STH BNK by Beulah To Become Australia’s First ‘5-Minute Vertical City’

The sculptural masterpiece STH BNK By Beulah is set to become Australia’s first 5-minute vertical city, providing residents with a plethora of everyday essentials and world-class offerings within walking distance.

STH BNK By Beulah, a vertically integrated city within a city, will offer over 100 shops spanning retail, everyday essentials, food and dining (inclusive of a fresh food market), a comprehensive wellness precinct, a childcare centre, extensive green spaces including rooftop gardens and eight pocket parks dotted throughout, an innovative cultural centre in partnership with Centre Pompidou, over 50,000sqm of commercial office space, in addition to a diverse residential offering.

Beulah’s 5-minute vertical city is substantially lower than the 15-minute benchmark set by planning models across the world, which was first introduced by French-Colombian scientist Carlos Moreno in 2016.

In 2019, the Victorian Government launched a 20-minute neighbourhoods pilot program, following research that 20 minutes is the maximum time that people are willing to walk to meet their daily needs locally. In addition, there is overwhelming evidence that active, walkable places produce a wealth of health, social, economic and environmental benefits.

The State Government’s program outlines six key focus areas, with STH BNK By Beulah covering all six areas and more, to create a thriving mini-metropolis in the heart of Melbourne.

The first hallmark is being safe, accessible and well connected for pedestrians and cyclists to optimise active transport. STH BNK By Beulah achieves this via safe cycling networks, walkability and the STH BNK Auto Club: a fleet of 50 cars for residents to book via a car-share subscription.

Furthermore, STH BNK By Beulah provides services and destinations that support local living via childcare and play spaces, co-working spaces and art and culture offerings via a global partnership with Centre Pompidou. Open spaces are addressed via local playgrounds, rooftop gardens, pocket parks and sport and recreational facilities, including exercise equipment and tranquil meditation zones. While urban farms, an outdoor cinema, cooking and dining facilities allow for improved wellbeing as a result of increased connection time.

Other hallmarks the project meets include delivering housing at density, including housing diversity across multiple sizes and price points, as well as facilitating access to quality public transport, with an abundance of trams, trains and buses within reach. The thriving economy hallmark takes shape in the form of a world-class retail precinct, fresh food market, world-class entertainment and a global hotel.

According to the government’s pilot program, if 50 per cent of short private vehicle trips were instead made walking, it would save the Victorian economy approximately $165m a year in congestion, health, infrastructure and environmental costs. This projection indicates the incredible benefits yet to come with STH BNK’s further reduced travel time. In addition, by participating in 15-minutes of walking a day, five days a week, the disease burden from physical inactivity would reduce by about 13 per cent, while walkable streets and community spaces can provide critical opportunities for social interaction and social cohesion.

At the helm of this groundbreaking globally collaborative project is Beulah Executive Director Adelene Teh, who is thrilled to offer residents a cosmopolitan lifestyle that prioritises not just health and wellness, but ultimate convenience in the heart of Melbourne.

“Evidence suggests that active, walkable places produce not only health and environmental benefits, but social and economic too. STH BNK By Beulah is redefining what can be made possible by exploring true vertical living. By providing a mini metropolis that truly has everything within walking distance, individuals can spend more time on what matters most, as opposed to travelling or commuting.”

UNStudio Founder Ben van Berkel said it was important to create a building that does much more than just incorporate planting and green areas, to instead be highly biophilic.

“Mixed-use projects are extremely complex. They need to consolidate many different functions for a wide variety of user groups. With STH BNK By Beulah, this also involves a vast public component, so we had to programme the project in the right way to be able to have something for everybody on the site; to create a village in the city for a healthy and inclusive community,” he said.


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