Neighbourhoods are the basic building block of liveable cities

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

Neighbourhoods in Yarra

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

Image credit: City of Yarra

Ideas for improvement

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:

Yarra policy

Unfortunately, council does not have a policy on neighbourhoods since the Local Area Place Making (LAPM) Policy was scrapped. The best we have is a Place Making Framework and a Local Liveable Streets document, which don’t really look at whole neighbourhoods.

Image credit: City of Yarra.

Improving our neighbourhoods

Streets Alive Yarra suggests that our neighbourhoods can be improved by:

  • using the upcoming Transport Strategy to examine issues on a neighbourhood basis,
  • reviewing all 21 neighbourhoods (or LAPM areas) in each 4-year term of Council, and
  • allocating a budget of $10m per year to improve walking, biking, trees and place making.

Design suggestions

View ideas and suggestions from local champions:

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