No-Car Melbourne

Market Insights
8 years ago
2 minutes

Are car park-free apartments a viable idea for Melbourne’s CBD?

With Melbourne’s population due to double by 2051, to around 8 million, there are serious concerns about Melbourne’s future and ability to cater for a larger population.

Richard de Cani, managing director of planning at Transport for London, is currently in Melbourne, due to present a keynote on Tuesday to actively promote car-free lifestyles. 

Melbourne currently has one of the lowest density levels in the world; we currently have under half the population that London has, but in a space that is some five times larger. 

Driving in Melbourne’s city, be it a week day or weekend, is never an easy feat. Whether it is mastering hook-turns, finding a car park, or dealing with general traffic - many are now using alternative transport options to get there. 

Uber or other forms of public transport are becoming increasingly popular, and Mr Cani told The Age that “there is a whole generation of people who see no value of having a car in London. They can get public transportation, they can get [ride-sharing service] Uber. They don't need a car.”

Mr Cani’s trip to Melbourne comes after a recent VCAT’s ruling-rejection on a no-carpark development in Brunswick. Actively promoting a no-car lifestyle is something that London is currently doing, and should be something that Melbourne should consider. 

London however is built on clay, rather than sand or rock, allowing for an easier, and ultimately cheaper, process to build underground tube ways. 

As Melbourne is now already in the process of creating their own tube system, are Melbourne already too far behind? Whilst Melbourne was twiddling its thumbs, London had invested $2b into the Northern Line extension, as well as another $30b on the Crossrail systems.

London is also in the process of developing a $63b high speed rail-link between London and Birmingham, which could stretch over 300kms. 

Melbourne City Council earlier this month suggested the concept of a ‘no-car trial’ for 12 hours, where no cars or motorcycles would be allowed into the Hoddle Grid. It was met with outrage and objection - however the idea itself is an interesting concept. Cities like London and Stockholm have levies to enter the CBD, where as cities like Paris, and Bath in the UK, have had successful experiments with it in the past.

More to follow.