Casey Foothills Landscape Assessment
The Casey Foothills adjoin Melbourne’s Urban Growth Boundary. As a result, the area has been under increased pressure for development in recent years due to nearby suburban areas such as Narre Warren and Berwick.
Hansen Partnerhip was engaged by the City of Casey to prepare a landscape assessment for the area with a broad aim to identify significant landscape areas and protect them through a landscape management framework with recommendations for future planning controls.
A rigorous desktop analysis was undertaken which identified key features and patterns of a variety of elements within the study area including transport, vegetation, heritage, planning controls and landform. Landform was scrutinised through a comprehensive viewshed analysis, which identified areas of visual exposure from a large number of key points. Thorough site investigations were used to verify the results of the desktop analysis and subsequently formed the basis for the landscape character assessment.
This assessment identified and categorised areas based on recurring landscape features such as prominent native vegetation, landform, presence of dwellings and waterways. Character areas were then attributed an overall landscape value based on preferred or non-preferred features determined from several professional publications and community preference research. Areas of visual exposure and landscape value were overlaid utilising the results of the viewshed analysis and landscape values assessment to determine the evident visual sensitivity of certain parts of the study area.
The outcomes of consultations with the wider community, Aboriginal representative groups and relevant authority groups were also used to verify the results of the analysis against values held by people with an ingrained knowledge of the study area.
The subsequent landscape management framework provided recommendations on how best to holistically manage the land of the Casey Foothills, based on a synthesis of the stakeholder engagement outcomes and previously described analysis work.