Our Services

State Government

Departments and Authorities

We advise government departments and authorities on strategic planning and urban design issues and projects.  Our work for government departments and agencies includes:

Policies and guidelines

We review planning policies and develop new policies and guidelines to respond to changes in society’s needs and expectations.

Example projects:

To discuss your project needs, contact Mark Sheppard at marks@kinetica.net.au

Structure plans, built form / urban design frameworks and master plans

We prepare plans to shape the development of growth areas, urban renewal precincts, housing estates, transit precincts and surplus government land. When these plans result in a planning scheme amendment, our senior team members provide supporting evidence at Planning Panels.

Example projects:

To discuss your project needs, contact Julia Bell at juliab@kinetica.net.au

Strategic advice and expert evidence

We provide independent advice and evidence at Planning Panels, Advisory Committees and the Supreme Court in relation to strategic planning and development projects, including significant planning scheme amendments and highest and best built form assessments to inform compensation for land acquisition.

Example projects:

To discuss your project needs, contact Mark Sheppard at marks@kinetica.net.au

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Bass Coast Township Character Study

The Bass Coast is renowned for its stunning beaches and coastal landscapes, coastal biodiversity, rural hinterlands, and recreation and tourism opportunities. The Shire’s numerous settlements sited within coastal and rural settings are a feature of this distinctive landscape. These townships are experiencing increased and significant development pressures arising from increases in sea / tree-change commuter lifestyle choices and the growth of outer metropolitan employment centres.

We were engaged to prepare a township character assessment to identify the values and distinctive attributes of each township in order to describe the Preferred Township Character Statements that will inform the preparation of the Bass Coast Statement of Planning Policy (SPP), a Township Character Strategy and its implementation through the planning scheme.

Name: Bass Coast Township Character Study

Date: 2020

Client: Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP)

Building Resilience in New and Emerging Communities

Recent amendments to the Planning Policy Framework of all Victorian planning schemes seek to ensure that the development of settlements will support resilient communities and their ability to adapt and change. Achieving resilience is a greater challenge in new and emerging growth area communities compared to inner and middle metropolitan communities because the new home starts with an absence of most of the physical, social and economic facilities, infrastructure services, informal support and networks We were engaged to investigate how the Victorian planning system, including relevant policies, Acts and organisations, can support new communities to build resilience in the first years of their development.

Specific aims of the project included to:

  • Identify planning resources that can support local Councils to manage growth and build resilience in new growth areas
  • Ensure that key facilities, services and infrastructure are provided before the introduction of any facilities that could negatively impact, or pose harm, to vulnerable communities.


System wide recommendations were identified for the consideration of the Northern Metropolitan Partnership as part of a whole-of-government response.

Name: Building Resilience in New and Emerging Communities

Date: 2020

Client: Mitchell Shire Council, Hume City Council and Whittlesea City Council (the ‘Project Partners’) through the ‘Northern Metropolitan Partnership’


Collaborators: K2Planning –
Dr Kate Kerkin

Green Wedge Planning Review

The green wedges are a principal feature of Settlement policy in each of the metropolitan planning schemes. Green wedge policy aims to protect the green wedges from inappropriate development. The planning scheme advances a series of high-level strategies to achieve the above purpose but there is a relative absence of more detailed practical guidelines on appropriate development within the green wedges.

We were engaged to undertake a review of the green wedge planning provisions and management plans, to prepare design guidelines for the green wedges and to recommend statutory implementation mechanisms. During the course of the project, green wedge municipalities were engaged in a series of workshops to assist in identifying the issues and reforms that were warranted to the prevailing planning provisions. Consultation was also undertaken with key community-based interests in green wedge protection.

The outputs and recommendations of the work were wide ranging in their scope and implications. The resulting Guide for Appropriate Development in Melbourne’s Green Wedges provides a tool to assess the size and scale of land use and developments to avoid conflicts with the rural amenity and landscape values of green wedges.

Name: Green Wedge Planning Review

Date: 2018

Client: Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP)

Walkability Toolkit

Walkability is a key aim of growth area planning and design. Walkability contributes to the sense of community, social inclusion, health and safety of new communities, and minimises the environmental costs of travel.

We were engaged to prepare a toolkit for assessing whether development proposals are designed to contribute to walkability. The toolkit focuses on the organisation of the place to provide destinations within reach of homes, and the design of the public realm to make walking appealing.

Name: Walkability Toolkit

Date: 2009

Client: Department of Transport

Caulfield Station Precinct

The Caulfield Precinct is a designated Education Precinct and Major Activity Centre in Plan Melbourne 2017-2050. The Glen Eira ‘Activity Centre, Housing and Local Economy Strategy 2017’ identifies the potential for growth in this precinct.

We were engaged to provide detailed urban context and design analysis of the Caulfield Station Precinct and built form and public realm recommendations to inform the preparation of a precinct wide structure plan. The analysis focuses on key features, opportunities and constraints, planned projects and emerging concepts for rail and university precincts.

We generated built form and public realm concepts and guidelines based on an overall vision and urban design principles for each key sub-precinct. The findings of the urban design analysis and built form recommendations report will form basis for the structure plan.

Name: Caulfield Station Precinct Urban Context and
Design Analysis

Date: 2019

Client: Victorian Planning Authority

Former Highett Gasworks Site

Development Victoria has commenced planning for the future of the Highett Gasworks site at 1136-1138 Nepean Highway, Highett.

We were engaged to provide urban design assistance in the preparation of master plan options for the site with the aim of achieving a balance of environmental, social, cultural and economic outcomes.

This project will inform the preparation of a Development Plan in accordance with the requirements of Development Plan Overlay 7 ‘Former Highett Gas Works Land – Strategic Redevelopment and Residential Opportunity Site’.

Name: Former Highett Gasworks Site

Date: 2020

Client: Development Victoria

North Melbourne Housing Estate

The Public Housing Renewal Program is a Victorian Government program to redevelop public housing to increase social and affordable housing supply across the state.

We were engaged to provide urban design and planning services to support the development of a design framework, Planning Scheme Amendment (including DDO schedule), and associated Town Planning Report for the Abbotsford Street, North Melbourne public housing estate.

The purpose of the project was to provide planning certainty for a future procurement process as part of a public-private partnership needed to redevelop the project, and to respond to key policy objectives including providing more social housing, improving the range of affordable housing options and reducing homelessness.

The work resulted in the implementation of a Development Plan Overlay schedule over the North Melbourne estate to guide its future redevelopment for a mix of housing types.

Name: North Melbourne Housing Estate

Date: 2017-2018

Client: Victorian Department of Health and Human Services

Werribee Employment Precinct

The 925 hectare site for the Werribee Employment Precinct was the largest piece of undeveloped Government land in metropolitan Melbourne. In its “Melbourne @ 5 million” policy statement, the Victorian Government announced that it will be developed as a mixed use precinct with a focus on providing jobs closer to where people live so there is less need to travel into the city for work. It is also intended that the precinct will “showcase sustainable design with an emphasis on water, energy and transport efficiency”.

We were engaged to prepare a strategic conceptual masterplan for the Precinct.

Our plan paints a picture of how the precinct could develop: what kinds of jobs might be created, the key infrastructure projects required to make it happen, how it might relate to the rest of Werribee and the broader region, and where development might begin. We envisage the creation of Australia’s first green enterprise community. In addition to establishing a green industries hub, it will become a ‘laboratory for sustainable urban living’, demonstrating cutting edge solutions for transport, energy, water and resources efficiency to accelerate the adoption of higher standards throughout Victoria.

Name: Werribee Employment Precinct

Date: 2010

Client: Department of Planning and Community Development and VicUrban

Arden Renewal Precinct

The VPA prepared a Structure Plan and subsequent planning scheme amendment to guide the future development of the Arden Urban Renewal Precinct. We were engaged to review the Amendment from an urban design perspective and provide evidence to inform its review by an independent Planning Panel. This included 3D modelling to test the potential outcomes of the proposed built form controls.

Our review concluded that the proposed planning framework established a sound set of urban design objectives and outcomes, and many of the proposed controls would deliver the intended built form aspirations in the Arden Vision and Structure Plan. However, we recommended refinements to the proposed controls to better realise the vision. These recommendations were supported by the Panel.

Bulleen Precinct Framework Plan

DELWP has prepared a Framework Plan to guide the future land use and connectivity of the Bulleen reach of the Yarra River corridor.

We were engaged to review the preliminary concepts prepared for the Plan, and subsequently the draft Framework Plan, from both a planning and urban design perspective.

Our review concluded that the foundational principles of the Framework Plan are sound. However, more detail was required to provide certainty in relation to spatial aspects of the plan. These recommendations were addressed in the final version of the Framework Plan.

Name: Bulleen Precinct Framework Plan

Date: 2019

Client: Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning

Melbourne Central City Built Form Controls

Planning Scheme Amendment C270 to the Melbourne Planning Scheme sought to introduce new built form controls to the Central City, including the CBD and Southbank. Mark Sheppard was engaged by the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) to provide an independent peer review of the proposed Amendment, and subsequently to give evidence to the Panel tasked with its review.

Among other things, Mark’s analysis considered the likely development responses to the proposed controls to determine whether they would maintain capacity for substantial growth, and whether they maintain sufficient flexibility to encourage innovative design responses. The analysis supported the overarching objectives and approach to the controls. However, a number of improvements were recommended, many of which were adopted by the Panel.

Name: Melbourne Central City Built Form controls

Date: 2016

Client: Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning

Why have we changed our name?

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.