An increasingly innovative, connected and nimble economy needs equally innovative, connected and nimble thinking when it comes to the way we plan, develop and manage our cities and regions.

'Enterprise Precincts' present the opportunity to work together to coordinate efforts and embrace exciting opportunities presented by a changing global and local economy.

Policy Setting - Unlocking Enterprise

With an economy that is increasingly oriented towards creative problem solving, we must capitalise on the good ideas we have, whilst also positioning Victoria as a world leader that attracts and retains creative talent.

This will be critical if Melbourne is to create the 1.5 million new jobs forecast to 2050 under Plan Melbourne

Applying a holistic and coordinated precincts based approach, this policy paper offers a framework with which to understand and support ‘Enterprise Precincts’ as hubs for the emerging economy.

unlocking enterprise in a changing economy

A holistic appreciation of how to support our changing economy

Enterprise, the creation of something new, requires a combination of head, heart and hands. Good ideas (head) must be pursued with passion (heart), before being executed with skill and expertise (hands).

All three are crucial to innovation, and if the barriers to realising a good idea are insurmountable, enterprise goes begging.

Ensuring Victoria is ready to accommodate and benefit from changes in the global economy is a key function of responsible and proactive planning.

The challenge of creating the jobs of tomorrow comes at a time when industries across the economic spectrum are going through major changes driven by globalisation, advances in technology, disruption of existing business models, and shifting social attitudes and ways of working.

These factors are combining to make change more rapid, labour more mobile, and businesses more dynamic, often resulting in more collaborative working models and compressed time frames to turn ideas into new products, processes or services.

Innovation is becoming increasingly urban, with a growing preference for dense, accessible and amenity-rich precincts - "Enterprise Precincts".

Our future prosperity will reflect how well we manage the transition in our economy as well as the transition of the urban environment it operates within.

Factors Driving the Success of Enterprise Precincts framework

The Factors Driving the Success of Enterprise Precincts framework (PDF, 120.2 KB) (pictured right) provides a holistic approach to assess the strengths and weaknesses of Enterprise Precincts. It provides a useful aid in decision making about where to target efforts and form new partnerships.

To support this framework a new zoning tool – the Commercial 3 Zone – has been developed, giving planners an additional mechanism to realise Enterprise Precincts.

The new Commercial 3 Zone

The new Commercial 3 Zone is matched to the needs of the modern and emerging economy, and has a clear purpose to promote innovative and enterprising mixed-use precincts.

It aims to reduce the planning burden for a host of employment uses – from urban manufacturers and makers to co-working spaces – while allowing for complementary yet limited retail and residential uses where these uses are considered appropriate to support enterprise to flourish.

The Commercial 3 Zone was introduced into the Victorian Planning Provisions in October 2018.

More details on the Commercial 3 Zone and guidance on its application

enterprise precinct framework

Working together to unlock enterprise

In planning for Enterprise Precincts that align with changes in our economy and ways of working, there are many innovative approaches that can be utilised, including (but not limited to) the use of mechanisms such as:

  • Precinct governance models
  • Transport improvements
  • Public amenity upgrades
  • Creative uses of government land holdings
  • Supportive funding streams and business assistance programs
  • Aligned strategic planning policies and zoning
  • Events, place making and programming

Facilitating and coordinating the many mechanisms that can be utilised to realise Enterprise Precincts will require strong partnerships aligned with a shared vision of what can be achieved and a shared commitment to achieve it.

Together we can build on Victoria’s long and proud history as a State of production and innovation, embracing the next wave of opportunities to unlock enterprise in a changing economy.

Pilot Enterprise Precinct

Pilot Enterprise Precinct initiatives have been developed in Cremorne and Brunswick to demonstrate and provide guidance to other local government, industry and communities on how new partnerships can be formed to further Enterprise Precincts.

Cremorne Enterprise Precinct

The City of Yarra, the Victorian Planning Authority and the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources have partnered to engage with Cremone's passionate business and residential community to find innovative solutions to ensure Cremorne remains a great place to live and work for years to come.

More information can be found on the VPA website

Brunswick Design District

Merri-bek City Council, RMIT University and Creative Victoria will work together to unlock new opportunities to grow the Brunswick Design District as a hub for creative enterprise and talent.

The Design District is anchored by RMIT’s Brunswick-based Design Campus, already home to a world-class School of Fashion and Textiles, as well as Merri-bek’s growing start-up and maker community. It is well served by public transport and supported by almost 40 hectares of industrial zoned land and the amenities of lively Sydney Road.

The partnership will work collaboratively to develop a long-term vision for the Design District through engagement with a wide network of stakeholders, experts and local community members.

Good governance is essential in developing trusting working relationships that allow for collaboration, shared visioning and shared investment. This partnership provides a forum for shared decision making to deepen Brunswick’s existing strengths in the design fields and coordinate actions and investments to provide new life to assets in the Design District.

Download The Brunswick Design District Memorandum of Understanding (PDF, 159.2 KB)

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Page last updated: 12/09/19