City of Melbourne Flinders Lane & Degraves Street Masterplan Recommendations
In the early 1990’s, Melbourne’s laneways were not the vibrant cultural and shopping experiences they are today. Gilbert Rochecouste, who later founded Village Well, was part of a growing group of creative entrepreneurs and community organisations seeking affordable studio and office accommodation in the heart of the city. Gilbert and others became active in lobbying Council for improvements to the streets and services.
Later Gilbert was engaged by City of Melbourne to consult with the eclectic community and stakeholders of Flinders Lane to reposition and activate the precinct. Gilbert led a dynamic process of community engagement which developed a vision for the precinct. He then produced a series of place activation projects including the creation of an arts cluster, the first Laneway Festival and various business development strategies. Based on this work, the City of Melbourne later introduced street calming and other measures to reduce traffic and encourage outdoor dining.
The Flinders Lane & Degraves Street Place Activation process successfully catalysed the transformation of the many laneways throughout Melbourne and has created some of the city’s iconic experiences.