The guidelines are a response to two key Victorian Government strategies which identify policies to improve community safety and well-being across Victorian neighbourhoods:
- Melbourne 2030, a plan for managing the growth of Melbourne over the next 30 years, and
- Safer Streets and Homes – A Crime and Violence Prevention Strategy for Victoria 2002-2005
The guidelines do not prescribe rigidly specific design solutions for the development of new buildings or public spaces. Instead, they provide clear, physically-based advice and assistance to help reduce the opportunity for crime and improve our perception of safety. The guidelines are structured around 10 design elements. Each element has a series of general design objectives supported by a set of related design suggestions that will generally achieve a positive safer design outcome. The elements are: Urban Structure; Public Transport; Activity Centres; Car Park Areas; Building Design; Public Facilities; Parks and Open Spaces; Lighting; Walking and Cycling Paths; and Signage.
A practical design tool for planners
These guidelines have been developed as a practical tool to assist planners and designers apply design principles that will improve the safety of the built environment, minimise the opportunity for crime and promote safe, accessible and liveable places. The guidelines will be adopted by all councils and require safety to be considered in the design of new buildings and public areas. They should be considered in the preparation and assessment of planning permit applications, and assist in developing planning scheme policies and controls and the development of structure plans for activity centres.
The Guidelines are expected to play an important role in the implementation of Melbourne 2030 and Safer Streets and Homes by raising the standard of design of development to improve the safety and quality of the environment, achieve connection and integration of streets and public places, reduce opportunities for crime and anti-social behaviour, and promote accessible and liveable places that encourage a feeling of safety and community participation.
Special thanks to Design Urban Pty Ltd for their significant contribution to the production of the Safer Design Guidelines, and thanks are extended to everyone who has been consulted for information or advice during the compilation of the guidelines. To see the document go to www.dse.vic.gov.au/planning/urbandesign/ and then Safer Design