The East Melbourne Group considers that in heritage precincts the emphasis in planning policies and decisions should be on heritage preservation. We favour a move away from the current approach of heritage controls over individual buildings toward a precinct approach (over the whole of East Melbourne and Jolimont – EMJ) to preservation.
EMJ is noted for the human scale of its built environment. By this we mean that the features of the environment are not so imposing as to overwhelm the people who live among them. Environment influences people. People like areas with human scale, green open spaces, pedestrian-friendly streets – areas which provide an intimate and inclusive environment. A combination of elements contributes to human scale and they include heights, setbacks, spatial enclosure and architecture. In EMJ town planning issues such as these and heritage considerations are intertwined.
The urban design principles that shaped the evolution of EMJ were based on human scale and there is no good reason to abandon them now. Having a precinct that maintains the architectural characteristics that made Melbourne a world class Victorian city adds to the attraction for residents and a destination for visitors.