What is Virtual Merri-bek?
The Virtual Merri-bek project is one of the first of its kind in Australia, leveraging 3D GIS, 3D modelling and 3D visualisation in combination with emerging technologies such as virtual and augmented reality.
The goal of the project is to Improve Council’s decision-making process, improve design outcomes and put Merri-bek at the forefront of using these emerging technologies for planning and consultation purposes.
Our urban environment is undergoing rapid change, with Moreland's population expected to increase to 228,807 by 2036.
A key priority in the Council Plan 2017-21 is to enhance Moreland's liveability, affordability and sustainability by guiding growth and excellence in urban design and development.
Why Virtual Merri-bek?
In the past, planning applications have only required basic levels of documentation, generally limited to 2D plans and elevations. Technology has quickly transformed the design industry with most designers now producing more sophisticated documentation, including 3D models of proposed developments.
The ability to review and share 3D models of proposed developments gives urban planners, designers and the community a more accurate understanding of development opportunities and the impacts of planning proposals and decisions.
By producing and maintaining a detailed 3D base model of Merri-bek, Council is able to insert and review 3D models of proposed developments in context to more accurately assess their impact. This assist's Council in making more timely and accurate assessments of proposed new developments within Merri-bek Council. During the Advertisement period the community is also able to access 3D models of proposed new developments resulting in a better understanding of the design.
Project initiation and funding
The initiation of the project was funded in part by the Australian Government's Smart Cities and Suburbs Program. The aim of this grant is to support the delivery of innovative projects that improve the liveability, productivity and sustainability of cities and towns across Australia.
The initial cost to set-up the Virtual Merri-bek Project totalled $836,812 with Smart Cities contributing $396,900 and co-contributions by Council and partners KASA, Lost In The Machine, AAM and Melbourne University contributing a total of $439,912 in labour towards the project.