Planning ahead for housing and jobs

Monday 04 December 2017

We’re developing a number of key strategies to plan for the next 15 years. 

Our new Housing Strategy will help us plan for Yarra’s growing population, which is expected to increase by 29,413 people by 2031.

The upcoming Economic and Employment Strategy will look at how we can embrace the opportunities of economic and jobs growth.  

We have been looking at research to help develop these strategies. Here’s a snapshot of what we’ve learned so far.


How is housing in Yarra expected to grow? 

In 2016, there were 91,000 residents in Yarra living in 43,939 dwellings (houses and units).
• This is an increase of more than 17,000 residents since 2011.
• By 2031, there is expected to be a demand for 13,431 new dwellings. 


Where is new housing being built?  

Since 2010, about 1160 new dwellings have been built in Yarra each year. 
Most of them have been in commercial and mixed use areas, including strategic redevelopment sites. 
Only 20% of new dwellings were built in residential areas. 

How does Yarra contribute to Melbourne’s economy?

Yarra plays a vital role in the economy of Greater Metropolitan Melbourne and accounts for 4.3% of Melbourne’s economy. 

To put this into perspective, Yarra represents just 0.2% of Greater Melbourne’s land area and 2% of Melbourne’s population. 

Who are the main employers in Yarra? 

Our economy is diverse and is constantly changing. It is becoming increasingly knowledge intensive (health, education, architecture, finance, IT) and service oriented.

In fact, Yarra’s knowledge sector workforce has almost tripled in 20 years. The number of people working in these fields has increased from around 13,000 in 1996 to 30,000 in 2016. 

Yarra’s major employment precincts around Gipps Street in Collingwood and in Cremorne can support a wide range of businesses and services. Our retail strips (such as Brunswick Street in Fitzroy and Bridge Road in Richmond) are our preferred locations for retail, services and entertainment. 

We will be carefully planning for our two key health precincts: Epworth and St Vincent’s, which are also located near retail strips. 

Despite the shift away from traditional manufacturing in Yarra, small manufacturers continue to flourish, producing boutique, custom made products that require the input of specialist designers. 


What strategies is Council working on?


Yarra Planning Scheme Rewrite

One of the ways we can prepare for growth is with a major rewrite of the planning scheme, which sets out how land can be used, developed and protected. 

The rewrite is being partially informed by two documents currently in development: our Housing Strategy and our Economic and Employment Strategy. 

The next major phase of community consultation around the Yarra Planning Scheme rewrite will take place in 2018. 

Housing Strategy

We often hear from residents who are concerned about new residential developments. 

We are preparing a new Housing Strategy to help guide the location of residential development in Yarra. The new strategy will help determine the capacity of different areas of our city to accommodate population growth. 

Economic and Employment Strategy

A growing economy can lead to jobs and prosperity, and we need to ensure commercial activity takes place in appropriate locations. The Economic and Employment Strategy will help guide employment and economic growth in Yarra. 

Built Form and Heritage

Built form relates to the shape and scale of things that are physically built, most typically houses and buildings. 

We’re drafting built form frameworks for our activity centres (Swan, Victoria, Brunswick and Smith streets and Bridge Road). This will ensure that any policy directions emerging from the strategy work mentioned above consider neighbourhood context and heritage significance. 

Learn more about planning in Yarra.



Search for news