RMIT University, Melbourne, Peri-urban Research
School of Global Studies Social Science and Planning

The School of Global Studies, Social Science and Planning, RMIT University is undertaking long term research into peri-urban areas in Australia together with a number of project partners. This research aims to help redress the relative lack of data and policy for Australia's peri-urban regions.

Peri-urban areas form belts of non-urban land fringing metropolitan centres. They are often neither fully urban nor rural but form a mosaic of often incompatible and unplanned uses. They usually contain important natural resources, remnant biodiversity and significant landscapes, often remain important for agriculture and recreation, and attract diverse populations of people. These areas are under increasing worldwide threat from development and overuse.

Three major research projects make up the RMIT peri-urban research focus.

The first, completed in 2002, is a report into the fate of Melbourne's green wedges (1) [Maintaining Melbourne's Green Wedges, planning policy and the future of Melbourne's green belt] by Michael Buxton and Robin Goodman. This report examined the history of Melbourne's green wedge policy and all development applications in the green wedges between 1996 -2002. It demonstrated that policy in place for over 30 years was being overturned through a series of uncoordinated incremental decisions.

The second is a joint project between RMIT and Griffith University's School of the Environment funded by Land and Water Australia titled [Change and Continuity in Peri-urban Australia]. This project has produced four monographs on peri-urban areas.

The third project is an investigation into development in Victorian peri-urban municipalities titled [Planning Sustainable Futures for Melbourne's' Peri-urban Region] funded by Sustainability Victoria. This project involves the collection of demographic, environmental, agricultural and natural resource data in the municipalities of Surf Coast, Moorabool,Macedon Ranges, Mitchell,Murrundindi , and Bass Coast, and the description and analysis of governance local, regional and state governance structures affecting this peri-urban region. These councils form a belt of peri-urban municipalities surrounding the greater Melbourne region.

Last updated 16/02/2009

Climate Change, Periurban planning and bushfire risk management: RMIT Report to the Bushfires Royal Comission Building on the Melbourne Peri-Urban report, Nov 2008, RMIT has undertaken analysis in the wake of the February 2009 Bushfires. This has formed the basis of further research and a submission to the 2009 Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission. This work combines spatial land-use and development trends as well as climate data and planning policy regime analysis in Murrindindi for both fire affected and other areas. Identifiying peri-urban land-use and policy implications and making recommendations for bushfire risk minimisation in the Victorian Planning System in the face of Climate Change, the RMIT Bushfire Royal Commission Submission Report can be downloaded using the link below.
click here for RMIT Bushfires Royal Commission submission

click here for Tree clearing map

Planning Sustainable Futures for Melbourne's Peri-urban Region report Nov 2008, available now.
click here for full report
click here for summary

Change and continuity 2007
Monograph 4: Change and Continuity in Peri-urban Australia, Peri-Urban Futures & Sustainable Development