Melbourne Pilot Projects

Developing new ways of managing the changing demands on Melbourne’s roads and urbanscape

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Client: Victoria State Government Department of Transport  
Team: arki_lab
Service: Consensus Building & Engagement, Research & Evaluation
Role: Designing and facilitating consensus building workshops, Data treatment and analysis, Developing movement and place strategies, Creating pilot project proposals
Year: 2018
Status: Completed

Melbourne, the second largest Australian city, is growing at about 120,000 residents per year and will hit five million inhabitants in July 2019. The rapid growth puts stress on the city’s public transportation system, and calls for innovative, incremental solutions. In order to develop comprehensive and innovative solutions, all stakeholders need to be unified around the same vision for the streets of Melbourne. arki_lab has designed and facilitated key stakeholder workshops to create a shared vision for the future development. The workshops were followed by a high-level strategy development and concept design process for key demonstration sites in central Melbourne. The pilot project concept strategy serves as a platform to develop and test out such solutions. Furthermore, it works as a strong change management tool for building momentum, testing real solutions and thereby informing future decisions.

The project components
Our work has entailed conducting site visits, collecting baseline data and evidence, preparing five to seven design concepts for pilot projects and trials in the central city and co-facilitating urban design and visioning workshops. The outcome of this process has been three documents, all of which have been prepared in collaboration with the relevant actors. The first document is a strategic framework on how to run a pilot project from beginning to end. The second document is a kit of parts, containing a number of basic elements that could be mixed and matched into different compositions and the third document contains the pilot projects for the chosen site.

“The Department of Transport oversees some complex street environments across Melbourne and the state of Victoria. With the need to consult and engage with many different stakeholders and asset owners on these challenges and inspire them to think in new ways about urban realm, DoT recognised the value in utilising the expertise of arki_lab in bringing gamification methods to facilitate more democratic decision-making across our complex stakeholder group and introduce them to innovative ways of designing streets and urban spaces.

Having utilised this approach across several projects now, it has helped facilitate a very positive response to working towards shared visioning and consensus decision-making to solving complex problems across our transport network.”

Scott Przibella
Manager Place & Urban Transport Network Strategy and Planning, Department of Transport

Pilot project strategy
This first document illustrated a process strategy and developed steps to demonstrate how a pilot project may be delivered, who is responsible and the various important steps needed to ensure a successful trial. It also contained some general information on global case studies on how they have approached this ‘way of working’. The main objective of the document was to enable the various key stakeholders to run a smooth project and deliver successful result, while always maximizing their voices in the process and minimising the conflicts.

Kit of parts
The kit of parts was designed to support long-term projects through testing short-term, low-budget and scalable interventions. The goal of the document is to collect input and feedback on potential long-term changes through prototyping. Besides testing the implementations, this process also helps identify and connect with the local and more regional partners that will contribute to developing the long-term transformations. Therefore it becomes a valuable first step for forming collaborations and partnerships.

Pilot project design
To demonstrate how the kit of parts could be used and the process could be carried out, the project focused on 6 key locations in Melbourne, and designed a 3 phase pilot project for each location. The designs focused on encouraging people to use public transportation, as well as increasing on street activities such as seating, terraces for restaurants and green spaces. These pilot projects were designed to incrementally change the identity of the streets in Melbourne to more bike and pedestrian friendly, and green streets as well as nudging Melbourne towards more sustainable transport options.


Pilot project strategy, design and kit of parts


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