas - tram corridors in Melbourne's inner north.
While the transport function of Melbourne's tramway network had been well appreciated in policy, the profound influence that trams could have on Melbourne's urban form had been less understood. The research identified four key conclusions. Firstly, there are different types of corridors each requiring distinct land use and transport responses. Secondly, street characteristics should inform urban design and built form. Thirdly, tramway corridors offer significant potential to contribute to both dwelling supply and local amenity and finally, development at higher densities in these areas was found to feasible, although sensitive to building height, dwelling size and car parking. The project also showed ways of improving the development equation, and the valuable role tramway corridors can have in supporting future land use changes that improve metropolitan liveability and the overall supply of housing.
The 'Residential Intensification in Tramway Corriors' project gained PIA Victoria's 2009 Award for Urban Planning Excellence.