10 August 2020

Thank you to everyone who participated in the consultation process for Better Places Laverton.

At the Ordinary Council Meeting on Tuesday 8 September 2020, Council adopted the Place Guide for Better Places Laverton.

The Place Guide provides a summary of the key elements and qualities of Laverton. It describes the consultation process undertaken throughout the project, how the vision, key themes and principles have been developed, and summarises 12 place projects that have been identified to bring the vision for Laverton to life.

After trialling the Better Places program in Laverton, we are excited to turn our attention to the Spotswood and South Kingsville communities later this year.

Click here to view a copy of the final Place Guide, or download a copy of this from the Document Library.


The future of Laverton - captured in a Place Guide

Creating Better Places is achieved by providing the community with greater ownership of their neighbourhoods by encouraging them to be more actively involved in the direction their suburb is heading. This is a collaborative process between everyone that lives in, and loves Laverton – residents, businesses, property owners and visitors.

Earlier this year, you told us what you love most about the area, what you would like to see change, and any big ideas you might have to improve Laverton into the future. More than 1,500 responses were gathered during consultation at the Laverton Festival, Council’s Participate website, social media and a mailed questionnaire.

A vision for Laverton

The feedback that was generously provided has been reviewed to develop a draft Place Guide Vision that ‘SHAPES’ the community’s views into a clear vision:

Key themes

Better Places Laverton Themes

The vision is further broken down into four (4) key themes:

  • Cleaner + Greener
  • A More Vibrant Place
  • A More Connected Community
  • Celebrating Our Character

We invite you to explore the guiding principles and potential projects within each of the four theme tabs below or within the draft Place Guide Vision before providing your feedback in the survey at the bottom of the page.

Your feedback will help inform the development of the final Place Guide which will have information on the priority, scope and timeframes of future projects in Laverton.

Please note that face to face consultation is restricted due to social distancing regulations related to the Coronavirus pandemic. We are encouraging as many people as possible to fill in the survey online however hard copy surveys have been delivered to residents in Laverton for those without internet access.

The online survey is open until Friday 14 August 2020.

Many people wanted Laverton to look tidier and felt that the character of the area could be improved by increasing the amount of greenery, and that any projects and initiatives that would help to make Laverton ‘cleaner + greener’ should be a high priority.



GUIDING PRINCIPLES

1.1 Every project must consider and address the overall tidiness of Laverton in some way. This will help to achieve continual improvement in the appearance and quality of the public spaces through cared for and maintained facilities, and a reduction of rubbish and waste

1.2 Increase the amount of greenery in all public areas and improve the diversity and health of the tree population within Laverton – aim towards achieving at least 40% canopy within all parks and streetscapes

1.3 Look for ways to encourage and support private residents to plant trees and to maintain their front yards and gardens - to help improve the overall appearance and enhance the green character of the local area

1.4 Increase opportunities for the community to experience and engage with the natural environment




POTENTIAL PROJECTS AND INITIATIVES

1. Looking Good Laverton

Develop new program and community grants scheme that could provide funding, education and resources for:

  • grass-roots clean-up and greening projects
  • eligible residents on how to maintain their nature strip, front yards and property
  • a special hard rubbish removal program
  • identifying and removing redundant cyclone fencing

Undertake targeted maintenance blitz of public assets (picnic settings, bench seats, bollards and fencing) - to bring them up to good condition

2. Green Streets Laverton

Developing a greening project similar to Cool Streets or “beautify your neighbourhood” that:

  • Undertakes intensive fast-tracked tree planting in all street vacancies along main roads
  • Provides resident-based programs for tree planting in residential streets

3. Love Laverton Parks

Upgrade of all 8 community parks within Laverton as a single co-ordinated project that:

  • creates a complementary suite of parks that offer choice and a variety of functions, and activities for people of all ages
  • apply the principles of achieving a ‘cleaner and greener’ Laverton
  • incorporate art / educational elements that celebrate Laverton’s history and diverse culture
  • explore opportunities for art trails, wayfinding and green linkages that tie the parks together

Many people said Laverton has a “village feel” given its relatively small area and location. People want to see this feel maintained but also want to look for new ways to add more life and activity to the village areas and public spaces to make sure Laverton becomes an even more vibrant and livable community into the future.




GUIDING PRINCIPLES

2.1 Foster community activity through design that increases activation of public spaces and encourages people to interact with the outdoors

2.2 Seek opportunities to improve the amenity, function and access of the village shopping and community hubs within Laverton to help increase their viability, make them more attractive and vibrant places, and extend their usage (i.e. day time / night time and weekday / weekend)

2.3 Ensure that any new or upgraded public spaces are designed to be safe, accessible and usable for all residents and for different times of the day

2.4 Look for ways to connect people within the community (local traders, creatives, entrepreneurs etc.) to stimulate new partnerships, activities and opportunities (art initiatives, community events, business initiatives) that will help add life and vibrancy to the local village areas

2.5 Explore opportunities to provide more diverse and affordable housing options around the village centres and key community facilities to help increase their viability and activation into the future and ensure they remain accessible to all members of the community



POTENTIAL PROJECTS AND INITIATIVES

4: Better Villages Program

Develop a Master Plan for the Aviation Road Village and Woods Street Precinct that:

  • provides upgrades to the streetscape, public spaces, parking and linkages within the centres and key adjoining areas (such as Aircraft Station)
  • improves connectivity (walkability, cycling, public transport)
  • identifies opportunities to establish new partnerships, initiatives and activities for the precincts

5: Local Leaders Action Group

Providing funding and resources for the development of a Local Leaders Action Group that will:

  • lead activities and events to activate the Village centres and community spaces
  • include representatives from local traders associations, local creatives, business entrepreneurs

6: Safer Places Project

Undertake an intensive fast-tracked program to improve general safety and accessibility around Laverton. A key initiative could be to provide street lighting improvements and widened footpaths along main walkways and routes connecting to key places within Laverton such as village centres, rail stations and parkland.

7: Housing Choice

Ensure diverse and affordable housing is available in Laverton that:

  • delivers new private and social housing options in close proximity to the village centres, including on the Council owned land at Epsom St which will provide more choice and affordability in housing
  • ties in with the newly created Hobsons Bay Affordable Housing Trust to deliver increased housing choice and affordability in the local area
  • is supported by the roll out of the New Residential Zones in Laverton which delivers increased housing choice and supports the viability of the village centres

Many people responded that they would like to see more focus placed on improving the pathways and cycling connections throughout Laverton - both to help people move between key destinations but to also provide more recreational opportunities. People wanted to see local parks and spaces upgraded and connected through nice safe streets with shady trees and good footpaths, to create a more attractive, active, walkable and bike friendly place and to encourage community interaction.



GUIDING PRINCIPLES

3.1 Focus on improving mobility connections within and external to Laverton through new pedestrian and cycling ways, bus service provisions and any other sustainable transport modes

3.2 Prioirty to be given to upgrading and improving key pathways and linkages between the main community destinations such as village centres, rail stations and parkland areas

3.3 Focus on upgrading key public places and facilities that will encourage residents and visitors to socialise, play, exercise and interact

3.4 Look for new ways to improve connections between people within the community (community groups, facilities and events etc)



POTENTIAL PROJECTS AND INITIATIVES

8: Missing Links Project

Develop an intensive fast-tracked schedule to identify and construct missing pedestrian and cyclist links / footpaths as part of the Missing Links Program - including identifying any additional initiatives to help make Laverton a more walkable and cycle friendly place.

9: Better Places and Spaces Project

Develop a Master Plan for the development of the Railway Avenue and McCormack Park areas to allow for upgraded and new spaces and activities that will help bring the community together including:

  • McCormack Park recreation area
  • Splash Park water play area and youth centre
  • spaces for community gardens and workshop programs related to food security, health and sustainable living
  • health and recreation opportunities (i.e. trails and outdoor exercise equipment)

10: Way Finding and Signage Project

Develop an intensive fast-tracked program to identify, design and construct way finding signage that connects key destinations within Laverton. Key elements of the program to include:

  • signage typologies, hierarchy and locations
  • integration with the Gateways + Art Trails and Missing Links Projects that celebrate the local heritage

Many people value the history of Laverton, the diversity of the local residents, the local shops, services and community groups. People acknowledged that change will inevitably occur across the suburb over time, however they want to make sure that the elements of the local character that are valued and unique are retained and continue to be strengthened.


GUIDING PRINCIPLES

4.1 All projects should in some way reflect, celebrate and tell the story the unique qualities and character of Laverton’s landscape, cultures, and built environment

4.2 Explore opportunities to engage, partner with, and actively involve local residents, creatives, community representatives and local indigenous leaders and representatives

4.3 All projects should consider the objectives and strategies of the Hobsons Bay Neighbourhood Character Study 2019

4.4 Investigate opportunities to incorporate cultural activities (events, artworks interpretive signage etc.) that will help to strengthen the local culture and sense of community and identity



POTENTIAL PROJECTS AND INITIATIVES

11: Gateways and Art Trails Project

Develop a program to explore ideas and opportunities to create key suburb gateway entrance statements and outdoor artwork / sculpture spaces and trails at key sites within Laverton that build on and complement existing artwork and respond to council’s public art policy and strategy including:

  • Old Geelong, Bladin, Aviation, Merton St
  • Aviation Rd freeway interchange – advocating for improved connectivity, safety and amenity

12: Love Laverton Focus Group

Formation of a community focus group that:

  • is charged with providing input and guidance into key projects related to Laverton’s diversity, history and unique character
  • will provide ideas, connections and active involvement in supporting existing and new events, art initiatives and cultural activities that promote and strengthen Laverton’s local history and culture
  • will connect with the Local Leaders Action Group to ensure art / cultural / historical initiatives and events