Tract Consultants and Doig Architecture have been leading a consultant team on the masterplan and urban design framework for the 89Ha greenfield Toolern Town Centre (MAC). The core of the centre is located around the future Toolern Train Station; a major transit-oriented centre for Melbourne's north west growth corridor.
The Toolern Town Centre is one of the largest new activity centre communities in Victoria, and is the future community heart for a population of up to 60,000 people in the growing urban area south-east of the Melton Township. Its development will occur over a number of decades with the Toolern Town Centre evolving from a local hub in its first decade to a regional centre in the long term, incorporating up to 70,000 sqm of retail and mixed-use development. It will provide a range of regional and local employment, civic, retail, education, medical, residential, recreation and entertainment uses which will draw upon sustained investment from both the public and private sectors.
The Urban Design Framework (UDF) has been prepared following a detailed process of design, analysis, testing and consultation with state and local government, landowners, stakeholders and potential end users.
One of the challenges in planning and designing for this greenfield centre is the creation of an implementation strategy that delivers an authentic and unique town centre in Toolern. The key will be responding to local environment and people whilst ensuring Toolern develops, in a natural pattern, into the prosperous and viable urban place it aspires to become.
The focus of Tract's input is around the analysis of the site and development of urban design principles, objectives and implementation strategies across various scales; to deliver an effective masterplan and urban design framework.
The masterplan and urban design framework is focused on closing the ‘gap' between the strategic planning process and the realities of on the ground implementation. The project includes ongoing collaboration with major land owners and stakeholders. Provision and planning for community facilities and the public realm is a core element of the project.