2016 Sessions

In total, there were 30 fantastic TransportCamp sessions. Session notes were taken for each unconference session.  Each post includes all the essential session details, links and a summary of all the key points of discussion.

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Moving from Catch-up to New Creation Mode

Session Details 

  • Host: John O'Connell (johnoc@optusnet.com.au)
  • Organisation: PTV
  • Session: 4 
  • Location: Portico Room


Session Notes:

Melbourne is a global city with a highly concentrated central job core and out-of-core highly dispersed development with regionalised and sub-regionalised concentrations evident. In between core and outer areas, varying levels of inequity are experienced with relatively high inequity experienced in outer areas with much transport disadvantage. SEIFA indices attests to this.

The current population of 4+ million is set to double in about 30 short years. Globalisation and regionalisation need to be in better balance and more balanced equity will follow.

In playing ‘Infrastructure Catchup’ transport development has concentrated on rail. Melbourne Metro untangles the spaghetti of lines and responds to city growth pressures. Reliance remains on a radial-based network with capacity and frequency improving.

Road-based congestion is growing. The inefficiencies of travel are significant. Induced demand moves cars quickly to freeways and makes them less efficient for freight movement. Tram-based systems are impacted by road-based inefficiencies. Our tram network spreads PT access but not very efficiently. Bus helps distribute the balance of the payload whilst comprising about one third of the PT task. This helps reduce inequity settings at the margins.

To cater for population change, we do not have to double the roads or PT networks, but we do have to be smart about the way we move invest in order to move people efficiently across the whole city.

Part of the answer is to create a new way of looking at the city. With city core activity remaining dominant, city growth needs to be encouraged in the current productive clusters with new links across the existing radial mass transit in order to grow an effective outer core that can ultimately become a more ubiquitous city offering.

This will be the results:

·       Currently disenfranchised people in super-spread outer city will be closer to the clustered developing areas and many will not have to travel to the core of the city.

·       The middle city will grow and take the pressures off the super-concentrated core. This will enliven middle Melbourne.

Regional cities will need to develop their industry-based collateral based on their specialisations. This will attract people from the peri-urban and outer areas to the regional cities and allow counter-peak flows to occur (See Rail Futures Institute - July 2016). These new regional connections help create new regional equity with the help of new industry policy settings.

We need to change our thinking from managed mode into a preferred future mode and reduce the gap of the haves and have nots.

A poly centric approach enables traffic to be more balanced into and between sub-regional clusters with lifestyle benefits of the current city core experienced across the city. Key indicators can measure sub-regional liveability including housing affordability and equity indicators.

Adopting highest and best use land use solutions will place highest value uses together and will avoid large tracts of car parking in high value centres and bring higher capacity PT solutions coupled with new job, education and market opportunities. 

Much-needed cross-city (inter-regional) links within the metropolis will reduce congestion pressures. This new light rail network will criss-cross the city and join metropolitan sub-regions and build connections between sub-regional centres. It will also complement rail and bus network. It will maximise use of all modes and free up some capacity via conversion of some shorter, lower capacity network heavy rail linkages to light rail.

Daniel Knol’s work ‘An Alternative Transit Planning in Melbourne’ (2014) provides best example of how this will occur and provides a comparison between the current Network Development Plan and a better proposal using the Monash Cluster linkage as the focus of the work.

There are a range of tailored middle suburban examples to get more out of the tram network by creating some localised new tram network linkages to lift low value land using value capture methodology. 


A new light rail network would complement and provide a host of mid-capacity solutions for mid-capacity population areas and in particular provide cross-radial connectivity in addition to providing larger vehicle and more flexible future rolling stock, enhanced routes to complement population spread.

The solutions would distribute population around the suburbs in more efficiently but significantly distributed across sub-regions. Significant equity would flow between these areas. Outer sub-regions would have better access to these middle sub-regional areas and their opportunities would increase.

There would be less congestion, less overcrowding and significant counter peak passenger flows. This would be occurring at inter-regional levels too.


This is a strategy to make the city a better place though the employment of a sub-regional approach to city settlement that can be delivered in stages. It sets up a new balance between the core and non-core components and will overcome many objections to current proposals based on a very high density central city core. In particular it drives a much more equitable city that is even more liveable.