Aerial view of Fishermans Bend looking back at Melbourne city © istock; Aerial view of Fishermans Bend looking back at Melbourne city © istock;

Fishermans Bend, Melbourne

Shaping one of the world's largest urban renewal areas

Urban renewal at an enormous scale can pose numerous challenges. None more so than at Fishermans Bend in Melbourne – currently one of the largest urban renewal projects in the world. How do you stage development? Future proof? How do you best link to the wider city? And with so many competing priorities, how do you ensure the very best liveability and sustainability outcomes?

We have been working with the City of Melbourne and the City of Port Phillip on this vast 500 hectare site, helping to inform an holistic approach to planning, infrastructure and development.

Project Summary


500 hectares across 5 precincts

80,000residents by 2050

60,000employed by 2050

Testing different approaches

Using our integrated resource management (IRM) tool – an Arup-designed tool that helps inform sustainable city planning – we compared different development combinations of building controls and infrastructure delivery. This powerful tool provided an evidence base to help assess options alongside proposed strategies for aspects such as water use, energy production and transport access. It also highlighted how the strategies could work together and presented opportunities for improvement.

This data helped the Cities of Port Phillip and Melbourne inform the state government’s review of the Fishermans Bend strategic plan, infrastructure provision and neighbourhood character guidelines. They also used the findings to engage infrastructure providers, landowners and the surrounding community on sustainability performance issues.

Sustainability consulting

Arup’s suggestion to frame the IRM study based on the four scenarios was a turning point in the early days of the work. It added value on the original approach. I think it has given us a much better analytical tool and ability to tell the story to what we are doing in a simple manner, which is important. ”

Nick Alsop_City of Port Phillip Nick Alsop City of Port Phillip, Project Manager
Visualisation of Plummer St tram stop and Bicycle path with people  © Aspect Digital Visualisation of Plummer St tram stop and Bicycle path with people  © Aspect Digital

Fundamentally, our work to date has provided a starting point. It has framed discussions on the levers and mechanisms necessary for the government and private sector to deliver the sustainability, liveability and resilience outcomes sought by the community and industry. 

We continue to shape this project today, leading the sustainability accreditation of Fishermans Bend and will continue to ensure liveability and sustainability remain top of mind.

Plummer Street will form a civic boulevard through the urban renewal area © ASPECT Digital