placemaking strategy at preston market precinct

The University Of Melbourne

Project Description

How can we work within the constraints of population growth in our neighbourhoods while retaining affordability, multiculturality and character of existing assets?

City of Darebin is currently undergoing an extensive community consultation strategy to inform their draft structure plan for the redevelopment of the Preston Market Precinct, a highly multicultural area that is expected to almost double in size to 68,000 people. The students were invited to learn and contribute their ideas to the placemaking strategy of the future Preston Market Precinct through conducting a place analysis and generating conceptual design for placemaking interventions for multicultural communities.

The aim of the project was to 1) understand the unique attributes and identity of Darebin, develop an overall vision and placemaking intervention ideas that welcome improve the lives of refugees coming into the area as well as current residents. The students were led by an extensive group of lecturers and tutors through various activities that built a comprehensive case-study analysis for the site, identified key opportunities for placemaking interventions and integrated multiple perspectives into the analysis. Then, they used this information to create new intervention ideas for the site.

At the end of the studio, the final designs were presented to council officers for feedback and reflection providing opportunities to pitch their project and enabling these ideas to be taken forth as part of City of Darebin’s consultation process for the site’s new structure plan.

Learning Methodology

Across two weeks, the students document their journey in learning about placemaking through a single case-study. Applying the learnings to case-study analysis, the students use their observations to plan out a placemaking initiative including facilitation (engagement strategy) and evaluation.

The subject was open to all built environment students. Students work collaboratively in small groups to analyse the site, develop engagement plans, evaluation strategies and develop a placemaking strategy which was presented to the Council at the end of the intensive subject.

This subject focused more heavily on the theoretical foundations of place and placemaking, the role of transdisciplinarity and reflective practice. While it was based more on cognitive skill development, practical skills were addressed through roleplay. While the subject was not as effective as other studios in the program to develop the affective and practical skills, it allowed the students to gain an overview of the whole timeline of a best-practice placemaking project.

How does this studio match PlaceAgency Objectives?

The subject brings together the whole education program developed by the Place Agency Consortium. It brings together 12 modules that take the student in a journey to understand how People, Process, Product, Program and Place evaluation provide a generic yet flexible framework for place-based and engaged design.

Activities – Studio Outline

ActivityDescriptionKey dates for activitiesKey learning objectives
Site VisitExperiencing the place and meeting key stakeholders1st JulySpatial context
Draft Project PitchPresent to council placemaking strategy for Preston markets15th of JulyVerbal communication
Progressive Case‐Study DeliveryCase study analysis and leanings from each day19th of JulyCognitive placemaking skills and Self-reflection skills.
Final ProposalsHand in case study of Preston Markets26th of JulyWritten communication for place-based projects

Location Description

Preston Market Precinct.



The following students are enrolled in this studio and have chosen to appear on the Place Agency website. You may access more information about them and their interests by clicking each of their photos.

Jayne Mooney
Euphemia Gannon
Chee Siang Tan
Dongyang Wang
Carlos Atuesta

This subject is available to students enrolled in The University Of Melbourne throughout Semester 2 2019. You can access the handbook by clicking here where you will be able to find more information about the studio.

Studio Leaders
Derlie Mateo-BabianoDerlie Mateo-Babiano
Dominique HesDominique Hes
Tanja BeerTanja Beer
Project champion

Helen Day

- Architecture
- Landscape Architecture
- Planning

Project Updates