Statement regarding misinformation on social media

Published on 31 January 2023


Yarra Ranges Council is encouraging community members to be wary of incorrect information circulating in their communities when thinking about town planning.

Yarra Ranges Mayor, Jim Child, said that incorrect information had been circulating in the Dandenongs and surrounds, around the concept of a 20 minute neighbourhood.

“The concept behind 20 minute neighbourhoods is simple – communities are designed to make sure everything you need day-to-day is close to home and a walkable distance away,” he said.

“The intent is for people to be able to move about easily and freely without being burdened by excessive travel or costly transport options. It improves movement and access, rather than preventing it.

“Sometimes technology can be used to understand where there is congestion on a path or road network or an intersection. They can also help Council improve our services for community by using sensors to notify a Council when a bin is full or when a drain is blocked, helping to stop litter entering waterways and flooding. There is never any personal information or identifying information in these ‘smart cities’ solutions, but they do improve our townships.

“In your community, you should be able to access any service you need easily, whether you drive or not."

Cr Child said that previously towns had been designed over time to be very car-focused and forgot about people, which often resulted in sprawling urban areas that started taking over valuable agricultural and natural landscape spaces and left vulnerable community members isolated.

“In an ideal community, all of your services – supermarkets, stores, doctors, community hubs – should be accessible within 20 minutes, however you get around,” Cr Child said.

“Having walkable towns means that people who drive can still get around easily, but so can younger people or those who choose or need to walk, ride or use a mobility device. It has a positive flow-on for physical health and making people feel connected with their communities.

“We’re working towards ensuring our towns are accessible for everyone, which means some detailed planning – this is where projects like the Warburton and Monbulk Urban Design Frameworks come in.

Read about the Warburton Urban Design Framework

Read about the Monbulk Urban Design Framework

“Planning out how we want towns to look – in terms of buildings and how they relate to streets, parks and open spaces – helps us to get there, and means our next generations will be better set up with welcoming and attractive hearts for our communities.”