Broadmeadows 2035

Following on from our engagement with Hume City Council and a series of ‘Vision: Broadmeadows 2032’ projects in 2009-2010, VEIL has returned to Broadmeadows to further collaborate with the council and local community in exploring and visioning sustainable and resilient futures for Broadmeadows.

A group of Master of Architecture students from the University of Melbourne have developed a series of design projects addressing the challenges and opportunities of Broadmeadows as a post-industrial precinct facing uncertainty from the impact of rising oil prices, changes in climate and extreme weather events.

The Eco-Acupuncture program was developed by the Victorian Eco-Innovation Lab (VEIL) in the Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning at the University of Melbourne in 2008. It brings research and education into direct engagement with specific communities to: examine emerging problems for the future resilience of a specific urban location; consider any complex system interactions that form part of those problems; visualise future possibilities; and, most critically, design a series of interventions as ‘transformation points’ towards a resilient low-carbon future.

The studio has a focus on the future development of the Broadmeadows town centre and the surrounding post-industrial precinct. Broadmeadows is a suburb wrestling with many of the problems facing Australian suburbs. New planning developments can create sustainable communities from scratch; Broadmeadows requires the ʻretrofittingʼ of an existing community. With its rich cultural diversity and history, what are the new possibilities for innovative design thinking in Broadmeadows? We have re-imagined the Broadmeadows activities area through new architectural and design strategies addressing the distribution of food, water, transport, energy, information and the development of new ʻLocal Activities Areasʼ. The studio examined sustainable design strategies at different scales to develop projects that capture radical and current sustainability thinking. The exhibition showcases a range of innovative design projects including the reimagining of the former Ericsson site as a closed-loop, green academy for food production, creatively addressing the social issues inherent in the Banksia Gardens Housing Estate, and reinvigorating and adapting the underutilised town hall as a thriving community hub.

The studio has been based off-campus following the VEIL ‘studio atelier’ model, with students spending a day per week in our temporary home at the Broadmeadows Town Hall with direct access to the sites, community and stakeholders. Guest lectures and crit sessions with Hume City Council, the university, local businesses and the local community have been critical in embedding the students’ projects in the real-world context.

Design projects