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Melbourne 2030: Planning Rhetoric Versus Urban Reality


For most residents of Melbourne, a prized feature of the quality of life which the city offers is its detached house and garden style. The Victorian Labor Government, through its new planning template for Melbourne – Melbourne 2030 – is hoping to change this way of living. It wants to make Melbourne a compact city in which many more residents live and work in activity centres.

This book makes clear that Melbourne 2030 will not work as the planners hope. It conflicts with urban realities deriving from the dwelling aspirations of existing residents, the way the contemporary urban economy is functioning and the financial costs of its compact city objectives.

If it is not going to work, why worry? The answer is that, long before these difficulties are acknowledged, Melbourne 2030 could do a great deal of (unintended) damage to Melbourne’s urban fabric.

The purpose of this book is to provide interested residents with a factually based analysis of how Melbourne 2030 is intended to work and where the problems lie in achieving its vision. We do not provide a new planning template. That would be to put the cart before the horse. It has been our observation that few residents, even those who are well informed, understand the ways in which Melbourne 2030 is likely to impinge on their lifestyle.

Our hope is that this study will contribute to new thinking about the planning of Melbourne, out of which innovative planning perspectives, more in tune with resident’s aspirations, will emerge.

Melbourne 2030: Planning Rhetoric Versus Urban Reality

   by Bob Birrell, Kevin O’Connor, Virginia Rapson and Ernest Healy