Charting a course for the future of a city is a daunting prospect. Cities are complex ecosystems, shared places that make space for each of us to find our own way – together. More daunting still is the invitation to consider the future of Melbourne, a city renowned for its liveability, when change is the only certainty.
The City of Melbourne knows well these challenges, yet must make choices that will shape the city’s future. Over recent years, the City of Melbourne has sought to involve its community in making these choices, moving beyond the traditions of elected officials and community consultation to processes that capture and respect the voices of its citizens.
This plan, Future Melbourne 2026, reflects more than six months of contribution, conversation and debate on Melbourne’s next decade.
Working closely with the City of Melbourne, six Future Melbourne Ambassadors guided the plan’s development: Kate Auty, Marita Cheng, Tracey Fellows, Maria Katsonis, Rob McGauran and myself. Our task was to ensure that the plan developed as an authentic expression of the community's collective ambitions for the future of Melbourne.
A program of events and online discussions invited the Melbourne community to share their ideas, concerns and aspirations for the city’s future. Many accepted this invitation, building a conversation that spanned the breadth and diversity of our community. These views framed the task of the Future Melbourne citizens’ jury, a diverse group of 52 people broadly representative of the Melbourne community. Over six weeks, several long days of deliberation and ongoing discussions online, the group was challenged to respond to just one question: How should the Future Melbourne vision, goals and priorities be refreshed to prepare our city for the next decade?
The jury approached its task with astonishing rigour and vision. The resulting plan, Future Melbourne 2026, is testament to the commitment and dedication of this group, capably supported by the City of Melbourne.
On behalf of the Ambassadors, I thank the Lord Mayor and Councillors for inviting us to share in this journey. We commend the plan to you, and trust that it serves as a powerful guide as you lead the city through its next decade.
Future Melbourne 2026 Ambassador's Chair