Published in 1954, the Melbourne Metropolitan Planning Scheme Report was compiled by the then Melbourne and Metropolitan Board of Works.

In 1954 Melbourne did not extend much beyond what we would now call the inner and middle suburbs with some development along the existing train lines.

The 1954 report began the planning system for Melbourne. The report shows the beginnings of the development corridors that we know today and planned for a population of 2.5 million in the 1990s, a population actually reached in the 1970s.

The report reinforced the then established tendency of Melbourne to grow to the south east. It designated higher density zones for the inner suburbs, lower density zones for middle and outer suburbs (such as Footscray, Preston and Box Hill) and rural zones for many areas that have now become suburbs.

It also proposed a major open space network along rivers and creeks together with five district centres – Footscray, Preston, Box Hill, Moorabbin and Dandenong.

Policy at the time said "They will offer to residents of the locality many of the facilities of the central city area under more attractive conditions nearer to their homes ".

View the Video: Planning for Melbourne's Future

To get a sense of the challenges and issues faced by Melburnians at the time, view a short flim about the development of the 1954 plan.

Download the report in sections:

Chapter 2 - The Size of the Future City

Chapter 3 - Decentralisation and the Future Defense

Chapter 6 - District Business Centres

Chapter 8 - District Business Centres

Chapter 9 - Open Space and Recreation

Chapter 10 - Other Community Services

More information

These documents have all been created from a scanned copy of the original document. If you require assistance in accessing these documents, please contact the department's Customer  Contact Centre on 136 186 or by email: customer.service@delwp.vic.gov.au.

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Page last updated: 28/07/22