Greening Melbourne’s concrete fringe; by design.

Learn more about this project


As Melbourne’s urban fringe continues to expand apace, suburban redevelopment too often involves landowners demolishing houses and subdividing blocks into smaller and smaller lots. Land becomes dominated by driveways. The space available for gardens is fragmented into alcoves and nooks. This pattern is repeated until a neighbourhood has an unnecessary amount of driveway pavement, no diversity in housing and no garden big enough to provide space for a substantial tree. The area loses aspect, shade and biodiversity.

Greening the Greyfields is a pilot project by Maroondah City Council, The Centre for Urban Transitions at Swinburne University, the CRC for Low Carbon Living and FrontierSI, in partnership with Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP).


Ellis Jones employed the multi-disciplinary skills of our communications and design practices to edit, design, illustrate and produce three ‘playbooks’ containing practical resources for local government, landowners and developers. This involved:

  • Consolidation of the three manuscripts: editing, creation of additional written content, illustration of key processes and data through infographics.
  • Design and layout: Taking key project outputs and visualisations, using these to define an overarching project aesthetic and visual hierarchy. Development of a design concept, and typesetting of the three documents.
  • Specification and production management. Design of a unique document format, materials and production specification, quality control and process oversight.


This project has:

  • Defined a cohesive visual identity for the project, that draws together outputs from numerous streams of engagement and activity, and unifies project partners under one recognisable banner.
  • Translated the project ‘brains trust’ into a suite of tangible, practical resources. Clear, structured and functional by design.
  • Presented the pilot project to the local community with a level of professionalism commensurate with the best practice thinking and experience on which it is built.