The Urban Design Charter is the Victorian Government’s commitment to making cities and towns in Victoria more liveable through good urban design. 

The Charter identifies the principles below as essential qualities for the functioning of good public environments that are valued and significant for those who use them.

Download the Urban Design Charter ((PDF, 912.5 KB))

The charter principles are:

  • Structure: Organise places so their parts relate well to each other.
  • Accessibility: Provide ease, safety and choice of access for all people.
  • Legibility: Help people to understand how places work and to find their way around.
  • Animation: Stimulate activity and a sense of vitality in public places.
  • Fit and function: Support the intended uses of spaces while also allowing for their adaptability.
  • Complementary mixed uses:: integrate complementary activities to promote synergies between them.
  • Sense of place: Recognise and enhance the qualities that give individual places a valued identity.
  • Consistency and variety: Balance order and diversity in the interests of appreciating both.
  • Continuity and change: Maintain a sense of place and time by embracing change while respecting heritage values.
  • Safety: Design spaces that minimise risks of personal harm and support safe behaviour.
  • Sensory pleasure: Create spaces that engage the senses and delight the mind.

Inclusiveness and interaction: Create places where all people are free to encounter each other as equals.

Read further explanation of each of the principles in the Urban Design Charter Principles ((DOC, 57.5 KB)).

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