Melbourne was founded in 1835 and was officially declared a city by Queen Victoria in 1847. Today, Melbourne is consistently recognised as one of the world's most liveable cities and has a long history of strategic planning.

Strategic planning began with Robert Hoddle's 1837 street layout, known as the 'Hoddle grid'. This layout is what we know today as Melbourne's central business district and has influenced the layout of modern day Melbourne.

By the early 1910s, concerns about the dilapidated parts of the city prompted major public inquiries by the Joint Select Committee on the Housing of the People in the Metropolis (1913-14) and a Royal Commission in 1915.

These events led to the development of Melbourne's first strategic plan in 1929. The Plan of General Development of the Metropolitan Town Planning Commission proposed a planning scheme to prevent 'misuse' of land and protect property values. It also highlighted traffic congestion, the distribution of recreational open space and the haphazard intermingling of land uses.

The 1929 plan was not implemented and it was only after the Second World War in the early 1950s that the planning system as we know it today commenced with the Melbourne Metropolitan Planning Scheme 1954.

Over the 60 years since this planning effort began more than 21 policies or plans have been produced.

Melbourne's Strategic Planning History
Bourke Street, Melbourne 1954

Page last updated: 09/06/23