AECOM is developing the Box Hill Metropolitan Activity Centre (MAC) Integrated Transport Strategy (ITS) to assist Whitehorse City Council with planning the future direction and development of transport for the next 10 years.
It is recognised that conventional means of addressing suburban transport – with its overwhelming reliance on private vehicles and parking – will not be capable of absorbing the significant growth and expected rise in travel demand in the coming decade. The ITS establishes a holistic, multi-modal approach towards developing pragmatic solutions to transport challenges within the MAC, identifying a program of transport initiatives aimed at establishing an efficient and sustainable transport future.
This project has involved multiple phases, including an issues and opportunities analysis, vision development, developing and prioritising actions for the strategy, and finally developing the strategy. The study was informed by Government plans, strategies and frameworks, including being undertaken in parallel with the development of the Structure Plan. Development of the strategy was also guided by the Department of Transport’s Movement and Place Framework, which takes a different approach to network planning, recognising that roads and streets serve not only a transport function but can also serve as destinations. A specific Movement and Place workshop was held with key State and Local Government staff taking on a holistic view of the Box Hill network, to deliberate and agree on priorities for various streets within the MAC.
A significant component throughout the project has been consultation with key stakeholders and the Box Hill community. An engagement strategy was developed to ensure that feedback could be input at various stages of the process, from feeding into the initial issues and opportunities analysis through to commenting on the recommended actions and draft strategy.
Our approach also included teaming with community engagement specialists Place Score and Conversation Caravan. A key concern was ensuring the community was well-represented in the consultation process, given the proportion of the community that would identify as ‘hard to reach’ groups or CALD (culturally and linguistically diverse). To address this, community consultation was undertaken using various approaches and in multiple languages (English and Chinese), including on-site surveys, face-to-face discussions on key topics presented through discussion papers, and online engagement.
The strategy has produced a structured action plan including over 60 recommended actions, developed to achieve one or more outcomes in line with the overall vision for the strategy. The actions aim to address key existing and future issues that can be expected as Box Hill grows rapidly over the next 10 years. The strategy has been passed by Council.