What is Better Places?
Hobsons Bay City Council has recently developed the Better Places program to provide a more holistic and integrated approach to thinking about and designing for change into the future. Better Places is a placed-based approach that focuses on overall ‘places’ rather than individual ‘pieces’ and provides a new model for how Council designs and delivers projects.
Better Places also aims to more actively involve the community in shaping the place they live in by helping to create a vision, set of principles and projects that reflects their values, ideas and priorities.
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A vision for Seabrook and Altona Meadows
Seabrook and Altona Meadows continue to be places that are loved for their quiet, low-scale residential character and strong connection to natural open spaces - but all the needs of daily life are now within easier reach. The local amenity and character has been enhanced through improvements in the tidiness and appearance of public spaces, neighbourhood streets and local shopping areas.
The tree canopy and greenery across the local area has been strengthened which creates a shared character and identity. It is a place that the community is proud to call home. Seabrook and Altona Meadows have become better connected through improved walking and cycling connections, enhancements to the local shopping and community destinations that they share, and a greater variety of activities and events for people of all ages.
It is a place where you can easily go for a coffee and meet up with friends, grab the daily shopping, and access schooling, sports and activities - all without having to leave the local area. Seabrook and Altona Meadows have continued to grow and change over time, but in ways that have strengthened the qualities that make the area feel special - and they have become even better places to live.
Key Themes and Guiding Principles
The vision for Seabrook and Altona Meadows is broken down into 3 key themes:
- Pride of Place and Local Identity
- Bringing The Community Closer Together
- A Place That Is Easier and Safer To Move Around
These themes are intended to describe what the Seabrook and Altona Meadows communities value most as well as the elements that they want to see protected and improved into the future.
We invite you to explore the key themes and their guiding principles in the drop down menus below and provide your feedback in the survey at the bottom of the page.
The local community want to improve the tidiness and overall appearance of the area and strengthen the green character and connection to the creeks and natural features.
Whilst many people throughout the consultation said that they enjoy living in Seabrook and Altona Meadows, many people also expressed that they felt frustrated and even embarrassed by how the area looks. Dumping of rubbish and graffiti, poorly maintained residences and nature strips, and the need to improve the appearance of the main public spaces, shopping areas and gateways were all recurring themes. Many residents also value the ‘quiet’, low-scale and suburban character, but on the flip side a lot of people also expressed a feeling that the area is ‘a bit boring’ and ‘lacks character’. The area’s access to creeks, beaches and natural areas is one of its most special and valued features, and there is a desire to focus on enhancing the connections to these features and increasing the amount of greenery throughout the local area as a way to strengthen the local identity and character.
1.1 Develop new initiatives, projects and partnerships that will reduce rubbish and graffiti and improve the overall tidiness and amenity of Seabrook and Altona Meadows
1.2 Improve the appearance, quality and maintenance of the main ‘gateways’, public spaces and shopping areas within Seabrook and Altona Meadows to help lift the overall image and character of the local area
1.3 Increase the amount of greenery in all public areas and improve the physical and visual connections to creeks, parks and natural reserves to enhance the green character and sense of identity for the local area
There is a strong desire to provide ‘more to do’ in the local area, undertaking improvements to local shopping areas and public spaces, and supporting new events and activities that will help to bring the community together.
One of the most commonly expressed ideas throughout the consultation was to try to have more of the ‘daily needs’ in the local area - a greater choice of shops, somewhere to meet and grab coffee, and more places and things ‘to do’ that would increase community interaction and connection. Whilst it was widely acknowledged that the area already has significant open space reserves and recreation opportunities, there was a lot of feedback around the opportunity to improve facilities like seating, toilets and shelters as a way to increase the usage of community spaces. But the biggest, and probably the most strongly supported, idea from a community viewpoint was the desire to have a high school built in the local area - with this being seen as one of the the most important issues and priorities for the future of the local community.
2.1 Develop new initiatives, events and partnerships that will help to bring more of the ‘daily needs’ into the local area and within closer distance so that they can ideally be accessed without the need to get in a car
2.2 Focus on undertaking improvements and adding new facilities into important community destinations and meeting places in Seabrook and Altona Meadows, such as local shopping areas and parks, to make them more inviting, safe and functional for the whole community
2.3 Engage with community leaders and local young people to investigate opportunities to provide new activities, events and facilities and activate underutilised buildings and spaces that will give people of all ages ‘more to do’ in the local area and help to bring the community together
Undertake investigations to provide a detailed assessment of the level of demand and feasibility of delivering a local high school. Subject to the outcomes, undertake the planning and advocacy processes required to generate attention and momentum for the delivery of a local high school
Traffic congestion is a major issue, and the community is desperate to find ways to make it easier and safer to move around the local area.
There is a lot of concern amongst the residents of Seabrook and Altona Meadows around traffic congestion and safety along the main vehicular routes, particularly Point Cook Road and the interchanges to the Princess Freeway. Many people expressed that the area is very car-focused and that the public transport options don’t really work - with buses being stuck in traffic and the rail stations really only being accessible by car. It was also regularly noted that there is a need to improve the pedestrian or bike network and to address issues around hooning and anti-social behaviour - to try to encourage people to walk and cycle and offer a viable alternative to private vehicle usage. Whilst a lot of work has already been undertaken to try to address traffic congestion, there is frustration in the community that the efforts to date have not resulted in significant improvements - and they desperately wants to see new ideas and projects be developed that will help to make it easier to move around the local area.
3.1 Focus on undertaking upgrades and new works that enhance pedestrian and cyclist linkages between key destinations and help make Seabrook and Altona Meadows a more bike and pedestrian friendly place
3.2 Develop new initiatives and continue to plan and advocate for works to be undertaken to improve safety and reduce traffic congestion along key routes such as Point Cook Road and the Princess Freeway interchanges
3.3 Focus on developing new initiatives, projects and partnerships that will better connect and improve the public transport and active transport networks to provide a viable alternative to private vehicle usage
3.4 Develop new initiatives, projects and partnerships that will provide new and creative ways to address issues such as anti-social behaviour and hooning throughout Seabrook and Altona Meadows
Let us know what you think about the draft themes and guiding principles