Hoardings to be beautified

The appearance of hoardings at construction sites will be improved with the City of Melbourne planning to put artworks on long-term hoardings. 

The council will outline a minimum standard of hoardings appearance and will mandate council-commissioned artwork for hoardings in place for more than 12 weeks.

This plan aims to reduce visual clutter in the streets and improve the quality of hoarding design and appearance.

The council will provide the artwork for long-term hoardings through a commission process, which may involve a single artist or studio.

The council has allocated $50,000 in its 2017-19 budget towards the cost of commissioning the artworks. The concept will be trialled for two years.

Hoardings generally include fences, overhead walkways and scaffolding. A hoarding permit must be obtained to erect these structures.

The proposal was unanimously approved by City of Melbourne councillors at the May 30 council meeting.

Cr Rohan Leppert said the plan could beautify the city and create job opportunities for local artists.

“This is an opportunity to help employ some Melbourne artists or an organisation to come up with a series of designs that can be used by developers to beautify the public realm,” he said.

He also noted that the hoarding improvement would not require large-scale projects but rather a simple design process.

“It’s not going to be a large impost on developers, but it’s also not going to be a burden on the City of Melbourne to ensure there is a large series of artwork commissioned,” he said. “We are going for a simple and innovative process.”

Council will not be able to impose hoarding appearance requirements on the State Government’s Metro Tunnel project or private land.

“It won’t cover everything … but I think it’s an innovative way to beautify our city and do something more with the hoardings we do see around the place we do have some control over,” Cr Leppert said.

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