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Senior Associate Chris Greenland joined Ratio in 2021. Formerly of GTA (now Stantec), Chris fills us in on how he went from studying atmospheric science/astrophysics to traffic engineering, what’s changed in transport planning over the past 13 years and how he helped double the population of Alphington with a former paper mill site at YarraBend, Alphington.
What does traffic engineering and transport planning mean to you?
Transport planning is the planning required for the operation, provision and management of facilities and services for the modes of transport to achieve safer, faster, comfortable, convenient, economical and environment-friendly movement of people and goods. We create prediction models of usage demand in future travel and ensure all the necessary facilities and services to cater to that demand. Transportation planning is highly essential in shaping cities, ensuring sustainable development, enabling economic activities, promoting community interaction and enhancing the quality of life.
Did you always know you were going to be a traffic engineer?
No, not until I began Monash University in Clayton. When I was much younger, my Mum tells me that I said I wanted to be a bus driver. Funnily enough, I’m still in that field, as I now help to design the roads buses drive on.
When I finished school, like so many of us I didn’t know what I wanted to do. I began a double degree in both Civil Engineering and Science (Atmospheric Science and Astrophysics) and found that I preferred engineering. Through my studies, traffic engineering became my field of choice (as it was the easiest!) and I began vacation work in the field, became a graduate and haven’t left the industry since.
What do you consider your speciality?
Within traffic engineering, my speciality is probably integrated land-use planning and working on large scale redevelopments in inner urban locations. Some of my most interesting built form development projects have been the YarraBend development in Alphington and the Moonee Valley Park racecourse development. I’ve also been heavily involved in traffic and transport management work for large Melbourne events over many years.
What’s your favourite part of the job?
I value the relationships the most. I enjoy working and connecting with lots of different clients and learning from colleagues and various experts throughout my career.
What has been the biggest change in your career?
I've been in the industry for over 13 years, and the industry has changed over time. Traditionally cars were the key focus of any development application, however, the movement of people has evolved, traffic congestion has increased, it's now more about how we can move people through other forms of transport and cycling, walking and public transport. Our design response to an inner-city development is less car-centric and is more focused on helping people get to and from the site via different modes of transport.
What is your favourite project that you’ve worked on?
I worked on the YarraBend development in Alphington for around eight years with my previous employer. I worked from the inception/masterplanning to the construction (half of the development land has been built) of approximately 1,500 dwellings and 30,000sqm of office and retail on a 16-hectare former paper mill site in Alphington. It will be amazing to one day drive through YarraBend’s road network that I helped to design.
Tell us something we don’t know about you?
I love sports and running, but something new is that I’m re-learning the guitar! After playing a lot in my school days, I’m trying to become a guitar hero again.