Principal Findings at the Local Level - Research with the Community

September 14, 2015

Places for People community pop-up


Over a period of five weeks in March to April 2015 Places for People conducted research with the community which provided unique and valuable data from a city user perspective. The online engagement via Participate Melbourne, a key component of the program, recorded 6068 page visits; 848 participants filled in a detailed survey that was designed to capture the people’s experience in accessing their daily needs, a selected number of key services and facilities a city should provide.

The following provides a snapshot of the feedback received. It will be further analysed in conjunction with the significant amount of spatial data obtained through this engagement program.

For illustration purposes we are also including a selected number of mind maps created by the participants as they capture eloquently the very personal nature of experiencing the city, while highlighting common needs.


A total of 198 workers responded to the local neighbourhoods online survey; 130 from the central city, 22 from Docklands, 9 from Southbank, 30 from within the remainder of the municipality and 7 workers from just outside the municipality.

Of 130 workers from the central city area, 83 access fresh food, 86 access their groceries, 80 access medical services and 89 accessed cultural services. Whilst 9 workers from Southbank responded to the online survey, none accessed fresh food or general services in the area locally. Of the 22 workers in Docklands, none accessed cultural services there.

Of the three districts, Southbank has the lowest percentage of workers who access daily needs locally; with fresh food 0%, groceries 22%, medical services 11%, general services 0% and community services 11%. Of the workers who access open space locally, the highest percentage was in Docklands (45%) followed by the central city (27%) and Southbank (11%). 77–91% of workers in all three districts do not access education.


A total of 324 residents responded to the local neighbourhoods online survey; 62 from the central city, 20 from Docklands, 49 from Southbank, 187 from within the remainder of the municipality and 6 residents from just outside the municipality.

Whilst only 6 residents who responded live outside of the municipality, 107 residents access their groceries outside the municipality. A total of 97 access fresh food outside the municipality. Approximately half of these residents travel by car to access these services. While 49 residents from Southbank responded to the online survey, only 7 residents accessed fresh food there.

A high proportion of Docklands residents access open space in their local area (90%) compared with just 31% of residents in the central city and 18% in Southbank. A high proportion (71%) of central city residents socialise in their local space compared with those living in Docklands (40%) and Southbank (49%). Just 11% of central city residents access community facilities locally compared with 35% in Docklands and 41% in Southbank. 73–81% of residents from the three districts do not access education.

Daily needs maps

The maps below capture the percentage of daily needs met per travel mode for local residents only. Further analysis of the breadth of findings and correlations has yet to be conducted.

Click on the slideshow arrows to view the maps of daily needs met by various transport options.

Next steps

The data collected from the neighbourhoods survey and the subsequent analysis will enable urban specialists to understand the city, and aspects of its functionality, in a new way.

The study also ties in with Council’s Knowledge City strategy by informing public dialogue and facilitating knowledge sharing. Places for People will also be showcased as part of Melbourne Knowledge Week 19-25 October 2015. Visit the Melbourne Knowledge Week page to learn more or register online for one of our workshops or seminar.

For more details please refer to the Places for People 2015 Research Report available from the City of Melbourne website by October.