We provide strategies, plans, advice and evidence for councils in relation to major planning and urban design issues and projects. Our work for local government includes:
We prepare plans to shape the development of urban renewal precincts, activity centres, industrial estates and surplus council land. When these plans result in a planning scheme amendment, our senior team members provide supporting evidence at Planning Panels.
We prepare land use and development strategies to realise environmental, social and economic outcomes.
We provide independent urban design advice on planning applications. Our senior team members provide independent planning and urban design expert evidence at VCAT hearings in relation to planning disputes.
We bring a people-centred approach to developing place-based solutions for existing and emerging communities, with a bespoke set of skills in community development and place activation for greenfield developers.
Glen Huntly is a major activity centre centred on a railway station. It currently has a rail level crossing at its heart which is slated to be grade separated.
We were engaged to prepare urban design analysis and built form testing to inform a built form framework for the commercially zoned parts of the activity centre.
We identified a series of urban design principles, level of change, preferred future built form character and guidelines for the study area that are reflective of the existing and emerging character, heritage considerations, responding to sensitive interfaces and the designation of the centre as a MAC. The Built Form Framework now forms part of the Glen Huntly Structure Plan and eventually planning controls.
Name: Glen Huntly Built Form Framework
Client: Glen Eira Council
There has been significant social, economic and environmental change since the Eltham and Diamond Creek Activity Centre Structure Plans were adopted in 2004 and 2006 respectively. Both town centres present a great opportunity to provide more housing and employment adjacent to public transport. However, the manner in which this is delivered needs to be carefully considered so as to not cause adverse urban design and amenity impacts.
We were engaged to conduct a review of the Activity Centre Zone (ACZ) in Eltham and Diamond Creek, and provide built form style guides for each township. We were subsequently engaged to update the Eltham and Diamond Creek Activity Centre Structure Plans, to ensure they continue to meet the curent and future needs of the Nillumbik community. Our updated Structure Plans will inform updated ACZ controls for each activity centre.
Name: Eltham and Diamond Creek Activity Centre Structure Plans
Client: Nillumbik Shire Council
Location: Sunshine National Employment and Innovation Cluster, Melbourne
Client: Brimbank City Council
Postcode 3081 is a suburb largely developed as the 1956 Olympic Games village, subsequently becoming public housing. It has been identified for urban renewal.
We were engaged to create an Urban Design Framework (UDF) to guide future residential growth and development in Postcode 3081. Our UDF defines objectives and strategies to shape a positive new, higher density character for the area, including treatments for interfaces with surrounding residential land.
The UDF was translated into a planning scheme amendment which has been reviewed by a planning panel. Julia Bell was engaged to peer review the planning scheme amendment (C120) and provide expert urban design evidence to inform its review by a Planning Panel. The Panel recommended adoption subject to changes.
Name: Postcode 3081 Urban Design Framework
Client: City of Banyule
Manningham is a large middle-ring suburb in Melbourne.
We were engaged to lead a multi-disciplinary team to prepare an urban design framework (to be known as a Liveable City Strategy) for Manningham, which will guide the growth and development of the whole of the city up to 2040.
We developed a series of liveability indicators in order to assess the liveability of each part of the municipality. This was overlaid with an understanding of the distinctive built and landscape characteristics of each area to identify the most appropriate improvements to improve the liveability of each place. The resulting recommendations are wide-ranging, and include changes to the planning scheme to facilitate appropriate development and improve design quality, public realm improvements, development of Council land, promotion and advocacy.
Name: Manningham Liveable City Strategy
Client: Manningham City Council
Aviators Field is a growth area in western Melbourne adjacent to a RAAF base.
We were engaged to assess the appropriateness of the proposed response to the RAAF base, and to provide urban design options for the interface buffer in the forthcoming Aviators Field Precinct Structure Plan (PSP).
We identified three broad land use concepts for the future Aviators Field PSP:
The inclusion of Aviators Field within the UGB has led to an expectation for it to play a predominantly residential role. However, our analysis determined that to appropriately respond to a multiplicity of opportunities and constraints, the ‘hybrid’ option should be preferred to give Aviators Field an economic and employment buffer role whilst also accommodating residential development as a direct extension of Featherbrooke Estate directly north of Aviators Field. This aligns with the expectations of strategic planning policy and responds to the unique traffic constraints presented by the development of Aviators Field.
This work will inform Wyndham Council’s position on how any potential land use conflict can be managed, and what types of land use can be incorporated in and adjacent to the interface buffer.
Name: Aviators Field Use and Development Options
Client: Wyndham City Council
We are regularly engaged by local councils to provide an independent urban design assessment of planning applications for medium to high density development proposals.
We aim to provide clear and consistent recommendations in relation to matters such as building height and massing, public realm and neighbouring interfaces, and design detail, including recommendations on improvements and a clear urban design rationale.
Name: Urban design referrals
Client: various councils
We are regularly engaged by local councils to provide expert evidence to VCAT and Planning Panels in relation to the planning and/or urban design merits of planning applications and planning scheme amendments.
We are regularly engaged to undertake a strategic planning review and prepare expert evidence expressing an opinion on ‘highest and best use’ to inform land valuation assessments and for the purposes of rates and taxes, having regard to the relevant planning policy and site context at a ‘relevant date’.
Examples include the Melbourne GPO and 190-192 Bourke Street, Melbourne, which were disputed at VCAT. Our expert evidence was required to consider and balance land use planning objectives with heritage controls, and to express an opinion on the highest and best use potential of the land in the absence of heritage restrictions and in the event that the land was unimproved.
Name: Planning advice and evidence on the highest and best use of land
Date: 2019, 2020
Lilydale Quarry is a major urban development site at the edge of the Lilydale township.
We were engaged to peer review the Lilydale Quarry master plan and to identify information gaps to inform Council’s assessment.
We found that the Draft Development Plan for the Lilydale Quarry outlines a compelling vision for the site, and the accompanying illustrative Master Plan and supporting virtual 3D model indicate that a high quality, integrated outcome is being sought by the developers. The proposal includes a number of laudable elements that are not always included or committed to by development teams.
However, we identified some aspects of detail as being insufficient.
Name: Lilydale Quarry
Client: Yarra Ranges Shire Council
Mitchell Shire and the City of Geelong are seeking to ensure that a sense of place is established early in the life of their new communities.
We were engaged to provide training as part of a capacity building exercise for Council officers in these growth area councils. Our training focused on the creation of place in emerging communities and the impacts on the lived experience of residents over the development lifecycle, including exploration of national and local best practice examples of early community infrastructure and place activation, partnership models and innovative funding mechanisms to deliver place early.
We provided resources and materials to support funding submissions for early activation, and to advance partnership models for pending PSPs.
Name: Creating Place in Emerging Communities Training
Client: Mitchell Shire and City of Geelong
Smiths Beach is a part of an agglomeration of four proximate beachside residential communities on the southern coastline of Phillip island that have provided a favored home and holiday location for many locals and Victorians.
The townships popularity, bred from its notable reputation as a destination for surfing for all abilities along with family friendly, patrolled beaches, has led to extremely high visitation levels in peak seasons, placing pressure on local facilities and infrastructure. In response to this, and following the key findings of engagement, we were engaged to prepare the Smiths Beach Town Plan (‘The Plan’), which will set the vision, objectives and priority projects in relation to:
The community does not want to transform the sense of place but has identified a range of matters concerned with movement, connection, composition, character, governance, environment and service which could be further improved and enhanced to enhance safety, amenity and enjoyment of lifestyle and setting. The Plan will set a pathway to resolve challenges within the Smiths Beach township, in the context of the town’s unique context and organisational and community relationships.
The Plan will help guide community, agencies and Council to prioritise future initiatives and resources for physical projects.
Location: Smiths Beach
Client: Bass Coast Shire Council
kinetica was formerly known as David Lock Associates (DLA).
David Lock Associates (Australia) Pty Ltd changed its name to Kinetica Studio Pty Ltd on 21 February 2020 to reflect the significant reinvention of the business.
Starting with the crystallisation of our vision and values, continuing with a transformation of our planning offer, and culminating in our move to a ‘grown up’ office in the CBD, we are no longer the business we were.
Paralleling these changes, we agreed with David Lock Associates Limited (the English business which gave birth to DLA Australia) that it is time to undo our formal corporate ties, while retaining a strong informal relationship.
This reinvention of the business needed to be expressed outwardly and we began the process of refreshing our graphic identity. DLA has been predominantly known for urban design expertise, and the name reflects our history as a satellite of an English business. A new name offered the opportunity to establish a refined brand, based on a home-grown organisation featuring planners and urban designers trusted for their expertise and independence.
Our new company name, kinetica, reflects our passion for change. We facilitate and shape changes in the use, ownership and development of land to create a better lived experience.
kinetica retains the best of DLA—highly regarded independent urban design expertise—and combines it with highly regarded independent planning expertise.