The City of Yarra has 21 Local Area Place Making (LAPM) areas, or neighbourhoods.

Image credit: City of Yarra

Introduction to neighbourhoods

Neighbourhoods are the basic building block of liveable cities, says Victor Dover in this episode of ‘Town Planning Stuff Everyone Needs to Know’.

We can improve

Waltham Forest Council in London, UK, has roughly double the land area and approximately triple the population of Yarra, so is a good example of what we can do to improve. They’ve transformed their neighbourhoods by building footpath and cycling networks, supplemented by pocket parks and traffic calming:

Local Area Place Making

Council improves the amenity of neighbourhoods by following the Local Area Place Making (LAPM) Policy, which grew out of the old Local Area Traffic Management (LATM) process. LAPM reviews involve analysis of local traffic flows and multiple stages of community consultation.

Local Area Place Making Policy 2017. Image credit: City of Yarra.


The main problem is that it takes Council 10-15 years to cycle through reviews of all 21 LAPMs, which is too slow to react to our pace of population growth.

The next problem is that each LAPM review is typically only allocated a budget of $300k-$400k (although LAPM 3 Scotchmer did received $1.9m). This is simply too little, severely limiting the scope of infrastructure investment to manage traffic, increase safety and improve streetscapes.

Improving the LAPM policy & process

Streets Alive Yarra suggests that the LAPM policy and process can be improved by:

  • reviewing all 21 LAPMs in each 4-year term of Council,
  • allocate each LAPM review an average budget of $2m, and
  • using a citizens’ jury to work through how best to use our limited public space.

Our full submission is available as a PDF to download:

Upcoming LAPMs

The priority for upcoming LAPMs can be viewed on the City of Yarra website. The next to be reviewed are:

Design suggestions

View ideas and suggestions from local champions:

Contact us to be a champion

Let’s make Yarra a beautiful city to live in

Every resident and ratepayer can make a difference