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Melbourne’s Changing Skyline

Nick Veitch

08 January 2019

In the city of Melbourne you only need to walk down the street and see all the cranes on top of buildings, to realise the sheer scale of the city’s current development. The Melbourne skyline is changing before our eyes and as someone who lives in Melbourne I wanted to get an idea of the sheer scale of this development.

To do this we needed a way to be able to identify each development application and visualise the proposed buildings alongside the existing Melbourne skyline. We have recently added in PSMA’s Geoscape dataset into our Planwisely platform providing us the latter. What we were lacking was a 3D view of the buildings either under construction or under application in Melbourne.

Fortunately City of Melbourne have made our life easier by producing the ‘Development Activity Model Footprints’ dataset (made available through their open data platform) that captures all the necessary information for us to ‘build’ our future Melbourne skyline within our Planwisely platform. All we need to build each of these buildings is the footprint of each proposed development and the planned height. It’s that simple!


Development Activity Model 2D

Becomes this…

Development Activity Model 3D

The dataset includes all developments that are either under application, have been approved, are under construction, or have been recently constructed. The type of data you can get from each development application can be seen in the following screenshot from Planwisely:

Development Activity Model Metadata

This 3D visualisation technique can be an useful way for local governments to get a feel for the development in an area, whether for internal planning purposes or external communications (with the public). And the beauty of it it is that it can be applied to any local government in Australia. Reach out to find out how.

The resulting Melbourne skyline

Below we’ve taken a quick video from our Planwisely platform, demonstrating what the future Melbourne skyline will look like.

Melbourne's Future Skyline

What’s quite noticeable from the video is the scale of the development throughout the city, but in particular what’s been approved (in green) around Southbank. With the majority of these buildings being proposed as residential, and with the state of the current residential property market in Melbourne, I think it’s hard to see a lot of these approved developments going ahead anytime soon. That said, it would only take a handful of these to be built to change the Melbourne skyline quite dramatically.

If you’re interested in visualising your development applications in this way or to find out more about our urban planning and smart cities platform Planwisely please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at

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