Join our opportunity register

The Melbourne property market is falling. As a buyer you now have the upper hand.
Sign up to be notified as soon as we discover a great buying opportunity that can’t be missed. Read more about this register.



News

The latest happenings in the Melbourne property market. For our Essays and The Secret Agent Report, see our Research page.


Category Archives For: Urbanisation

The Secret Agent Report – Gentrification

We have just released our latest Secret Agent report!

Most of us have heard of gentrification and associated it with the Melbourne suburbs of Brunswick, Abbotsford, Footscray and Collingwood. These suburbs have gone through huge transformations in the past decade or so. From unattractive areas, high in crime and drug use, they’ve become popular places to visit because of their edgy vibe as well as their trendy food destinations. The areas have been cleaned up and crime has decreased. Younger people especially, are easily seduced into moving to an area once they experience the lifestyle. They desire the convenience of being located close to work, whether that be in the CBD or tech hubs such as Collingwood and Cremorne.

Gentrification is a lot more complex than the revitalisation of an area. In fact it is very different. It’s not about the old being replaced by the new, or poor becoming improved.

This report Secret Agent is going to take a deeper look at gentrification and the way it affects urban neighbourhoods.

Access the Gentrification report now!


The Secret Agent Report – The Driverless World

We have just released our latest Secret Agent report!

It would be hard to imagine a time without cars on our roads. They have changed our lives in many ways, especially in terms of where we choose to live.

In a similar way, it is hard to imagine a time when we will be able to jump into a car and go anywhere we desire, without having to be driven by someone or drive it ourselves.

Autonomous vehicles are a part of our future, whether we like the idea of them or not. They will likely impact all of us in some way. This issue of The Secret Agent Report will look at the potential impact autonomous vehicles may have on the city and on property prices.

Access The Driverless World report now!

 


The Secret Agent Report – Digital Cities

We have just released our latest Secret Agent report.

The predominance of technology in our everyday life has rapidly increased over the past decade. From smartphones to smart homes, spearheaded by products like Google Home and Amazon Alexa, Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) are beginning to look like an unavoidable part of modern life.

The predominance of ICT is not solely confined to the personal sphere. Governments and companies are also responsible for an ever-expanding digital infrastructure, particularly in cities. This “digital skin” is made up of millions of sensors which create vast amounts of data on everything from consumer habits to traffic patterns.

In this report, Secret Agent offers an outline of the digitisation of cities, and what the implications of this might be for the future. We primarily draw on a 2014 paper by Chirag Rabari and Michael Storper, but also bring in research from elsewhere.

Access the Digital Cities report now!


The Secret Agent Report – The Zoning Effect

Detroit is largely composed, today, of seemingly endless square miles of low-density failure.” – Jane Jacobs

We have just released our latest Secret Agent report!

variety of forces affect the real estate market, one of which is zoning controls: local government policies that control the supply of housing in some way. Although they may provide benefits, these controls also push up the price of housing.

In this report, Secret Agent will break down the findings of a recent RBA paper by Ross Kendall and Peter Tulip on the zoning effect.

Access The Zoning Effect report now!


The Secret Agent Report – Car Free City

Traffic congestion is caused by vehicles, not by people in themselves.” – Jane Jacobs

We have just released our latest Secret Agent report!

In this report, Secret Agent will discuss the benefits of car free cities. We will look at other cities that have gone car free and the requirements to make it work successfully.

As more people choose to live and work in our city centres, cities need to be optimised for people rather than cars. There are various ways of doing this as will be discussed in examples throughout the report.

Access the Car Free City report now!


The Secret Agent Report – Co-Living

We have just released our latest Secret Agent report!

This month, Secret Agent takes a closer look at the co-living spaces that are emerging across the world. While this trend is something we have seen before, it has re-emerged in a modern form and is changing the way people think about living – and working.

Access the Co-Living report now!


Sustainable Urban Landscapes

Sketch

Secret Agent recently reported on sustainability and looked at various ways sustainable features can be incorporated in the design of commercial or residential buildings. In this post, we take a look at sustainability from an urban planning perspective. Sustainability in the urban setting is about “finding new and better ways to achieve the same or better functionality, new materials and new technologies” as demonstrated in the following emerging trends.

Read the full post


The Secret Agent Report – Urban Spaces

We have just released our latest Secret Agent report!

Cities with dynamic streetscapes make inner city living attractive to many, and inevitably stimulate the growth of property prices as demand becomes greater. Arguably, what makes a city liveable is the quality of its public spaces.

As Melbourne’s city apartments continue to grow in number, and yet shrink in size, it is important that we maintain the desirability of public, shared spaces for mutual enjoyment.

This month, Secret Agent wanted to find out what differentiates a great urban space from the rest.

Start reading this report by clicking on the link below:

Register to receive our report monthly and access the Urban Spaces report now!

Urban-Spaces-980


Horizontal-Travelling Elevators

Blog-1

In the early 20th century it would have been hard to visualise our current urban landscape full of skyscrapers, cars and elevated walkways. Almost 100 years later, it is just as difficult to picture what our future cities will look like.

A glimpse at some of the projects in developmental stages would suggest that we have a lot to look forward to. Take for example what is being achieved with one of the most significant, yet restrictive, elements of modern architecture: elevators.

The concept of the elevator was invented in the Middle Ages. It wasn’t until 1854 that a safety mechanism was designed that would prevent these lifts from falling if the hoisting rope broke. Skyscrapers could then become a possibility, and for the next 150 years or so, elevators would continue to become a staple part of multi-storey buildings. Without any further innovation, the elevator would remain a cable-hoisted box in a single, linear shaft, forcing buildings to comply with its limitations.

Enter ThyssenKrupp, a German industrial group who has developed the horizontal elevator. In 2014, ThyssenKrupp revealed their Multi elevator technology to the world. Using magnetic levitation technology (the same way Bullet trains are powered), the Multi lift system remains cable-free and is not limited to one elevator shaft. These elevators are free to move vertically and horizontally, with multiple units operating within the same shafts. The result is a more efficient transportation system inside and even between buildings.

Read the full post


Lessons from Jan Gehl

Blog1

 

For the fifth consecutive year, Melbourne has been named the world’s most liveable city by The Economist Intelligence Unit’s annual survey. While the ranking is based on a range of factors such as healthcare, culture, education and infrastructure, Secret Agent believes that Melbourne’s success is due to thoughtful urban design.

We owe it to Jan Gehl, the Danish architect and urban designer who worked together with Melbourne City Council in the early 1990s to transform the city from, in his own words, “neutron-bombed, not a soul – not even a cat”, into a place for people. Much of our laneway culture and outdoor dining today can be attributed to Gehl’s visionary thinking and humanistic approach to urban design.

Three main principles can be drawn from Gehl’s work:

1. Design the city at 5km/h

Cities had always been designed for people, who move at a modest speed of about 5km/h, up until the boom of the automobile in the 1960s. New cities were then designed at 60km/h – wider, further apart, less accessible by foot. Gehl’s intervention in Melbourne applied the human scale of the older, 5km/h cities, giving birth to our laneway culture that is now inseparable from the city’s identity. Narrow, dense and brimming with life, there is a certain magic that comes with compact spaces.

Thanks to Gehl and planning changes, Melbourne CBD has gained 20 hectares of footpaths over 15 years. Designing walkable urban spaces encourages people to do so, resulting in a healthier population. Think about how far a person has to walk to get from A to B; is it a comfortable distance? If it necessarily becomes a lengthy walk, can it be a safe, pleasant and eventful journey?

Read the full post