Virtual Moreland

BackgroundMelbourne Design Week graphic

Our urban environment is undergoing rapid change, with Moreland's population expected to increase from 170,615 (June 2016) 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. 

Residential Growth Zones, which are focus areas for change in and around Activity Centres, have been identified in the Moreland Planning Scheme. These zones are near existing services and infrastructure, which support higher density development.

The Virtual Moreland Project will use 3D mapping and modelling to help address some key challenges facing Moreland as we work together with the community to provide high-quality high density development.

Using virtual reality and augmented reality tools, Virtual Moreland will make interactive 3D maps and models for both Moreland's planning staff and the community to assess proposed developments and support community feedback as our city grows.

Why are we doing it?

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 and designers can now produce more sophisticated documentation, including 3D digital models of their designs.

The ability to look at and share a building model in 3D gives designers and urban planners a more accurate understanding of development opportunities and the impacts of planning proposals and decisions.

With changes to the amount and type of development taking places, we now require more specific information to be provided at the application stage. 

Modelling Moreland's Activity Centres in 3D and being able to look at new development applications in the context of their surroundings requires designs to be more detailed and resolved.

This will assist Council in making more timely and accurate assessments, give the community access to models and information which is easier to understand, and result in higher quality outcomes for the community, 

Stages of the project

There are five stages to the Virtual Moreland Project:

  • Build a 3D model of Moreland – ‘Virtual Moreland’. The 3D model, built from photogrammetric data capture – will allow Moreland staff to enhance and extend their urban planning assessment capabilities for shadow analysis, as well as line of sight and height analysis.
  • Encourage development applications to include 3D models to be inserted into Virtual Moreland, to be used for planning advertising and assessment.
  • Create a web-based platform for the public to access the 3D map of Moreland
  • Develop virtual reality and augmented reality applications which use the interactive 3D models and allow the community to visualise new developments.
  • A collaboration between Melbourne University and Virtual Moreland, in which an open design competition will be held on actual sites in Moreland. The winner of the competition will get their design visualised in virtual reality and augmented reality to exhibit to the public.