A key challenge is making the urban environment, including neighbourhoods, fit for a sustainable metropolitan world city Transport, urban design, planning and architecture are essential in meeting these tough objectives. Metropolitan Melbourne now has a rich and diverse architectural heritage, but too much of our great city has been carelessly planned and built, blighting neighbourhoods and the lives of its citizens. As the city’s growth continues, we cannot afford to repeat these mistakes.
The vision for Melbourne’s urban renaissance
With creative, careful and integrated design and planning, Melbourne will be able to accommodate its growth, while improving the quality of life available to Melbournians and visitors alike. Without it, we will not successfully deal with areas of dereliction or social exclusion, nor meet the rising challenge of climate change.
Higher density development can restore vitality to neighbourhoods if it is linked to an efficient public transport system that is easy and a pleasure to use, and complemented by high quality architecture and public space that is well designed, well managed and genuinely accessible to all. Adding to and renewing Melbourne’s urban fabric in this way, and bringing the skills of architects and designers to bear on the urgent need for lower carbon lifestyles, will help the city to maintain and share its prosperity.
The diversity of Melbourne’s people is matched by the diversity of its built environment. The city includes within its boundary a world heritage site and radical contemporary architecture, industrial sites and skyscrapers, stately parks and gardens and wetlands, quiet suburban streets and bustling activity centres, laneways and Victorian avenues and boulevards, a world famous tram network – all grouped around a river and dockland area associated with one of the world’s largest bays. All of these elements contribute to Melbourne’s unique character, complexity and charm, and all demand to be respected as the metropolitan area changes.
As an urban designer and strategic planner I want metropolitan Melbourne to be a place that works for all its people, for its economy and for the environment. I would like to see:
- beautiful and accessible buildings, with low environmental impacts and the ability to adapt to changing uses and a changing climate
- inspiring, well managed public spaces that everyone can use, from footpaths to parks
- neighbourhoods that blend old and new, respecting Melbourne’s heritage, and creating places for a diverse population
- transport infrastructure that makes moving around metropolitan Melbourne easy, pleasurable and environmentally responsible
- road infrastructure that makes walking and cycling a desirable mode of travel, which aids in improving health through activity and roads at a scale which discourages car use for short journeys.