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Getting the
urban context right

Getting the strategic analysis right as part of an urban context and design response report (UCR) can make all the difference in making the case for planning approval at council.

Many development proposals can benefit from an urban context report and The Eminence apartments on Queensbury Street, Carlton (pictured above courtesy of, is one such property.

David Lock Associates prepares UCRs for developers, planners and architects, particularly for larger scale developments such as:

  • Medium to high rise residential buildings
  • Medium to high-rise mixed-use buildings
  • Multi-unit townhouse developments.

We look at the physical and urban design policy context of the site to inform the design of a development proposal.

There are two components to a UCR – analysing the key characteristics of the site and its strategic and urban context, and identifying how the proposed development responds to that context.  

The urban context is not just about the immediate neighbourhood but considers the bigger strategic picture. Does the site enjoy good public transport access, is it in or close to an activity centre, are there parks, schools or universities near and what are the other major uses of the area? We also look at development patterns, environmental features, the urban structure, architectural character, and access and movement within the surrounding neighbourhood.  As part of the urban context we consider the relevant state and local government policies.

This analysis leads to a series of principles to guide development to ensure it response appropriately to the context.

David Lock Associates maximises the use of plans, photos and diagrams to convey its conclusions and make sure they are easy to understand.

We currently have UCRs underway for proposals right across Melbourne. Here are some examples of recent UCR cases:

  • The Eminence in Carlton 
  • Element, 221 Glenhuntly Road, Elsternwick 
  • 73-75 Barkly St, Mornington

If you require a UCR as part of a planning application or to ensure a responsive design, please contact Amruta Purohit.

urban design melbourne, urban context reports

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