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About Future Melbourne 2020

A plan to meet the future challenges

Over the last decade Melbourne has established itself as an international hub for business, education, medicine, arts and industry. We have seen unprecedented growth in high-rise developments and living in our city centre, our historic and vibrant residential areas continue to thrive and our rejuvenated public domain inspires our many visitors. But significant challenges lie ahead.

Rapid population growth across the metropolitan area will continue to increase demands on public infrastructure such as public transport, and further threaten the affordability of housing, particularly in the inner city. Growth also has potential to increase or cause negative social impacts if we don't plan for it well.

Climate change will continue affecting our natural resources, which will have a substantial bearing on energy costs. Channel deepening will accommodate more freight traffic around the Port of Melbourne, impacting on our road network and amenity, and the decline in manufacturing will have some impact on employment.

A plan for the communities of the City of Melbourne

The City of Melbourne is the Capital City hub of the wider Metropolitan Melbourne. It is a complex mosaic of communities of business, cultural, educational, residential and a major visitor destination. Future Melbourne is a plan by, and for these communities. It is a community plan for the future of Melbourne that aims to:

  • Engage citizens in creating a vision for the future, setting priorities and contributing to decision-making.
  • Value and utilise local networks.
  • Focus on people and place that requires a more flexible and joined-up approach to policy and service delivery.
  • Connect the top-down and bottom-up policy processes that influence resource allocation.

This draft of Future Melbourne by collaborating with key agencies with an active interest in the future of the city through an extensive stakeholder and public consultation process. At the outset Council appointed a Future Melbourne Reference Group made up of prominent Melburnians to guide and lead the project.

Future Melbourne will replace the current City Plan 2010. It sets out six high level Goals for the city, the Pathways that will lead to achieving these Goals and under each Pathway, a range of Outcomes to be achieved over the decade to 2020.

Future Melbourne builds on and replaces the City of Melbourne's previous strategic plan, City Plan 2010. It highlights outcomes and responsibilities for the City of Melbourne and other stakeholders in Melbourne over the next decade. Successfully implementing Future Melbourne will positively shape Melbourne's future as a dynamic, liveable and prosperous city well beyond 2020. The implementation will also meet the future trends and challenges confronting Melbourne.

Future Melbourne values

By working with Melbourne's diverse groups, organisations and individuals the City of Melbourne has developed seven general themes that underpin Future Melbourne.

A city for health and wellbeing
A city for health and wellbeing "...is one that is continually improving those physical and social environments and expanding those community resources which enable people to mutually support each other in performing all the functions of life and in developing their maximum potential." 1. It is a city that is vibrant, liveable and lived in, humanitarian and has a strong sense of place that brings people into happy and harmonious coexistence.

An inclusive city - a city for everyone
An inclusive city provides services, facilities and events that build on our reputation as a tolerant, friendly and compassionate community. This social infrastructure is responsive and adaptable and serves all.

A diverse and convivial city
A diverse and convivial city values and welcomes change. It's a friendly city, where difference is embraced and visitors are welcome. Diverse cities promote equity and accessibility for all (from children to elderly) and celebrate multiculturalism.

An intelligent and creative city
An intelligent and creative city fosters learning and research. It is at the cutting edge of arts, business and education. It is creative, innovative, a leader, dynamic and adaptable.

A safe and democratic city
In a safe and democratic city, people never feel afraid. Ordinary people feel secure and that they have influence. It has human, political and intellectual freedom, with democracy and political robustness, community engagement, social capital and well-connected communities.

A green city
A green city values what we have, uses resources efficiently and cares for its community, future generations and the environment. A green city promotes sustainability, biodiversity, heritage preservation and conservation. It focuses on local priorities such as parks, gardens, fresh air, clean streets and clean rivers and coastline. Global responsibilities are taken seriously, such as the need to use resources efficiently and to address the many issues arising from climate change.

A prosperous city
In a prosperous city, business and enterprise flourishes and people share in the prosperity. It is an entrepreneurial city with strong international connections and connectivity.

Future Melbourne goals

The City of Melbourne is committed to implementing Future Melbourne by 2020.

The values of Future Melbourne are translated into six goals that set out a plan to build on our dynamic, liveable and prosperous city:

  1. People
  2. Creative
  3. Prosperous
  4. Knowledge
  5. Ecocity
  6. Connected

Implementation and monitoring

To meet the 2020 commitments of Future Melbourne, it is critical its Goals, Pathways and Outcomes are supported by the Victorian Government. It is also essential the City of Melbourne works with the Australian Government, Victorian Government, local governments across the metropolitan region, sectors such as business and community, and with residents, workers and visitors. It is vital we share the same vision for a sustainable future as well as a commitment to changing the way we live and do business.

The City of Melbourne will measure the success of Future Melbourne by completing its many actions and seeing our Vision achieved – all the council's business plans and investment will be geared toward meeting our commitments. At the end of each Goal of Future Melbourne, a list of Indicators is provided – methods to determine the degree of success of Pathways and their outcomes and how we are progressing against each Goal.


To develop Future Melbourne, the City of Melbourne collaborated with the University of Melbourne, the Committee for Melbourne, the Victorian Council of Social Services, the Australian Conservation Foundation, the Property Council of Australia, the RMIT Global Cities Research Institute and The Age newspaper. A Reference Group comprising prominent Melburnians also helped guide its development.

The Reference Group

The Future Melbourne Reference Group is made up of prominent Melburnians with one thing in common - a passion for our city. This group of thinkers, leaders, movers and shakers is championing and guiding the development of Future Melbourne. The Future Melbourne Reference Group also gives advice on the overall objectives and direction of the Future Melbourne project.

Members comprise a diverse mix of eminent thinkers and civic leaders with wide- ranging experience, skills and knowledge.

The City of Melbourne acknowledges the significant contributions of Melburnians who served on our Future Melbourne Reference Group:

Carol_Schwartz.jpg Carol Schwartz (Chair of the Future Melbourne Reference Group): Chair, Industry Superannuation Property Trust (ISPT); Melbourne International Arts Festival; and Our Community.
Cheryl_Batagol.jpg Cheryl Batagol: Chair, Melbourne Water; Deputy Chair, Sustainability Victoria.
Tim_Costello.jpg Rev Tim Costello: CEO, World Vision Australia.
Nick_Green.jpg Nick Green: Chair, Victorian Olympic Committee.
George_Lekakis.jpg George Lekakis: Chair, Victorian Multicultural Commission.
Harold_Mitchell.jpg Harold Mitchell: President, Museum Board of Victoria; Founder, Harold Mitchell Foundation; Director, Opera Australia and National Gallery of Australia.
Sid_Myer.jpg Sid Myer: Co-Vice President, Myer Foundation; Chairman, Asialink.
Lyndsay_Neilson.jpg Prof Lyndsay Neilson: Former Under Secretary, Department of Premier and Cabinet, Victorian Government.
George_Pappas.jpg George Pappas: Chair, Committee for Melbourne; Vice Chairman, Bio-Melbourne Network; Senior Adviser, Boston Consulting Group; Chair, Monash Medical Research Advisory Board.
Elizabeth_Proust.jpg Elizabeth Proust: Non-Executive Director, Perpetual Ltd; Chair, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra; Chair, Centre for Dialogue, La Trobe University.
Arron_Wood.jpg Arron Wood: Director, Firestarter Pty Ltd; 2001 Young Australian of the Year; 2007 Prime Minister's Environmentalist of the Year; Board Member, Port Phillip and Westernport Catchment Management Authority.
Peter_Yates.jpg Peter Yates: Managing Director, Allco Equity Partners; Chair, Australian Science Media Centre; Deputy Chair, Asialink; Board Member, The Australian Chamber Orchestra; the Royal Children's Hospital Foundation (Victoria), the Centre for Independent Studies and the National Portrait Gallery.
GeoffLawler07.jpg Geoff Lawler: Director Sustainability and Regulatory Services, City of Melbourne (ex officio member).
  Vijoleta Braach-Maksvytis: Deputy Vice Chancellor, Innovation and Development, University of Melbourne (ex officio member).

The public forums

Five public forums were held in mid 2007 to help develop Future Melbourne. Over 500 people attended these forums and various city leaders volunteered their time as guest speakers and participants. The forums generated a diverse range of ideas and key themes were:

1. Melbourne's Cultural Identity: What do we Value?

2. Sustaining Melbourne's Prosperity.

3. Meeting the Environmental Shocks in Melbourne.

4. Change and Social Inclusion.

5. Building our City for the Future.

The City of Melbourne continued its community collaborations after the forums through its interactive website (e-village) and a series of articles in The Age newspaper inviting big ideas.

We will continue engaging and collaborating with the community to refine and finalise Future Melbourne.


1 : Hancock and Duhl (1986)


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