Activity Centre Zone

The Activity Centre Zone (ACZ) is the preferred tool to guide and facilitate land use planning in activity centres.

The ACZ was developed specifically for application at activity centres in metropolitan Melbourne, and applies across a whole activity centre.

It can also been used for larger regional cities that demonstrate distinct 'CBD'-type functions and have completed a structure plan. In very limited instances it may be considered for large neighbourhood centres.

To apply the ACZ, an activity centre needs a boundary. This boundary should match the centre’s adopted structure plan.

The Activity Centre Zone practice note (PDF, 608.8 KB) or (DOC, 3.0 MB) provides more detailed guidance on applying the ACZ.

Activity Centre Zone Mapping Style Guide

Activity centre zone mapping style guide

The Activity Centre Zone Mapping Style Guide provides guidance on producing Framework Plans and Precinct Maps to be included in any Activity Centre Zone Schedule.

It provides practical advice on preparing maps and how best to show this information, as well as examples of maps that have been prepared for ACZ schedules.

This guide can also be used in preparing maps for other local provisions of a planning scheme.

Defining activity centre boundaries

Councils should define boundaries for their activity centres to provide certainty on where large-scale urban change will occur.

The following criteria were determined through the Government’s Assessment and Response to the Report of the Advisory Committee on Activity Centre Boundaries (PDF, 8.7 MB) and are available to help councils determine an activity centre boundary.

Activity centre boundary criteria

In determining the potential location of an activity centre boundary, consider:

  • the location of existing commercial areas and land uses
  • the location of existing government and institutional areas and land uses
  • the location of existing areas of public open space
  • commercial and residential needs
  • environmental and flooding constraints
  • heritage constraints
  • availability of strategic redevelopment sites, both existing and potential
  • the location of residential areas, including whether they provide significant redevelopment opportunities or constraints for the centre
  • physical barriers and opportunities for their improvement
  • proximity to public transport, especially fixed rail (train or tram)
  • the location of existing and potential transport infrastructure including fixed rail, buses, bicycle paths, car parking areas and modal interchanges
  • walkability – opportunities to provide for and improve walkability within 400-800 metres from the core of the centre (depending on topography and connectivity)
  • consistency with state policy
  • consistency with local policy and the Municipal Strategic Statement
  • impacts of the boundary on other activity centre boundaries.

In setting a boundary for an activity centre, include:

  • sufficient land to provide for the commercial activities (retailing, office, fringe retailing and support activities such as entertainment) needed over a 15-20 year time frame, and then into the 30-year horizon
  • residential areas that are integrated into the activity centre, or surrounded by other uses that have a strong functional inter-relationship with the activity centre, even where limited development opportunities exist
  • key public land uses that have, or are intended to have, a strong, functional inter-relationship with the activity centre, even where there are no, or limited, redevelopment opportunities
  • public open space areas that have, or are intended to have, a strong, functional inter-relationship with the activity centre.
In setting a boundary for an activity centre, generally exclude:
  • residential land that is subject to significant constraints (such as Heritage Overlays) and located at the edge of the activity centre.