About Activity Centres

What is an Activity Centre?

Activity Centres:

  • Are where people shop, work, meet, relax and often live.
  • Provide the focus for services, employment and social interaction in cities and towns.
  • Are seen to complement Melbourne’s central business district (CBD) and provide high order employment, public facilities, service delivery and retailing for their regional catchments.
  • Are expected to act like the 'Capital’ for their region and be the focus of a large amount of employment growth and public investment.
  • Provide an opportunity to offer a range of housing options in accessible locations.

Activity Centres in planning policy

Melbourne has a long history of promoting Activity Centres in spatial planning, with centres such as Brunswick, Coburg and Glenroy identified in decades of government policy.

The Victorian Government in 2017 unveiled its refreshed strategic planning document Plan Melbourne 2017-2050 to guide development for the next 35 years. It sets the strategy for supporting jobs, housing and transport, while building on Melbourne's legacy of distinctiveness, liveability and sustainability. This new direction complements Merri-bek Council's approach to its Activity Centres.

Council prepared the Moreland Activity Centre Framework (PDF 14Mb), which was endorsed by Council in March 2014, to establish a network of Activity Centres across Merri-bek as a best way of achieving Merri-bek’s overarching city vision for ‘sustainable neighbourhoods’.

This report recommends that Merri-bek’s Activity Centre network should have the following characteristics:

  • Vibrant Activity Centres in Brunswick, Coburg and Glenroy. These centres provide a wide range of retail, community and employment opportunities for Merri-bek residents. All of Merri-bek’s residents are within 5km of such an Activity Centre.
  • The majority of Merri-bek’s households with local access (i.e. within 1km) to an Activity Centre that meets their weekly convenience retailing and community service needs (i.e. Neighbourhood Activity Centre level or above). The combination of the 3 large Activity Centres, plus the network of Neighbourhood Activity Centres recommended in this report fulfils this objective.
  • All households in Merri-bek located within walking distance (i.e. 400 metres or less) of an Activity Centre (be it a Principal, Major, Neighbourhood or Local Activity Centre).

What is a Structure Plan?

A Structure Plan is a long-term plan for a particular Activity Centre. It guides Council decisions about future development on both private and public property.

Each Activity Centre in Merri-bek has a Structure Plan.

What is a Place Action Plan?

A Place Action Plan outlines Council’s budgeted work program for the each Activity Centre over the next 5 years.

The works described in a plan are incremental steps towards achieving Council’s vision for an Activity Centre. Each Place Action Plan describes the what, who, how and budget to deliver this change.

A Place Action Plan seeks to:

  • Communicate Council’s 5-year budgeted works program to be delivered in the Activity Centre.
  • Better integrate and coordinate projects and services delivered in the Centre to achieve set objectives and outcomes.
  • Identify funding gaps and facilitate planning across the organisation for future projects.
  • Facilitate engagement with stakeholders and the development of partnerships.
  • Provide the context for Council’s work program in the Centre and identify the issues and dependencies which should be considered when developing individual project briefs and service plans.

Further information

See further information about each Activity Centre in Merri-bek:

To speak to an Activity Centre staff member from Council please phone 9240 1111.