Maffra Urban Design Framework

The approach to 'position' Maffra in this project was one of enhancement and differentiation. Enhancement applies to amplifying Maffra’s existing positive qualities including a broad main street with an attractive tree canopy and location on a river lined with mature gum trees with views to an Arcadian pastoral landscape. Differentiation, however, applies to the 'clean slate' former tip site, where a consultative process produced the concept of a People's Park, a botanical/ produce hybrid with recreational uses, a site for creativity and invention.

The precinct analysis yielded component elements of the Framework Plan such as events, attractors, vegetation, sub-precincts and paths and trails. The most important analysis and subsequent planning was the river analysis. Research demonstrated that the course of the river has changed significantly from 1865 to 1997. The cutting of the ground in the 1960s resulted in a channel that later widened into the main course of the river. This formed an oxbow ('the remnant of a former meander'), a process that was repeated in nearby regions and can be seen in the landscape plan.

The Maffra Pride of Place Project was an intensively consultative one that yielded over thirty small projects within the Framework, carried out on weekends by community groups in an extremely successful process that was empowering for local residents. From the Department of Infrastructure’s perspective, it formed a model for urban design frameworks for country towns.