What should we do about Melbourne?

Bike-O-Meter. Real time usage of bike hire schemes across world cities

I’ve been thinking for some time that I should set down what I see as the key high-level actions that need to be taken to ensure Melbourne can remain liveable well into the future. Given that the State election is about six weeks away, this seems like a good time.

I’m only going to look at the supply side. I’ll leave the topic of demand for another day. For the moment, I’ll assume that Melbourne really will grow to 7 million around 2050.

The actions I propose are not confined to the predominantly physical measures we’re used to seeing in traditional strategic plans like Melbourne 2030 and Melbourne @ 5 Million. Cities can’t be managed effectively without taking a holistic view  – that’s because many of the apparent “planning” problems have deeper causes.

I start with the same overall goals as plans like Melbourne 2030 espouse – greater environment sustainability, equity and economic efficiency – but the route I propose for getting there is very different and, I think, much more likely to work.

I’m more concerned here with getting the policy right than I am with short-term political feasibility, so I don’t expect either side is going to pick up these ideas and run with them in the election. That’ll take time.

So, the key high-level actions I propose are: Read the rest of this entry »