COVID-19 is no planning ‘catastrophe’

One of Victoria’s top planners, Bill Kusznirczuk, claims COVID-19 presents a “generational catastrophe” that threatens to scuttle major developments in Melbourne and will reshape every aspect of how Australian cities are planned:

Victorian Planning Authority deputy chair Bill Kusznirczuk says the effects of the pandemic will last for years, and will reshape how planners approach high-rises, public transport and other planning issues.

“There will be less demand for high-rise living, with people troubled by higher densities and being located close to each other, sharing lifts and other communal facilities”…

“I do not think there will be a ‘business as usual’ post-COVID,” he says. “This is a generational catastrophe. We will learn from this pandemic and will create a new normal”…

“All high-density developments will be closely considered in light of the coronavirus pandemic”…

“Things like having a lot of people gathering in places like foyers and lifts will need to be reconsidered. People will place a higher value on suburban living as they will feel more safe and secure in the suburbs”…

How is this a catastrophe? 15 years of mass immigration has blighted Melbourne with hundreds of ugly, poorly constructed high-rise towers. This has enriched the property lobby at the expense of urban amenity.

It’s not a generational catastrophe that COVID-19 could spell the end of high rises. It is a welcome dawn so many have been waiting for.

If there’s one thing Melbourne does not need, it’s more cheaply built, unsafe, unattractive high rise blocks.

Leith van Onselen
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Comments

  1. The FallMEMBER

    Hopefully it’ll give us a reason to start pulling some high-rises down. Probably more cost-effective than re-cladding and maintaining a lot of them.

  2. Sure it’s a catastrophe. Morrison, Albanese, Berejiklian, Andrews, economists, demographers, and planners. They all know the fundamental truth. You can’t house the people, educate them, pay them a decent wage, get on top of public transit, and bust that ole congestion, unless you start with mass migration and OECD-busting population growth.

  3. How is this a catastrophe? 15 years of mass immigration has blighted Melbourne with hundreds of ugly, poorly constructed high-rise towers. This has enriched the property lobby at the expense of urban amenity.

    ugliness is subjective but quality and utility are not so much

    now these people who got enriched during the boom times will buy back these ugly dogboxes back at half or quarter of the price just to sell them back to plebs in a decade or less for twice as much

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