Our community is diverse and often transient. Our economy accounts for approximately 37 per cent of the total metropolitan Melbourne economy, 27 per cent of Victoria’s economy. Our residential population is 116,431 (in 2013), but weekdays this grows to 844,000 people in and around our municipality, and on weekends it is 579,000 people.
Responding to our unique context and building the resilience of our community is vital to deliver on an inclusive, family friendly community.
3.1 Growing an adaptive, prosperous economy
The City of Melbourne is the capital of Victoria, and as such our economy represents a capital’s economy totalling approximately $90.6 billion of gross local product and 450,336 jobs. There were no direct actions listed in the first Adaptation Action Plan relating to working with our businesses, however, most of the actions aimed at flood mitigation and heat impacts are partly targeted at reducing the risk to our local businesses and events from climate change. The City of Melbourne is a member of the national Business Adaptation Network, a network that helps share knowledge, build capacity and promote and recognise best practice in climate change adaptation. Resilient Melbourne, also look to make local businesses across Greater Melbourne more adaptive and better prepared.
This is a priority as continuing the economic prosperity of our municipality is necessary to maintain access to jobs, continue our world leading events, and increase the vibrancy of our community – all things that you have told us you have valued about Melbourne.
3.2 Enabling our community’s resilience to climate impacts
We are currently undertaking an investigation into the relationship between extreme heat and violent behaviour, as this was raised a risk in the first strategy and is now an action of the Beyond the Safe City Strategy 2014-17. Furthermore, Resilient Melbourne highlight as a key objective: empowering communities to take greater responsibility for their own and each other’s well-being, safety and health.
We could learn from Rio de Janeiro, who has released a Resilience Strategy, which will develop regional resilience indicators to provide a view of the differences between the boroughs of the city and understanding how resilient people and the neighbourhood are in Rio de Janeiro.
3.3 Working with the vulnerable
Climate change will disproportionately impact those already most vulnerable in our community such as the homeless, elderly and children. There is a significant socio-economic disadvantage in the City of Melbourne, specifically parts of North Melbourne, Carlton and Kensington (ABS2011b). The 2011 Census showed that 18.7 per cent, or over 15,600 residents, were living in poverty; 1164 of whom were children. Approximately 1,232 people are experiencing homelessness in Melbourne according to the ABS Census data for 2011.
The City of Melbourne Street Count 2016 found approximately 247 people sleeping rough on the night of the count. People from all sections of the community including families, young people, older people, international students, refugees and those seeking asylum can find themselves facing or experiencing homelessness. Whether it lasts for a very short time, or for a number of months or even years, being without safe, secure and affordable accommodation can have devastating effects on a person’s life. City of Melbourne has started to respond to this through developing the Heatwave and Homelessness Action Plan. While we are seen as a leader on this, there may be other groups and other risk factors that need to be considered and managed.