The City of Melbourne has enlisted many reputable designers and established a pair of peak bodies to supply expert design advice regarding major public developments.

Councillors endorsed the new Design Excellence Advisory Committee and Melbourne Design Review Panel at Tuesday’s Future Melbourne Committee meeting.

A total of 40 leaders representing the design development sector have been named, such as Infrastructure Australia CEO Romily Madew, architect Vanessa Bird, architecture expert Shelley Penn and technical expert Karl Fender.

Deputy Lord Mayor Nicholas Reece asserts the new bodies will influence Melbourne’s streets, buildings and skyline for many years. He said the committee formation was bound to be a game changer for Melbourne in terms of solidifying Melbourne as a universal design city.

The aim is to create streets and squares as beautiful as Amsterdam, a skyline as elegant as Chicago’s and a design culture that is as serious as Copenhagen but in true Melbourne style.

Reece seeks to unite the best and brightest in various design fields to establish new standards and morph Melbourne.

The Design Excellence Advisory Committee will advise the Council regarding matters on design advocacy and culture, with a spotlight on chances to re-establish Melbourne’s universal reputation as a premiere design city.

The Melbourne Design Review Panel will complement Council’s internal design review processes by providing independent advice on significant private developments and City of Melbourne projects.

Monash University Architect Shelley Penn said she was excited to join the City of Melbourne in leading a culture of design excellence in her hometown. She says that design quality is important to guarantee that public places – and the buildings that affect them – are inclusive and accommodating to all individuals, and the review process should help achieve that goal.”

The initial meetings of the two new bodies will occur before the end of this year.


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