- M2030 is not evidence-based. Implicit in the population predictions is a broad band of
uncertainty and the uncertain predictions have been converted to hard targets.
- The plan is based on a philosophy of ‘one size fits all’. Local governments are
required to develop policies and strategies that will ‘fit into’ M2030 rather than
develop policies and strategies that will suit the local character.
- One of the ‘Key Initiatives’ of M2030 is to protect the character of established
residential areas and ensure that increased densities will not be achieved at the expense of
existing amenity (p. 9). With 121 Listed Activity Centres and approximately 900 Neighborhood
Activity Centres and increased density allowed within 400m of each centre this ‘Key Initiative’
cannot be achieved.
- Direction 7 ‘A Greener City’ does not even mention the retention of canopy trees
or the planting of canopy trees.
- M2030 aims to increase the use of public transport from 9% to 20% by 2020.
Given the dismal state of Public Transport in this city this aim is based on vain hope rather
than any practical issue. The assumption of such an increase (indeed of any increase at all)
is predicated on the theory that there will be attitudinal and behavioural changes. This is not
supported by research.
Underlying the document is the false assumption that people will do what planners think they
should do and it ignores what they actually do.
While the Government pursues the goal of urban consolidation, we watch the systematic
destruction of the valued attributes of our suburbs. Suburban streetscapes are being altered by
the proliferation of boundary to boundary, treeless, soulless, concrete constructions
(‘prison images&rsquo) and these bleak constructions are becoming the ‘new&rsquo
neighborhood character. Space for people is being lost and the garden character, for which we
were once renowned, is fast disappearing. Simultaneously, we are losing the pollution-absorbing
qualities of canopy trees.
Subsidisation of decentralization, both within the metropolitan area and in regional
Victoria, is a practical solution to the problem presented by having more and more people in the
State but there is no suggestion of this either in M2030 or in any of its supporting documents
or in the reams of 'information' about it. Is such a solution too simple for ‘planners?’