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Melbourne is the fastest growing city in Australia. The city's population is projected to grow from 4.6 million to almost 8 million – with Victoria's total population set to top 10 million by 2051.

This growth, in combination with a changing climate, increased globalisation and congestion are testing the resilience of Melbourne's built and natural environment. We need to plan for this growth and change.

That's why Plan Melbourne is so important, it reflects the changing needs of our city and state – creating a blueprint for action that will define the future shape and sustainability of Melbourne.

Melbourne is a productive city

Outcome 1: Melbourne is a productive city that attracts investment, supports innovation and creates jobs.

The central city will continue to be Melbourne's largest concentration of employment. National employment and innovation clusters will be a focus for knowledge-based employment and crucial for maximising access to high-productivity jobs for the middle and outer suburbs and growth areas.

Together with key industrial precincts, transport gateways, health and education precincts and metropolitan activity centres, these locations will attract investment and stimulate employment.

Focusing on key employment areas, planning for their development, targeting infrastructure investment to them and ensuring they are linked to transport networks will maximise the city's productivity – positioning Melbourne as Australia's pre-eminent knowledge economy, services sector and freight hub.

Melbourne provides housing choice

Outcome 2: Melbourne provides housing choice in locations close to jobs and services.

Optimising choices and affordability for all Melburnians is key to Plan Melbourne.

People need to be able to live closer to jobs, public transport and services. This will encourage more people to walk or cycle, reduce travel times and our greenhouse gas emissions, delivering a more sustainable outcome for the city.

Demographic changes will also mean there'll be a need for more diverse housing for different household types and lifestyles.

It's also important to define areas where housing growth will occur. These areas will experience significant, but planned housing and population change compared to other parts of Melbourne and regional Victoria and will require new or enhanced services and infrastructure.

Increasing the supply of social and affordable housing is also vital—so that no one is left behind.

The greater the diversity of Melbourne's housing, the greater diversity of its people.

Melbourne has an integrated transport system

Outcome 3: Melbourne has an integrated transport system that connects people to jobs and services and good to market.

Melbourne needs an integrated 21st-century transport system to connect people to jobs and services. Creating an integrated transport system will require:

  • the completion of the Metro Tunnel project
  • improvements to arterial road connections and improved efficiency of the motorway network
  • the ongoing removal of level crossings across Melbourne's suburbs
  • better transport infrastructure and services in newer suburbs - including new bus services for outer suburbs and, where there is sufficient demand, expansions to the rail network
  • significant investments in new suburbs to create pedestrian and cyclist friendly neighbourhoods
  • ensuring Melbourne's air transport remains efficient for passengers and freight, with the potential to establish another airport in Melbourne's south-east
  • enhancing the efficiency of Melbourne's freight network by upgrading road and rail freight infrastructure, creating new intermodal freight terminals in Melbourne's north and west, and increasing the volumes of interstate freight transported by rail
  • enhancing Melbourne's freight network through the Port Capacity project, the Western Distributor project and the possible establishment of a second container port.

Melbourne is a distinctive and liveable city

Outcome 4: Melbourne is a distinctive and liveable city with quality environments.

By 2050, Melbourne aims to be a global city famous for its design, built environment, open spaces, creative culture and liveability.

To achieve that ambition the city and the state need to promote quality design that focuses on people, environment and cultural identity - and reflects the history and the future of Melbourne and Victoria.

Heritage will continue to be one of Melbourne's competitive strengths, contributing to its distinctiveness and liveability, attracting visitors, new residents and investors. Aboriginal cultural heritage will be recognised and protected as a part of the contemporary and social life of Melbourne.

The city needs to enhance its reputation as a great place to live and work - and use liveability as a magnet to attract new people, new ideas and new opportunities.

Inclusive, vibrant and healthy neighbourhoods

Outcome 5: Inclusive, vibrant and healthy neighbourhoods.

Plan Melbourne sets out to create a city of 20-minute neighbourhoods.

The 20-minute neighbourhood concept is all about 'living locally' - giving people the ability to meet most of their everyday needs within a 20-minute walk, cycle or local public transport trip of their home.

These everyday needs include; local health services, childcare, libraries, sporting facilities, parks, cafes and shopping centres.

Building pedestrian friendly neighbourhoods that connects people to these everyday needs will promote healthy lifestyles and ensures communities are accessible to people of all ages and abilities.

To strengthen community resilience, the planning and development of neighbourhoods should be coordinated through a place-based collaborative partnership approach with residents.

Melbourne is a sustainable and resilient city

Outcome 6: Melbourne is a sustainable and resilient city.

The Melbourne of 2050 needs to have become a low-carbon city designed to cope with the effects of climate change.

To become more sustainable and resilient Melbourne will reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero emissions by 2050 while creating new jobs, driving innovation within new and traditional industries and reducing household energy bills. In addition, areas at risk from natural hazards will be identified and planned for.

Urban areas will be designed to encourage more active modes of transport and be less car dependent. Buildings will be designed to improve energy efficiency, collect and reuse water and to generate energy from local renewable sources and distributed energy technologies.

The city will generate less waste, with resource recovery technologies extracting economic value from recycling of waste streams.

Melbourne will be cooler, greener and more liveable. The community's access to open space and nature will be enhanced and biodiversity and ecological processes will be safeguarded for future generations.

An integrated approach to managing the urban water cycle will make the best use of all water sources and transform Melbourne into a water sensitive city - protecting the health of the city's waterways and bays, reducing the risk of flooding and keeping parks, gardens and street trees thriving.

Continuing to invest in regional Victoria

Outcome 7: Continuing to invest in regional Victoria.

Continuing to invest in regional Victoria will support housing and economic growth, enhance social and economic participation and grow strong, healthy communities.

Growing regional cities will have stronger local labour markets and be better placed to sustain local employment as well as regional scale services such as hospitals and universities. They will also provide Victorians with more choices about where they want to live and work.

Creating high-quality freight and passenger transport connections between Melbourne and regional Victoria, and interstate and overseas, will also facilitate the growth and competitiveness of the regions.To achieve this aim, transport travel times between regional cities and central Melbourne need to be cut substantially.

Development in regional Victoria will need to be in keeping with the character, attractiveness and amenity of individual cities and towns. It will also need to be balanced with protecting productive land, economic resources and biodiversity assets that are critical to the state's economic and environmental sustainability.

Page last updated: 01/07/24