The State Government’s rezoning of areas north of Victoria Street will provide excellent conditions for jobs development, innovation and stronger partnership connections, according to University of Melbourne Vice-Chancellor Professor Glyn Davis.

Planning Minister Richard Wynne is expected to announce today an amendment that formally implements the ‘City North Structure Plan 2012’, providing a long-term strategy for the urban renewal of the City North area that includes Carlton and Parkville.

The raft of amendments also includes changes to the Melbourne Planning Scheme to enable the further development of the former Royal Women’s Hospital site as part of the University’s Carlton Connect Initiative, as well as changes to the Scheme relating to heritage overlays.

“This is a welcome announcement, one consistent with the University’s desire to create strong partnerships with community, industry and government in our zone,” said Professor Davis.

“The decision confirms the Victorian government understands the great capacity in this part of the city for the development of knowledge and new innovation.” 

The University exists at the heart of a number of rapidly evolving precincts in the City North zone. At the western end of Grattan Street is the Melbourne Biomedical Precinct, home to the Royal Melbourne Hospital, Doherty Institute, Bio 21, WEHI and soon, the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre.  It is home to the biggest concentration of research activity in Australia.

Located near the Carlton-end of Grattan Street is a burgeoning public policy hub, home to the likes of the Red Cross, Oxfam, Grattan Institute, The Conversation and ACF.

On any given teaching day, the University is the fifth largest city in Victoria, with more than 50,000 staff and students on campus. The University has committed to supporting up to $2 billion in investment in infrastructure to help create the platform for better student services, improved teaching environments and increased research and industry collaboration in the greater University precinct.

A map highlighting the growing precincts around the University of Melbourne

“Everything we want to achieve in these precincts is around partnership and impact, to really add value to what industry and government are doing,” said Professor Davis.

“We truly want to be a public spirited and engaged university, and this decision will help us meet this goal.”

Further to the east is the site of the former Royal Women’s Hospital, home to the Carlton Connect Initiative. Dr Charlie Day, Program Director, said the approval of the amendment was good news for a number of projects in the designated Parkville National Employment Cluster.

“The University is attracting an exciting mix of tenants and partners with shared values that will transform site into a world-class innovation precinct.”

“Our intention is for the precinct to be an open and welcoming environment for not just students, researchers and innovators, but the wider community as well. This is at the heart of the University’s strategy to create an innovation environment with vibrant public spaces for general use, and we are encouraged we can now take this plan forward.”