20-minute neighbourhoods - sunshine west
20 Minute Neighbourhoods is a concept that was launched in 2018 by the Victorian Minister for Planning and aims to create residential areas where local communities can service most of their everyday needs withing a 20-minute walk from home. Sunshine West was selected as part of a pilot program for the 20-Minute Neighbourhood concept, led by the Victorian Government in partnership with Brimbank City Council and with support from the Heart Foundation (Victoria) and Victoria Walks.
The focus of the project Is Glengala Activity Centre and the surrounding area. The centre offers a variety of small retail and hospitality outlets and is surrounded by recreational facilities such Castley Reserve and Kororoit Creek Trail. The area is also home to Glengala Community Hall and is close to two primary schools.
Following a thorough review of the background material and location, GTA developed a series of potential ideas to improve accessibility and placemaking at the centre. Following consultation with DELWP and Brimbank City Council, the ideas were expanded and used as the basis of a concept design.
GTA developed concept designs to strengthen walking, cycling and public transport access to the centre. The designs will also enhance the area as a community destination and create a place where people want to spend time and connect with friends, family and neighbours.
A big focus of the design was changing the environment outside the main shopping centre. This will be achieved by removing angled parking and narrowing the traffic lanes to create wider footpaths as well as more landscaping, shaded areas and additional cycle parking. The street will facilitate new dining and street trading opportunities, with improved lighting across the space.
The design also improves accessibility by relocating the westbound bus stop next to the nearby signalised crossing. New raised zebra crossings will be installed at each end of the centre and will act as a gateway treatment to ensure slow speeds and create a safer environment. The street will be further enhanced by tree planting in the centre of the road to offer more shade, traffic calming and lower pollution levels.
Similarly, the surrounding area will see added benefits with St Andrews Street becoming one-way for traffic and the available space converted into a pocket park. Raised crossings and entry thresholds at side roads will improve safety and comfort for vulnerable users.
Simmie Street will also become one way at its southern end and a pocket park will compliment a recreational new shared path that is proposed around Castley Reserve, bringing new life to this under-utilised space.
DEWLP and Brimbank City Council are in the process of creating a temporary activation plan to introduce elements of the design to measure community feedback. GTA will continue to support the project and provide further advice as the project moves forward.