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Olivine set to join the ranks amongst the world's most resilient communities

Property Markets / Planning, Zoning, Infrastructure

Australia / Melbourne

Jul 09 2018

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Mirvac’s Olivine community at Donnybrook has been selected to take part in the 100 Resilient Cities (100RC) initiative – a global project being pioneered by the Rockefeller Foundation – to foster sustainable urban development through best practice community engagement.

The City of Melbourne is participating in the RC100 project as a Resilient City, with Olivine one of an exclusive group of communities in and around Greater Melbourne taking part as individual ‘Resilient Communities’. The purpose of the project is to explore opportunities for cities around the world to become more resilient to the physical, social and economic challenges of the 21st century.

Mirvac General Manager for Residential Victoria Elysa Anderson said it was a great honour to be involved in the ground-breaking initiative, which will test collaborative decision-making methods to create opportunities for communities to be more cohesive and equitable.

“Partnering with the 100RC project is an excellent opportunity for Mirvac to explore ways to engage with future residents early in the development process and to ensure they are connecting with their new
community from the day they move in,” said Ms Anderson.

“The wellbeing of our future Olivine community members is immensely important to us and with our commitment to delivering a Resilient Community, we are focussed on creating a dynamic, socially cohesive community from day one.”

As a Resilient Community, Olivine is piloting an innovative Growth Areas Social Planning Tool (GASPT). Mirvac has partnered with the City of Whittlesea to implement the pilot, which is designed to empower future residents to get involved in shaping their neighbourhood identity.

Under the GASPT banner, Mirvac has announced plans to open a social enterprise café at Olivine, to help residents connect with each other, while investing profits back into the community and creating local jobs. The Olivine Café will be part of the broader Olivine Place, a planned community hub that will provide flexible community spaces residents can program and book themselves.

Derek Bradshaw, the founder and director of a highly successful social enterprise cafe at Warrandyte, has been selected to create the Olivine Cafe, which is due to open in late 2019 when the first residents move in.

“Cafes are the communal spaces of our generation and you need to have a place where people feel they belong, feel embraced and get to know their neighbours without being hurried along,” Mr Bradshaw said.

“Our vision for the Olivine Cafe is for it to be a meeting place for residents and an asset they can use for years to come. We’ll also be staffing it with locals, so we’re looking forward to providing great employment opportunities.

“Opening the Olivine Café when the first residents move in is very important, as we will be able to develop the concept around the people who’ll be using it and it can grow as the community grows.”
Ms Anderson said the cafe concept reflected Mirvac’s desire to build healthy and sustainable new communities that enhance the lives and wellbeing of residents.

“We are committed to raising the benchmark for social planning at Olivine and all of our new communities, by building early amenity to help residents easily connect and develop a strong sense of belonging,” she said.

“New developments on the urban fringe, such as Olivine, present a wonderful opportunity to build communities the right way from the ground up – communities that thrive from day one and are vibrant,
alternative places to live outside of established suburbs.”

Olivine Cafe will be designed with multiple spaces including communal tables, laptop-friendly spaces for workers and alfresco areas overlooking Olivine’s Gumnut Park and destinational children’s adventure playground where parents can catch up over a coffee.

Its menu will be developed around community preferences and will tap into local suppliers and providers to create signature Olivine dishes. By night, the cafe will be available to residents to hire for family celebrations and cultural events.

The Olivine Cafe will operate as a collective, overseen by a steering group of residents, council and Mirvac representatives, who will decide where to invest any profits in charitable causes that benefit the community. It is expected to employ and train around 20 local residents in paid full-time and part-time positions, while volunteers will also assist in its operation.

“We've had amazing success at the Warrandyte social enterprise cafe - our workers know they are coming into a space where they are loved and embraced and we champion them by praising and rewarding their successes,” said Mr Bradshaw.

“The reason I started a social enterprise cafe originally was because I wanted to make sure that it didn't exclude anybody in the community.” The Olivine Cafe announcement follows on from Mirvac’s decision to appoint a dedicated community development officer within the community to work with the local council and not-for-profit services to deliver amenity to residents.

Construction began in May at Olivine, which will eventually house a round 11,000 people and offer premium education to those residents and their children, with the inclusion of two new schools, a new campus for renowned independent school, Hume Anglican Grammar and Hayes Hill Primary School.

Earlier this month, Mirvac executed an agreement to develop an additional 278 hectares of land adjoining Olivine. This expansion will enable an additional planned 2,000 lots to be brought to market, increasing the project's total size to more than 4,000 homes. It also increases Mirvac’s sizeable land holdings in Melbourne’s highest-performing locations and is strategically-aligned with the group's greenfield development growth plans.

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