What are Greyfields?

    Greyfields are residential areas where homes are aging, yet land values remain high. Greyfields sites are often located in the middle and outer suburban areas.

    What has been the nature of development in the Greyfields?

    In most cases, the redevelopment of these Greyfields involves landowners demolishing the house and sub-dividing their lot into smaller lot sizes. The nature of this development can often result in: over development of smaller lots and less open space, and unattractive buildings with minimal landscaping.

    What is Greening the Greyfields?

    Greening the Greyfields is a pilot project by Maroondah City Council, The Centre for Urban Transitions at Swinburne University, the CRC for Low Carbon Living and FrontierSI, in partnership with Department of Land, Environment and Water (Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning). It is funded by the Australian Government as part of the Smart Cities and Suburbs Program.

    The Greening the Greyfields concept has been integrated into Plan Melbourne 2017, the Victorian Government’s current strategic document for the sustainable growth of Melbourne until 2050 and is part of the Maroondah Housing Strategy 2016 - which had tremendous support from residents.

    How will the pilot precinct's for Greening the Greyfield's be identified?

    The identification of the pilot sites for this project will be guided by the following considerations:

    • The Redevelopment Potential Index (RPI) of the land (value of the land as compared to the capital improved value). Areas with a significant proportion of lots with and RPI greater than 70% are considered likely targets for redevelopment;
    • The existing pattern of subdivision (focusing on areas that have not already been substantially subdivided, or are undergoing development pressures but where significant opportunities still exist for coordinated redevelopment);
    • Areas that have clear boundaries (roads, creeks, etc.), where a precinct can be clearly defined and external impacts minimised;
    • Access to open space;
    • Existing tree canopy and the pattern of loss or gain in recent years;
    • Topography;
    • Any knowledge or understanding of community attitudes to redevelopment;
    • Access to services such as shops, schools and medical facilities;
    • Access to public transport;
    • Recent design outcomes associated with redevelopment;
    • Age of existing dwellings;
    • Heritage considerations.

    What are the benefits of Greening the Greyfields for the neighbourhood and precinct?

    Applying a ‘precinct’ approach means that landowners, residents, investors and governments can work together to positively transform our local neighbourhoods. The aims are that through collaboration, larger lots can be developed, which may lead to:

    -  More public open space and connectivity

    -  More efficient use of land (due to less driveways and more effective setbacks)

    -  More options for greater tree canopy cover

    -  Infrastructure provision (such as underground power lines, paths and storm water capture)

    -  Sustainable design

    It also means that councils can further support development that contributes to: increased availability and access to open spaces; walkability and cycling; best practices in sustainability and environmental design, and reduced car dependency.

    What have our residents told us?

    Community engagement undertaken as part of the Maroondah Housing Strategy (2016) identified liveability as the most important factor for residents in Maroondah. Some of the priority housing issues identified by the community were: balancing development and the natural environment; the need for more sustainable homes; and ageing infrastructure.  

     During our engagement at Council events and online engagement (Sept. 2018 to Feb. 2019), communities were asked about their top three priorities in their neighbourhood.

    Greater tree canopy cover, more walking and cycling paths, more public open spaces and parks, and greater housing choices were the key priorities identified.

    What is the status of the project?

    Swinburne University and Maroondah City Council are currently holding a series of precinct level session's in neighbourhoods that have been identified as a potential pilot area to apply the benefits of the Greening the Greyfields project. These sessions are aimed at getting feedback from the community on the concept.

    How can you participate in the project?

    We welcome interest from community members interested to receive updates on the pilot project. In addition, we will be interested to hear from community members and property owners who want to participate in the pilot project.

    Is the participation by landowners voluntary?

    Yes, the pilot is completely voluntary. Landowners can still develop their land individually. All the original land-use regulations still apply (however, if zone changes, this will not be the case).