Melbourne city skyline from Westgate Park, which was created out of an industrial wasteland at Fishermans Bend ; Melbourne city skyline from Westgate Park, which was created out of an industrial wasteland at Fishermans Bend ;

Fishermans Bend sustainability standards, Melbourne

A benchmark for sustainable urban renewal

Over the next 50 years, Fishermans Bend will transform the way Melbournians live, travel and work. One of Australia’s largest urban renewal projects, it will be home to 80,000 people and host 40,000 jobs. For Melbourne to continue as a liveable city, Fishermans Bend must set the benchmark for sustainable development.

Arup has played an integral role helping the Victorian Government align development at Fishermans Bend to the Green Star - Communities and building-scale rating tools. We drew together the evidence to demonstrate how the precinct will achieve national excellence in sustainability, as articulated by the Green Star - Communities rating scheme. We also independently reviewed the Government’s proposed sustainable design standards, which represent a step change for sustainability in Victoria’s planning system.

Our review report has been well received by Government and industry, and our advice has helped to ensure a sustainable foundation for the Fishermans Bend renewal.

Our report is also a resource for local governments looking to achieve the same sustainability outcomes for their planning regulations, and it can be used to empower developers to adapt their own sustainability benchmarks for their projects.

The Victorian Government and community stakeholders aspire to a sustainable and liveable precinct that sets the standard for urban development in Melbourne.

Arup helped to develop a pathway for Fishermans Bend to achieve a Green Star - Communities rating for the area. The scale, complexity and long development timeframes of Fishermans Bend meant that Arup needed to respond creatively to the standard requirements. We worked with the Green Building Council of Australia to interpret or adapt 10 credits in Green Star - Communities, and therefore demonstrated that the Government’s planning process will deliver the sustainable outcomes sought by the scheme.


Arup also advised the Victorian Government on embedding robust sustainability standards in the State planning requirements for new buildings. This involved preparing an expert report for proposed design standards at Fishermans Bend. These standards are now successfully implemented in the State planning system, which provides developers and stakeholders with a level playing field and confidence to design for sustainability.

The report provides the evidence base to help the Victorian Government implement ambitious sustainability standards into the planning system. ”

Joan Ko Joan Ko Associate Principal
Fishermans Bend sustainability standards Fishermans Bend sustainability standards

The new sustainability standards delve into new topics. For example policies now exist to address the urban heat island effect (70% of a land parcel needs to be green or have a cooling effect so it responds to the effects of climate change); energy efficiency is expected to be better than building compliance; and, in-line with a trend for smart cities, there are standards encouraging developers to use sensors and data systems to make more efficient use of infrastructure.

As the Government establishes new governance processes to manage Fishermans Bend’s renewal, our comprehensive documentation provides the foundation for future sustainability managers to continue this leading development.