On the 22nd of April, the Year 12 Geography class went on a fieldtrip to the YarraBend development (on the site of the old paper mill in Alphington) and further on to RMIT university for a talk from the well renowned Associate Professor, and member of the Kew High school parent committee, Dr. Wendy Steele. This excursion was part of our studies for the land use change unit. During our visit to the YarraBend redevelopment site, we met with Malinda, an enthusiastic sales team member who ran us through many of the features that are present in the ongoing development and that they have incorporated in an attempt to make this the “world’s most liveable suburb”. Prior to our discussion with Malinda, we had a chance to go down to the river nearby and see some of the features in the surrounding area. As we quickly learnt (thanks to our walk and the enthusiasm of the sales team), the location of YarraBend is one of the main features that makes it so appealing. Having such a large development site so close to the city is very rare these days, hence the reason why YarraBend is such a unique development that has not been done before.
After our discussion with the Sales Team, we were given the opportunity to interview locals on Station Street. The responses we collected represent a large variety of viewpoints. Many people were happy with the construction and prefer it to the old paper mill, whilst others were unhappy with the look of the new development and preferred the paper mill, due the history that it carries.
At RMIT, Dr. Wendy Steele discussed what makes a sustainable city and how hard it is to meet all of the features that make an area liveable. This was a very insightful and valuable discussion, allowing us to further analyse the liveability of YarraBend, and how realistic the claims made by Melissa truly were.
Huge thanks to Mr Barrett for organising the fieldtrip and Ms Lobb for helping on the day.