New jobs and affordable housing for thousands are just some of the anticipated benefits of the multibillion-dollar Arden Masterplan, a major urban renewal project for this North Melbourne neighbourhood.

Led by the Victorian Planning Authority and the City of Melbourne, the Arden Urban Renewal Precinct aims to ‘create a new destination for Melbourne that is a great place to live, learn, work and visit’. Located less than 2km from the CBD, the proposed innovation precinct will focus on technology, life sciences, health and education sectors; offer high-quality and affordable places to live in; and create new community hubs, schools, and diverse open spaces.

The ‘Arden Vision’ released recently, which maps the neighbourhood’s transition from industrial area into a thriving employment and residential hub, sets out concepts for the renewal and also the priorities that will guide more detailed planning.

Key highlights of the Arden Vision include affordable housing for over 15,000 residents; more than 34,000 jobs; a major transport hub around the new North Melbourne Station; innovative community hubs; two new urban boulevards; and up to four new schools, among many more.

The focus on affordable housing will see at least six per cent of new residential development delivered through community housing or shared equity, up to 15 per cent of new housing on City of Melbourne-owned land redevelopments made available as affordable housing, and a minimum of 10 per cent of all Arden properties in government-led developments prioritised for first home buyers.

The urban renewal plan for Arden was seeded in 2012 when the City of Melbourne identified a low-lying expanse of land spread across 144 hectares in Arden-Macaulay as an urban renewal area that will accommodate more residents and generate jobs over the next 30 years.