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Dandenong South Residential Urban Design & Social Needs framework plan

A project that sought to break down fundamental barriers and establish a framework for urban design regeneration to activate and realise social and community harmony for established, new and emerging communities in Dandenong South.

This project addressed the fundamental challenges associated with urban regeneration in culturally diverse urban settings. The project was driven by stakeholder engagement and an alliance between the four key project partners: City of Greater Dandenong; Dandenong Development Board; Ethnic Community Council of the South-East and Places Victoria (Vic Urban).

When hansen partnership was engaged on this project, Dandenong South was considered a charged and challenging urban setting. The area was dislocated and isolated from its advanced Dandenong Central Activities District context where notable investment and regenerative design had been heavily promoted and was coming to fruition through the Revitalising Central Dandenong Urban Master Plan.

Meanwhile, the neighbouring residential enclave of Dandenong South had been largely ignored. While its community was intimately tied to the Dandenong Central Activities District, its urban infrastructure, appearance and presentation had been dislocated due to its physical presence on the south side of Dandenong Creek and further detached from the CAD by the metropolitan railway line, Cheltenham Road and Princes Highway.

The Dandenong South Residential Area Urban Design and Social Needs Framework Plan sought to break down these fundamental barriers and establish a framework for urban design regeneration that would activate and realise social and community harmony, not just for the established Albanian, Macedonia and Russian communities, but also for new and emerging communities. The project did not seek to change the world through outlandish planning propositions but rather devise a series of simple projects and initiatives that could provide focus for civic investment and a forum for the coming together of the needs and aspirations of different cultures and faiths.

While the project included a series of land use recommendations, its focus was in simple terms on physical improvements that harness safety, amenity, place making and environmental awareness. Importantly, the initiatives were localised, with an emphasis on giving communities greater access to appropriate facilities and services and promoting the retention and expression of social and cultural identity.

This project was awarded an Urban Design Commendation in the Planning Institute of Australia (PIA)’s Victorian Division 2010 Awards in recognition of the urban design rigour which underpinned the project and the sensitive approach taken to the social planning component.

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