Is Melbourne better today than it was in the sixties?Posted: July 18, 2010 Filed under: Planning, Population | Tags: 1960s, Andrew Mcleod, Brisbane, Committee for Melbourne, Population 3 Comments
I’ve previously discussed the argument advanced by the CEO of the Committee for Melbourne, Andrew Mcleod, that Melbourne can get better as it gets bigger.
Mr Mcleod has another interesting contention – he argues that Melbourne is unambiguously better and more liveable today than it was in 1960. Back then Melbourne had a population of around two million but now it has four million.
I have my doubts about the political wisdom of running that line but that’s neither here nor there – my primary interest is whether or not Mr Mcleod’s proposition makes sense.
I’ve no doubt the response of many people would be that housing in Melbourne is now less affordable than it was forty years ago and the roads and public transport are more congested. Some people also think it’s less safe, less equal and has a much larger per capita ecological footprint. For others, the footy lost something really important when the AFL was created.
On the other hand, many would argue that Melbourne is now more tolerant, more diverse and more exciting than it ever was. It’s now a city with a global profile, a better educated population and a vastly more sophisticated lifestyle. You can drive from the west to the south east fringe today entirely on freeway in under an hour in the off peak and you can take a train around the CBD. Read the rest of this entry »