Better city design

City of Melbourne councillors have supported two new bodies aimed at improving architectural and design quality in new developments.

The establishment of a new Melbourne Design Review Panel and a Design Excellence Advisory Committee were endorsed by councillors at the Future Melbourne Committee meeting on July 6.

Deputy Lord Mayor Nicholas Reece said the changes would ensure the council worked in partnership with industry to deliver good quality urban design and architecture, heritage conservation and adaptation, improved sustainability and greening outcomes.

As part of the motion, the council will launch the new Design Excellence Advisory Committee and an expert Design Review Panel to “elevate design quality in the built environment”.

The City of Melbourne’s planning team reviewed more than 1100 planning applications in the last financial year.

The Design Excellence Advisory Committee (DEAC) will be established to provide a platform for industry, academia, and community to engage in a range of topics relating to urban planning and design, policy development, as well as design challenges and opportunities.

A second new body, the Melbourne Design Review Panel (MDRP), will be made up of the best and brightest of architecture and design. These experts will provide independent, multidisciplinary design advice on specific council projects and planning applications. 

These MDRP reports will be publicly available and will be part of the materials considered by councillors whenever the council decides whether to support or oppose a development application. The panel will initially begin as 12-month pilot program.

Applications will be sought for up to four community members for the Advisory Committee, and up to eight architecture, urban design and landscape architecture experts, alongside additional content specialist roles for the Melbourne Design Review Panel •

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