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Atherstone Masterplanned Community

Atherstone is a masterplanned community located 40 kilometres west of Melbourne’s central business district. SMEC received two Commendations for Consultants’ Excellence at the 2019 UDIA Victoria Awards for Excellence for our work on Atherstone for both Project Team Collaboration and the People Movement and Precinct Planning Project.

With an overall site of 481 hectares, Atherstone will ultimately accommodate 4,500 dwellings and 15,000 residents, a 130-hectare regional park with two active sports reserves, two primary schools, a neighbourhood centre and childcare facility as well as a town centre that will include large retail and commercial areas and Cobblebank train station. Atherstone was recorded as the top-selling Australian development in 2017 and top-selling Victorian development in 2018.

Atherstone is a joint venture between Melton City Council and Lendlease Communities with Lendlease responsible for the overall project. SMEC and Lendlease have developed a successful working relationship since our early involvement in the Atherstone project from 2011. Our collaborative partnership has resulted in innovative outcomes for the project’s design and delivery. SMEC is providing an extensive range of consulting services on the project including urban and master planning, civil design, statutory planning, the delivery of large scale wetlands, bridges, trunk water and sewer mains, and associated civil infrastructure.

Our services include civil engineering, surveying, urban design, town planning, transport planning, geotechnical engineering, and smart cities advisory. The development required excavations for roads, sewers and services. Anticipated subsurface conditions comprised shallow basalt rock, which is considered challenging for earthworks. A geophysical survey was undertaken to support geotechnical findings, which would provide a more accurate interpretation of the ground conditions. SMEC’s geophysics team investigated the seismic velocity distribution of subsurface materials and the results enabled better estimations for site earth works and excavations.

Technical Area:
Civil Engineering
Urban Design
Town Planning
Transport Planning
Smart Cities Advisory
Geotechnical Engineering
Urban Development
Working closely with our project partners Lendlease, Melton City Council and technology partner Key Options, SMEC played a key role in the delivery of innovative smart city technology at Atherstone.

The objective of the Atherstone People Movement and Precinct Planning project was to design, develop and trial an integrated, near real-time data capture program using mobile phone location data to track how people moved and used community services in a designated area. The data would give Council a better understanding of the movement of people within Atherstone, particularly the Regional Sports Facility and Regional Play Space, and enhance Council’s knowledge of how residents and community members use these facilities

The valuable insights gained from this pilot study, combined with the technology, has relevance for wider application to other masterplanned communities. Understanding how people use community facilities can inform Council’s future decisions about prioritising funding for service planning, infrastructure expenditure and asset management as well as responding to changing community needs. Furthermore, developers can also use this information to increase their knowledge about the population’s engagement with its facilities, and acquire verified, case-based data that can be used in the visioning and funding of future projects.

SMEC’s role included project management of the development and delivery of the program on behalf of Lendlease and Melton City Council. The application of the data capture program to Atherstone, which used Key Options’ People-In-Motion approach, represents an innovative use of technology never applied in a residential context in any other development in Australia.

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