4.1 Driving innovation – inside and out

Leadership in innovation is a widely acknowledged attribute of the City of Melbourne with both individual thought leaders and the organisation as a whole providing valuable contributions to the advancement of a range of social, cultural, environmental and planning areas. This is captured through our goal to be a Knowledge City. Our role is to contribute to this is as a promoter, leader, partner and enabler.

Innovation is vital when it comes to responding to climate change. Climate change will exacerbate existing problems and will lead to new problems. We cannot continue with standard practice. As part of our commitment to leadership and innovation, we have participated in a number of collaboration and research partnerships to build our knowledge of climate change and our understanding of the effectiveness of how to respond. Through our partnerships we have been able to lead research projects, implement projects and share our learning’s with stakeholders.

Potentially a driver for action in every other work area, innovation is necessary. Preliminary feedback from stakeholders recently has been that they appreciate our leadership and innovation and see it as a key role of ours.

Q. To continue as a leader in this space, we are continually looking for positive stories and innovation; do you know of some great examples of innovation in adapting to climate change?

4.2 Involving our community in responding

Our current four year Council Plan includes a goal to be an accessible, transparent, and responsive organisation. This commits us to strong community engagement. Through this goal we aim to have a more involved and better informed community. We have established Participate Melbourne to provide an online portal for our community engagement, but we also undertake extensive face to face engagement.

Our strategy came about in part because you asked us to focus on this through our engagement as part of the development of Future Melbourne 2009. Since then we have undertaken a number of other events to engage our community on climate change – holding a heatwave hypothetical, and we established The Catchments Project with Carlton Connect Initiative’s (CCI), LAB-14. Watch The Catchments Project video here.

Through Future Melbourne consultation in 2016, we have heard that the community would like to us to involve them in our decision-making. Climate change will require all of us to respond so we see involving the community as a as a priority work area for our strategy refresh.

Q. Measuring climate change adaptation and communicating the outcomes to the community can often be difficult; how should we measure and promote our progress?

4.3 Governing our response

Governance of our response is necessary as climate change represents risks to our operations. Therefore we are required to track our mitigation of the various risks, so we can understand what risk remains or arises in future.

Through the original strategy, we took a risk management approach to climate change (The project risk management process aligned with the Australian and New Zealand risk standard AS4360). All our work has been informed by the climate change risk assessment completed as part of the strategy process. Since its completion, we have trialled the use of a program called Interplan to manage our reporting against adaptation actions. Through this process we learnt many things including the need for actions that are measurable so we track our progress.

We have also developed an Adaptation Cost Curve to inform how we might prioritise various adaptation actions. The cost curve will help inform priority actions once we start to consider them.

More information on this focus area is available in the discussion paper below.

Q. After looking through the focus areas, are there any in particular you would like to be further engaged with in shaping? How would you like to contribute?