A city for people welcomes all. As a city for people, Melbourne will be accessible, inclusive, safe and engaging. We will promote health and wellbeing, participation and social justice. Melbourne will offer political and intellectual freedom and a rich and diverse culture. We will respect, celebrate and embrace our diverse humanity. People of all ages and abilities feel secure and empowered, and streets, buildings and open spaces will be alive with people.

As a city for people, Melbourne will be a healthy place, both physically and socially. All will have the opportunity to participate in the community and to enjoy healthy activities. Melbourne will promote personal and community wellbeing, enabling and inviting engagement and participation in our municipality's governance. As a city for people, Melbourne will be a city for people of all ages, abilities and social status.

As a city for people, Melbourne's public spaces will be inclusive and inviting, with new opportunities for social interaction, conversation and debate continually created. Melbourne will be stimulating, safe, accessible and affordable for all, and our municipality's residents will enjoy a high quality of life and amenity. The city will be inclusive and tolerant, providing accessible and affordable housing, employment and many services. All who live in or visit the city will have opportunities to reach their potential, to be engaged and to make connections.

Melbourne as a city for people will be designed for people, with its diversity and rich heritage incorporated into innovative and responsive buildings. From small terrace houses to grand commercial buildings, from intricate laneways to distinguished boulevards and from pocket parks to broadacre gardens - all will welcome, accommodate and reflect the culture and history of our people. Pedestrians, cyclists and public transport services will be a focus, with more pedestrian priority pockets and corridors confirming that streets free of car traffic can maintain business strength and retail opportunities.

Goals to be a city for people:


1. A great place to live

As a city for people, Melbourne will be a great place to live, with a strong sense of community and a welcoming, supportive atmosphere. Melbourne will prosper because our municipality is a great place to live. We will take up local job and business opportunities and will make use of local recreational and cultural facilities. Sustainability will be part of our everyday lives.

Melbourne is a capital city municipality with a place on the world stage, but it’s also home to a local community of diverse individuals. Finding a balance between these different interests is already a challenge – and in the coming years, our municipality’s population is expected to almost double, possibly reaching 140,000 people in 2020. Melbourne's worker population is also set to increase (400,000 workers in 2020, up from 350,000 now) while total daily visitor numbers will increase (one million visitors in 2020, up from 700,000 now).

To ensure Melbourne remains a great place to live, we must devote attention to our community’s wellbeing, ensuring our efforts to improve our economic prosperity are compatible with the needs of our local population. City living makes it easy to get around, enjoy city events and activities, access services and so on, but it also creates new challenges. City residents often live with more noise and light issues than those living in the suburbs.

In the future, our community will include people from even more countries, cultures and backgrounds, of different ages, and with different needs and styles of living. We must ensure our city continues to accommodate this diverse mix. Our municipality is ‘open’ around the clock, accessed by different people for different reasons throughout the day and night. To some, Melbourne is all about bright lights and fine dining or big business and office blocks, while to others Melbourne is about taking the kids to the park or the convenience of living close to work. Students, workers, tourists and residents all use the central city in different ways and we must cater to their various needs - whether it be to study or work, to shop, for public transport, a quiet spot outdoors for lunch, vibrancy and night-life or access to great parks.

Much of our municipality's infrastructure was built more than a century ago. These great resources must continue to be upgraded and supplemented to accommodate increasing numbers of residents and visitors. Investment in our future is critical to ensuring Melbourne remains a great place to live. To make the municipality a great place to live we will need to: balance economic and residential growth; ensure a sense of community and neighbourliness; balance diverse community needs; and ensure our growth is supported by continued investment in infrastructure and services.

Goals Indicators Outcomes
Growth of the city

Economic and residential growth is balanced and managed to ensure the needs of all communities are considered and that city's liveability, sustainability and economic vitality are protected and enhanced.

City of Melbourne residential population

Target: 2020 - 140,000

Current: 2008 - 86,000

City of Melbourne unemployment rate

Current: 2006 - 7.5 per cent of City of Melbourne residents were unemployed 1

The proportion of people who experience food insecurity

Current: 2007 - 4.6 per cent of City of Melbourne residents had experienced food insecurity 2

A city that prospers, growing economically, becoming increasingly sustainable while still being a great place to live.

A sense of community

Within neighbourhoods, precincts and buildings there is a sense of community - where people engage with others and actively contribute to a sense of well being.

Social support

Current: 89.8 per cent of City of Melbourne residents said they could definitely get help from friends, family or neighbours when they needed it 3

Community connection

Current: Normative data from the AUWBI indicates that the average Community Connection score for persons living in the City of Melbourne was 65 out of a possible 100 (2007)

Strong robust communities that are inclusive and supportive of people from all walks of life, representing all social and economic circumstances.

Balancing diverse community needs

The municipality has diverse communities: residents, workers, visitors and students with differing and sometimes conflicting needs and aspirations which are recognised and addressed.

Community acceptance of diverse cultures

Current: 2007 - 93.2 per cent of residents in the City of Melbourne agreed or strongly agreed that cultural diversity is a good thing for a society 4

Robust communities in all sectors.

The municipality functions as a global city, capital city and a series of local neighbourhoods, and meets the needs of all.

Infrastructure and services

Infrastructure and services expand to meet the needs of our growing and changing communities.

Provision of community infrastructure

Current: Refer to the community infrastructure audit results 5

Physical and social infrastructure and services are maintained and augmented to cope with the projected increase in both residents (of all types and circumstances) and visitors and economic growth.

All residents including single, couples, families with children, young people and older people have access to social infrastructure and services.

See also :

2. Inclusive community

As a city for people, Melbourne will be an inclusive community that responds to different voices, needs, priorities and rights. The contributions and potential of Melburnians and visitors is realised and all community members have access to the city's services, facilities, events and activities. In a city for people, individuals with diverse backgrounds, ages and abilities can participate freely and respectful consideration for others is a way of life.

Melbourne will welcome all who choose to make our city their home. As an inclusive city, Melbourne will find ways to build the skills and knowledge of its community, ensuring all who live in the city have the confidence to seek what they need to be healthy and happy and a part of the community. A city for people accepts that social justice is a shared responsibility, and sees the happiness of its community as an investment in a healthy future for the city.

Melbourne will support and include everyone including:

  • Children: The City of Melbourne is seeking UNICEF accreditation as a child-friendly city, and through that process will find new and better ways to ensure children have a voice – and a place – in our municipality and in the central city.
  • Students: More than one third of our municipality's residents are students, and about half of these are international students. Appropriate social and community services must be available to ensure all students feel welcome and positive about their time here.
  • Seniors: The City of Melbourne's population of people aged 55 years and over will increase by 75 per cent in the decade from 2005 to 2015. We must ensure their needs are met and they have access to appropriate services, facilities and infrastructure as their circumstances change.
  • Culturally diverse communities: Ensuring our cultural diversity is reflected within our municipality, and that people from different cultural backgrounds have the opportunity to be active participants, is vital. Our municipality has a diverse cultural mix - at least 122 languages (including English) are spoken by City of Melbourne residents, and almost half our residents speak a language other than English at home (2006 Census). We must also recognise and understand the values and needs of our community generated by religious diversity. We need to ensure particular cultural groups are not marginalised and excluded, and opportunities for social cohesion need to be further developed.

All within our municipality are responsible for creating a safe, welcoming, inclusive and engaging city. Informal and organised initiatives by neighbours, schools and businesses will continue to be part of the mix of services. But the business and corporate sectors can also support community groups and organisations by offering meeting, storage and office space. Capital investment by major funds, and incentive programs that encourage small investors to participate in socially responsible ventures, can contribute to social justice initiatives.

The work of volunteers permeates life in Melbourne. Volunteering is mutually beneficial to both communities and individuals. The effort and dedication of volunteers contribute to community building and communities with higher rates of volunteerism tend to be more resilient, especially in times of crisis. People who volunteer also reap benefits. Volunteering contributes to better health and may even have positive effects for those suffering depression and other illnesses. Volunteering is also a platform for acquiring experience and new skills giving people confidence, experience and sometimes even employment.

To be a truly inclusive community we must also ensure access to affordable housing, varied employment opportunities and services and facilities that will support our many and diverse community needs.

Goals Indicators Outcomes

Collaborative community

People are engaged in and consulted on decisions. This builds social capital, trust and reciprocity, particularly with children, young people, people with disabilities, culturally and linguistically diverse communities and older people.

Community satisfaction rating for council's advocacy and community representation on key local issues (Advocacy)6

Current: 2007 - 66 out of a potential 100

Target: indicator to be developed

Community satisfaction rating for council's engagement in decision making on key local issues (Community Engagement).7

Current: 2007 - rating was 61 out of a potential 100

Target: indicator to be developed

Decisions are made in a democratic manner with members of the community participating.

All sectors of the community have the opportunity to participate in decision making.

Caring community

People, particularly those that are vulnerable, are included in, and supported by, the community.

People have opportunities to contribute to and participate in their community.

Social Support - Proportion of City of Melbourne residents said they could definitely get help from friends, family or neighbours when they needed it. 8

Current: 2006 - 90 per cent

Target: indicator to be developed

The care needs of the municipality's population are met (incorporating responsive, flexible and culturally literate approaches).

Social inclusion and social sustainability are inherent in all municipal activities.

The contributions of host cultures (including indigenous, bush, rural, colonial and early immigrant and post war) to Melbourne are widely recognised and acknowledged.

Homeless people have a public voice.

People volunteer, contributing to the well-being and development of communities and to their own development.

Social justice

The capabilities, strength and resilience of our communities are fostered and the development of social capital promotes a shared responsibility for social justice.

Proportion of City of Melbourne residents who volunteer

Current: In 2006, 33 per cent of persons living within the City of Melbourne reported that they helped out as a volunteer. 9

Target: indicator to be developed

Number of people who volunteer in the City of Melbourne

C urrent: In 2006 there were 6,400 volunteer positions in the City of Melbourne 10.

Target: indicator to be developed

Social sustainability is easily understood and measured.

Social justice is evident in City of Melbourne structures, processes, plans and strategies and embedded in all communication strategies to ensure greater public understanding, acceptance and adoption of social justice issues.

'Cultural fusion' is embedded in all we do to achieve a cohesive, friendly society which acknowledges and respects all people.

Valuing Melbourne's student community

Local and international students are better supported and integrated with local communities.

Satisfaction level of international students.

Current: In 2006, 84 per cent of international students living in the city describe it as an excellent or good place to live and study. 11

Target: indicator to be developed

Local student indicator to be developed.

Connectedness indicator to be developed.

Lifelong relationships and networks are fostered through students experiencing Melbourne positively and in an engaging manner.

Students feel connected and have the opportunity to meaningfully participate in Melbourne's social and cultural life.

Community infrastructure and support programs

The municipality has adequate and accessible infrastructure and support programs to support its growing and diverse communities.

Community satisfaction rating for overall performance in the key service area of Health and Human Services

Current: Weighted index of 70 out of 100. 12

Target: indicator to be developed

The care needs of the population, particularly vulnerable communities, are met with affordable and accessible infrastructure

Growing communities are actively supported.

Free health and welfare support services for young people, newly arrived and refugee communities and marginalised communities.

Improved liveability of the city for children with a specific focus on children's rights and citizenship. Melbourne is a Child Friendly City with UNICEF and provides health, education and care services that maximise child development health and wellbeing.

An Age Friendly City, where opportunities for positive ageing and improved quality of life are available. Older people are active, valued and connected with the community.

Cultural exchange and cultural fusion is supported/provided by community and arts grants.

Relevant global city ranking

See also

3. A healthy community

As a city for people, Melbourne will make health a priority. Improving the physical and mental health of our people is important, and we will give particular attention to those in our city who are disadvantaged and vulnerable.

Local government is in an ideal position to improve the health and wellbeing of people, playing a broad role in health promotion, city planning, leadership, advocacy and service delivery. The City of Melbourne has set a target of ensuring a range of appropriate services, amenities, public spaces and parkland are located within the easy reach (that is, within 400 metres) of all city residents.

In Melbourne, we are focused on increasing active living within the city, for residents, workers and others, including physical, intellectual and social activities, all of which contribute to our physical, mental and emotional wellbeing.

Our health is determined by many things, including: our socio-economic status; the quality of our physical environment; our access to health-related services and facilities; and the opportunities we have to engage in physical activity and social interaction. Preventative health also important, particularly for families and children, and for people of multicultural and Indigenous backgrounds.

We need to ensure our services continue at levels appropriate to our population, and that our services match the needs of a population with changing demographics. Neighbourhoods throughout the municipality need to provide a level of amenity conducive to a healthy residential life. For those living in the central city, we must find a balanced approach to noise management (accommodating the needs of residents and other city users) to prevent noise becoming a significant health problem.13 14 Cleanliness is also an important component of a healthy city.

We also need to ensure our residents will take responsibility for their own health by increasing the quality and number of pedestrians and cycling links in the municipality and by promoting healthy living and the benefits of reducing tobacco, alcohol and drug use. Indigenous Victorians will be a special focus as they do not enjoy the same levels of health and wellbeing as the general population. Improving the health of young Indigenous people is a particular priority.

Goals Indicators Outcomes

Healthy people

To improve the physical and mental health wellbeing of residents in the municipality.

Self reported health, subjective wellbeing, adequate physical exercise, life expectancy at birth and psychological distress.* *Source Community Indicators Victoria 2007

Target: To be developed.

Current: 58.6 per cent of persons living within Melbourne municipality reported that their health was either excellent or very good (2007). Average Personal Wellbeing Index (2007) 74.8 (range between 0-100). Life expectancy at birth (2005) males 81.0 females 86.7

Residents of the municipality possess exemplary standards of physical and psychological health and wellbeing.

Health of all groups, but particularly disadvantaged and vulnerable groups is improved.

A healthy city environment

To promote a healthy (physical and mental) community through a healthy municipal environment.

City users rating of the cleanliness of the municipality. Current: Indicator to be developed.

A reduction in environmental factors that are detrimental to health.

A municipality that is clean, not too noisy, provides shade and encourages activity and social connection.

Preventative health

Preventative health measures to support communities to reduce obesity, smoking, alcohol and drug use as well as improve diet and exercise.

Fresh food consumption, burden of disease, smoking rates, immunisation rates
obesity statistics, drug addiction and alcohol use.

Target: to be developed

Current: Indicator to be developed.

also refer to American Cities Fitness index for indicator model to rank capital cities

Improved mental and physical health and better quality of life for all.

Reduced health care costs.

A healthy municipality.

Community involvement and participation

Increased ability to be involved in the community, in activities and decision making. An environment that fosters robust community debate.

Community Connection Index. Current: Community Connection score for persons living in the City of Melbourne was 65 out of a potential 100 in 2007.15

Percentage of residents that are part of a community group or local club. Current: Indicator to be developed.

Participation or citizen engagement. Current In 2007, 47 per cent of City of Melbourne residents had attended a town meeting or public hearing, met, called or written to a local politician, or joined a protest or signed a petition in the previous year.16

A sense of community supports an increase in social connectivity, belonging and community health (mental and physical) and wellbeing.

A balance between lifestyle and economic prosperity exists.

Physical activity and social interaction

Public and private space that is accessible to all and designed to encourage physical movement, communal exercising and social interaction.

Residents perception of the appearance of public areas. Current: In 2007, the City of Melbourne received an indexed value of 74 out of a potential 100 for community satisfaction of Public Areas. 17

A municipality designed to promote mental and physical wellbeing.

Public spaces such as parks, plazas, roads and paths are designed to foster physical activity, social interaction, connections to the natural environment and quiet, reflective spaces.

New private spaces provide for community needs.

See also

4. Designed for people

A Melbourne designed for people will be a municipality designed at a human scale. In Melbourne, we will be protected and will feel welcome. We will want to walk - and stay - in Melbourne because it delights us.

A city designed for people stimulates its residents and visitors, celebrating people-paced movement and focusing on what lies in the pedestrian range of vision. A city designed for people encourages human presence and promotes human interaction. Most of all, a city designed for people welcomes everybody and makes them feel comfortable.

A people-designed Melbourne will encourage promenading, strolling, sitting, relaxing, stillness and movement; our people will see and be seen; and we can play, reflect, intermingle or observe. We'll feel protected and we'll have the choice and the desire to spend more time in the city doing what we like.

Melbourne generates a strong sense of place - we are defined by our central city grid of streets, our boulevards of elm and plane trees and our many parks. Our street activity provides much of our vibrant energy, but our heritage buildings, laneways and our pedestrian scale are essential to our municipality's vitality. Melbourne will build on these assets and continue to 'do small well', particularly as city development intensifies.

Laneways, boulevards, heritage buildings, public squares, parks, gardens and waterways and other people-friendly places are all important to our people and our future as a city for people. Ensuring these spaces remain accessible to all who spend time in the city is critical.

The interface between public and private spaces is also important. 'Ground floor' activities that spill out onto our streets add to Melbourne's vibrancy. Private places that allow people to enter, inhabit, linger and spend time blur the interface between public and private and integrate the built form into street life.

As our population densities increase we must also ensure that new development provides private and communal open space for residents and workers, and protects existing places for people.

Goals Indicators Outcomes

Human scale

The municipality, its streetscapes and its buildings have a human and pedestrian scale.

The fine grain of the municipality's streets and lanes is preserved. New developments respect and enhance this character.

Number of metres dedicated to 'A', 'B' and 'C' grade frontages in the central city. Current: Map shown on page 21 on Places for People 2004. Melbourne's fine grain and human scale is preserved and enhanced.

Sense of place

Streets and spaces retain their liveability, authenticity and sense of place. as they undergo change to become more sustainable and respond to climate change.

Percentage of city users using active modes of transport such as walking, bike riding or public transport. Current: 54 per cent (2006) 18 Melbourne becomes sustainable while retaining its sense of place.

Continuity and change

Urban design and architecture respects our heritage and its context while looking forward in its approach and solutions. Ensure a robust heritage perspective for the future - for both our physical and social heritage.

Acknowledge and celebrate our Indigenous and European heritage in our public spaces and places.

Percentage of new development which adaptively reuses some or all of existing structures. Current: Indicator to be developed.

Number of programs developed to incorporate the Indigenous and historic landscape culture into the cityscape. Current: Indicator to be developed.

Development which respects physical and cultural heritage whilst reflecting modern thinking and processes.

Development which acknowledges Indigenous and European heritage whilst reflecting modern thinking and approaches.

Activity and interest on our street edges

Ensure our streets and laneways remain unique, surprising, interesting, engaging and authentic.

Ensure street edges and activities on the street contribute to the culture and liveability of the municipality.

Kilometres of accessible and active lanes, arcades and alleys in the CBD. Current: In 2004, 3.4 km. 19

Total area of parkland (public open space) accessible to residents and visitors. Current: 567.8 ha 20

Street space reallocated to sustainable modes of transport - footpaths are wide and support a mix of uses and activities.

Our public spaces and laneways continue to remain unique, surprising, interesting, engaging and authentically Melbourne.

Urban spaces are designed to reflect our urban and natural context.

Sustainable urban design and architecture

Promote quality urban design and sustainable architecture through demonstration projects and policy that encourages architecture to have a positive contribution to its surroundings and the city.

Percentage of new buildings that achieve green star ratings of five or above. Current: Indicator to be developed.

Well designed buildings that contribute positively to the urban environment and relate well to the public realm.

Strong neighbourhoods

Design and protect neighbourhoods that encourage social interaction and activity and provide access to a range of services and facilities.

Satisfaction of residents with the level of social interaction and inclusiveness within their suburb. Current: Indicator to be developed.

Strong neighbourhoods grow supporting a sense of community and caring.

Functional public and private space

Create and protect public and private space designed to support a range of uses and users, including physical movement, safety, areas of respite and social interaction.

Space dedicated to squares, malls and promenades. Current: In 2004, 72,200m2 21

Well designed public spaces that build on the city's heritage and character, promoting healthy and active communities and making the city accessible and enjoyable for everyone.

A supportive regulatory framework

The Melbourne Planning Scheme (including the Victorian Planning Policy Framework) supports and encourages a city designed for people.

Road regulations and implementation that give the same weight to pedestrians, bicycles and public transport as cars.

Indicator to be developed.

A clear, concise and consistent Melbourne Planning Scheme that supports good design and facilitates design excellence and good decision making.

Equitable allocation of road space to all modes.

Physical representation of the city

Provide opportunities for the community to engage with the city and its development through the use of participatory and engagement tools, including a physical and three-dimensional model of the municipality.

Number of people who engage with the City of Melbourne through participatory and engagement tools. Current: Indicator to be developed.

People understand and contribute to Melbourne's development.

People have ownership of "their" Melbourne and are proud to show it to visitors.

Relevant global city ranking

See also

  • City of Melbourne (2004) Places for People
  • Gehl Architects (2006) 12 Quality Criteria .

5. An affordable place to live

As an affordable place to live, Melbourne will provide affordable accommodation, food and services. Our municipality will offer a mix of housing and facilities, reflecting and supporting our diverse and inclusive community.

Thousands of new apartments have appeared in the municipality of Melbourne in recent years. In 2007 the municipality had 48,000 dwellings, a substantial increase from the 27,060 dwellings in 2001. While private housing has boomed, public housing stocks have declined. Between 2000 and 2005, the number of public housing units dropped sharply before rising between 2005 and 2007 to 2073 dwellings. However, this is still a decline of 9 per cent from the public housing stock levels of 2000.

Between March 2007 and March 2008, The City of Melbourne's average house price increased 32 per cent ($926,000, up from $630,500) while our average unit price increased 18.5 per cent ($426,750 up from $360,000). Melbourne's average rent has also increased considerably.

The cost of living in the municipality will, if we're not careful, push low and moderate income households out. Affordable housing must continue to be available for those working in retail, hospitality, social service and education in the central city. Providing for creative people and students is also important.

We also need to address the complex health and welfare needs of people without homes. In 2004, around 4,000 homeless people were living in Melbourne. We need to continue working with others to increase the number of well-managed boarding houses and rooming houses in the inner urban area. Many of our homeless are young, Indigenous or have mental illnesses and disabilities and, as well as housing, all need support, employment and recognition of cultural needs.

Finally, we need to ensure that other essentials besides housing remain affordable: transport, food, health care, recreation and education, and ensure that employment opportunities exist for all.

Goals Indicators Outcomes

Affordable housing opportunities

An increase in the number and variety of affordable housing opportunities to support our growing and diverse population.

Proportion of City of Melbourne residents who spend more than 30 per cent of their income on a rent or mortgage. Current: Indicator to be developed 22

20 per cent of new City of Melbourne housing completed is affordable. Current: Indicator to be developed.

Increased affordable housing options, with emphasis on housing for vulnerable populations, Social (public) and affordable housing stock in the city increased via the introduction of inclusionary zoning, community land trusts, partnerships and other mechanisms that ensure a proportion of social (public) and affordable housing in new developments. Increased housing affordability for low and moderate income residents and workers including the tertiary students, the cultural and artistic community and service workers. Housing is available for key workers.

Affordable health care

Good public health and wellbeing for all residents, particularly 'at risk' and disadvantaged groups.

Number of GPs that bulk bill. Current: In the inner Melbourne area, 79 per cent of practices bulk bill. 23

A healthier community with access to affordable public health and wellbeing services for all residents, particularly disadvantaged and 'at risk' groups, with an emphasis on preventative care.

Affordable and nutritious food

An increase in affordable and healthy food choices.

The distribution of fresh food outlets throughout the City of Melbourne. Current: Indicator to be developed.

Diet and health improves along with access to nutritious food and food security.

Chronic homelessness eliminated

An increase in facilities and services to support and house the chronically homeless to alleviate long term and chronic homelessness.

Number of people sleeping rough in the City of Melbourne. Current: 10824 Decrease in number of chronic homeless people. Increased general public tolerance and understanding of homeless people and the issues that affect them.

More housing construction

Housing construction and conversion keeps pace with demand to ensure a ready supply of varied accommodation options.

Number of dwellings in the City of Melbourne. Current: 2008: 48,000 dwellings 25

Rental vacancy rate. Current: 2008: 0.6 per cent within 4km of the CBD 26

A variety of housing options are available and affordable to house our growing and diverse populations.

Better site utilisation

Optimal development of residential sites to provide diverse housing types catering to a range of needs.

Diversity of new housing stock. Current: Indicator to be developed.

Available residential sites developed to their full potential in a timely manner and providing a variety of housing types.

Equitable planning system

A planning system that ensures development contributes to and supports community betterment including affordable housing and infrastructure provision.

Indicator to be developed.

The establishment of a development contributions system which is aimed at community benefit while facilitating greater density.

Additional provision of community infrastructure and affordable housing.

See also

6. Quality public space

As a city for people, Melbourne's public spaces will be of a high quality. Our public spaces will be welcoming and secure, generating a sense of place and belonging. Through quality design, our public spaces will encourage connections between people and with nature. We will include sustainable design features in our public spaces and they will be easy to get to and move around in.

Melbourne already offers a broad range of quality public spaces, including parks and gardens, boulevards, streets and lanes, squares, public buildings and waterways. These quality public spaces mean our city is far from being an unfriendly grid of relentlessly grey offices, footpaths and roads.

A little oasis of greenery, a quiet corner with comfortable seating or our many (perhaps surprisingly) inviting laneways and arcades all influence our state of mind and behaviour. Quality public spaces make a valuable contribution to our health and wellbeing. A major challenge for the future will be ensuring our public spaces can accommodate a growing population and expected weather patterns or events resulting from climate change.

Our streets will be a focus in the future. Well-designed streets equal a well-designed public space, with consideration given to space allocation (for pedestrians, signage, seating and so on) and street uses (sitting, standing, hanging out, walking, jogging or even skateboarding). Opportunities to incorporate sustainable/public transport, markets and street stalls should also be considered. Privately owned spaces may also present opportunities for Melbourne to expand upon and improve the quality of our public realm.

Improving and expanding our municipality's park network will be another focus during the next decade. This will include ensuring our parks meet the needs of a changing population, and that they are resilient to threats and challenges, such as the impacts of climate change and pressure to hand parks over for other development (such as roads). Trees will continue to be an important aspect of city spaces, whether in parks or on streets.

Waterways are a new addition to the City of Melbourne's municipal management, with the transition of Docklands into the municipality in July 2007. In the future, we will look at ways to further connect our waterways with other forms of public space.

Our spaces need to be adaptable and various, as well as sustainable. Providing opportunities for people to connect with other people and with nature will be a major focus in the future. We also need to ensure our public spaces remain well connected to one another, supporting sustainable transport options and the needs of both pedestrians and cyclists.

Goals Indicators Outcomes


A range of public space options exist within close proximity to residents and workers, including areas for formal and informal recreation and areas of respite. New public space opportunities are pursued, including indoor active recreation facilities and roof top gardens.

Satisfaction with the range and proximity of public space within walking distance of a resident's home. Current: Measure to be developed. 27

Residents and workers are able to access and enjoy public space that caters for their wants and needs.


Our public space is flexible and adaptable and able to accommodate a range of uses over the course of a day and a year.

Indicator to be developed.

The municipality's public spaces are adaptable to facilitate a range of uses.

Public spaces cater for regional activities and events as well as local needs and uses.


Our public space is accessible to a range of users and responds to our changing demographics and to the range of potential users from metropolitan Melbourne. Public space is interesting, engaging and safe, with active edges, and hosts a mix of uses.

Greater numbers and diversity of people accessing and enjoying parks. Current: Measure to be developed. 28.

People from many different backgrounds, and from all parts of metropolitan Melbourne, feel welcome, safe and engaged in public spaces.

New and revitalised diverse public spaces, including non-traditional spaces, are used for public purposes, and cater for our population growth and diverse communities.

Movement and activity

Create and maintain public space which encourages physical activity and social interaction. Encourage streetscapes that facilitate movement by sustainable modes.

Percentage increase in pedestrian counts in the central city on weekdays and weekends. Current: Trend reported in Places for people 29

Percentage increase satisfaction with the amount and connectivity of the bike path network. Current: In 2007, the satisfaction rating was 50 per cent. 30

A movement network which prioritises pedestrian and cyclist movement and encourages non-motorised transport modes.

Public access and quality pedestrian and cycle links along rivers and waterways.

A laneway system that provides pedestrian linkages throughout the central city.

Connected network of spaces

Ensure that parks and public spaces are well connected by physical and visual links.

Percentage increase of residents living within walking distance of a public open space. Current: Indicator to be developed.

Public spaces are well linked throughout the city.

Road and path networks in combination with strategic landscaping will provide a way-finding system between public spaces.

Streets, boulevards and laneways

Demonstrate that when you design a good street you design a good city. Recognise and enhance the existing street hierarchy, particularly within the central business district. Continue to celebrate central city laneways, including the connections they provide and their more intimate scale of development and space. Apply a consistent planting schedule for street trees.

Indicator the be developed.

A streetscape that is consistent with Melbourne's distinct sense of place.

A clear hierarchy of boulevards, streets and lanes.


Melbourne's parkland is maintained to a high standard. Existing parkland is protected and there is no net reduction in area. New opportunities for parkland are explored where appropriate, for example where connections are missing and in under-supplied neighbourhoods. Our parks and gardens provide opportunities for people to connect with nature and their community.

Number of city user (including residents) per hectare of parkland .31

Target: 1500 per hectare

Current: 1261 per hectare (2006)

Proportion of parkland within 300m of dwellings.



Melbourne's existing parkland areas will be maintained to ensure their ongoing contribution to cultural heritage, and to ensure their enjoyment by future generations.

Green spaces will be protected from development encroachment.

New opportunities for parkland will be explored and developed where appropriate.


Melbourne's waterways are protected and celebrated, including the Yarra River, Moonee Ponds Creek, Victoria Harbour and Port Phillip Bay.

Development and activity on and around waterways protects and enhances ecological values.

Moonee Ponds Creek is restored to a wetland and links up the existing network of parks and waterways.

Percentage of waterway frontage accessible to the public. Current: Indicator to be developed.

Increase in the diversity of marine life and plants. Current: Indicator to be developed.

A waterfront experience which is inclusive and respects and reflects Melbourne's maritime heritage, whilst allowing for new opportunities.

A healthy and diverse marine ecology and a rejuvenated waterways system.

Private and communal open space

Ensure new subdivisions and residential developments incorporate private and communal open space.

Promote communal open space within new development which is of a quality and scale to accommodate a range of uses.

Private space (m2) per resident. Current: Indicator to be developed.

City of Melbourne residents will have a range of public and private spaces to use and enjoy.

Communal and private open spaces will offer areas of respite without being isolated.

Relevant global city ranking

  • World Health Organisation Safe City

See also

7. Community facilities and services meet growth

Melbourne will provide the facilities and services needed to ensure our community is a strong one. Our facilities and services are assets that contribute to our health and happiness, encouraging people to meet, collaborate and participate. Melbourne's facilities and services will reflect our commitment to sustainability, and will keep pace with a growing population.

Ensuring our municipal infrastructure meets the needs of our future population is a major challenge for Melbourne. Much of our subterranean infrastructure (such as drains and sewers) was laid out in the mid-to-late 19th Century and some is nearing either its capacity or the end of its life. Our aging infrastructure will need to be upgraded, with new technologies incorporated where necessary.

In the coming years we will need to replace, maintain or supplement the following:

  • roads and footpaths
  • drainage
  • sewerage
  • sports and recreation facilities
  • public spaces
  • education services for people of all ages and cultural/language backgrounds and
  • social and health services.

Melbourne's social and physical infrastructure, largely the responsibility of the Victorian and Australian governments, has not kept pace with our rapid population growth.

With a large working and visiting population, our facilities and services are used by many who are not local residents, placing more stress on supply. Agencies and services for homeless people, people with mental health issues and Indigenous people particularly feel the strain. As a capital city, some of Melbourne's services (such as large/specialist hospitals and major universities) are accessed by the whole of Victoria.

Sport and recreation infrastructure must also keep pace with growing - and changing - demands from our diverse communities. Planning for parks, open spaces and ovals must include consideration for issues such as climate change. Flexible and more sustainable (drought resistant) playing surfaces are an option, as well as possibly introducing a wider range of sporting activities. Melbourne’s public spaces represent a great opportunity for expanding our offering of communal sporting pursuits. However, we will need to be careful to balance organised sport options with passive recreation opportunities.

Goals Indicators Outcomes

Provision of infrastructure

Comprehensive physical and social infrastructure for rapidly growing, diverse and changing communities.

Services and support provided to vulnerable communities.

A range of physical and social infrastructure to support our growing and diverse youth.

Increasing proportion of residents who feel they can access services when needed. Current: Indicator to be developed.

Comprehensive community infrastructure and services support diverse communities.

A whole-of-government approach, including the establishment of partnerships to deliver community infrastructure, exists.

Young people are supported and given opportunities to connect and participate in meaningful employment, educational, recreational and social pathways.

Sport and recreation infrastructure

Recognising the importance of sport and recreation, encourage activities that build healthy lifestyles and social connectedness.

Amount of parkland. Current 568 ha 32

Number of people who visit City of Melbourne sports and recreational facilities each year. Current: 1.5 million 33

Sporting facilities accommodate our growing population, our diverse communities, and a range of sports from a wide variety of cultures.

Access to sporting facilities is improved and participation increased.

Sports facilities and grounds are of the highest standard of environmental sustainability.

Access to sporting opportunities and facilities exist for people of all abilities.

Financing infrastructure

Infrastructure is provided via a variety of innovative and cost effective means without adversely impacting on affordability.

Indicator to be developed.

Infrastructure is delivered to communities in a timely manner contributing to the amenity of an area and providing for our growing population.

Relevant global city ranking

  • EIU Liveability Ranking, particularly Healthcare, Education, and Infrastructure rankings, which combined comprise 50 per cent of the total score. Since this is a deficit model, and a high number is thus negative, the aim is to score as low as possible.

See also


1 : ABS (2006) 2006 Census QuickStats: Melbourne (C) (Local Government Area)

2 : Community Indicators Victoria (2007) Wellbeing Report Melbourne

3 : Community Indicators Victoria (2007) Wellbeing Report Melbourne

4 , 12 : Department of Planning and Community Development (2007) Local Government Community Satisfaction Survey

5 : City of Melbourne (2007) City of Melbourne Community Infrastructure Plan 2007-2017

6 : Local Government Community Satisfaction Survey (2007)

7 : Department of Planning and Community Development (2007) Local Government Community Satisfaction Survey

8 , 9 : Department of Planning and Community Development (2006) Community Strength Survey

10 : City of Melbourne (2006) Census of Land Use and Employment

11 : City of Melbourne (2007) International students happy to call Australia home

13 : New York Mayor in Fight Against Noise Pollution. Josh Fecht, Us Editor, Mayors Archive

14 : Air and Noise Code (effective July 2007), New York City Department of Environmental Protection

15 : Community Indicators Victoria (2007)

16 : Community Indicators Victoria (2007)

17 : Department of Planning and Community Development (2006). Local Government Community Satisfaction Survey

18 : ABS (2006) Journey to Work

19 : City of Melbourne (2004) Places for People

20 : City of Melbourne (2008) Melbourne a Snapshot

21 : City of Melbourne (2004) Places for People

22 : ABS (2006) Basic Community Profile

23 : Melbourne General Practice Network (2008) Practices

24 : City of Melbourne (2008) Street Count 2008

25 : City of Melbourne (2008) Melbourne - a Snapshot

26 : Real Estate Institute of Victoria (REIV) (2008) Only one in 100 rental properties vacant in Melbourne in May

27 : Local Government Survey

28 : City of Melbourne: Parks satisfaction survey results

29 : City of Melbourne: Places for People 2004

30 : City of Melbourne: Bicycle Survey

31 : City of Melbourne (2008) Melbourne - a snaphot

32 : City of Melbourne (2008) Melbourne - a snapshot

33 : City of Melbourne (2008) Active Melbourne


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