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Engaging with community, listening to what you have told us and then turning your suggestions into actions is a continuous process, we recently kicked this off with our first community consultations from 18 October to 16 December 2021. We then got back in touch from 22 March to 19 April 2022 to check to see if there were any gaps or issues that you wanted to tell us about.

You highlighted that COVID-19 lockdowns forced us all to live more locally and that local amenities are even more important to you. You told us what you value in your communities, what the challenges and opportunities are and suggestions for shaping and planning the future together.

The priorities listed here reflect the great diversity of voices in the neighbourhood and are the beginning of a cycle of listening that is endorsed by Council’s Neighbourhood Planning Framework.

We’ve listened to you and heard you. We will continue to listen to you and expect over time for recurring themes to emerge and for these local priorities to grow and change. This portal will regularly update what is already happening and what areas we will be exploring further.

  • Aboriginal Melbourne

    For the Wurundjeri, Bunurong, Taungurung, Dja Dja Wurrung and Wadawurrung peoples of the Eastern Kulin, the place now known as Melbourne has always been an important meeting place and location for events of political, cultural, social and educational significance. We will ensure that the Traditional Owners’ culture, lore, knowledge, and heritage enrich the city’s growth and development.

More understanding and visibility of Woi-wurrung language across the city.

What you told us

You said that you’d like to see Woi-wurrung (Wurundjeri) language more understood and visible throughout the city. Your suggestions included:

“Open language classes”

“It would be good to have more Aboriginal [Woi-wurrung] place names and an idea of what Melbourne was like before”

“Dual Aboriginal [Woi-wurrung] names on everything that was here before we were”

“Aboriginal [Woi-wurrung] language included in maps”

What we're doing

As part of our Reconciliation Action Plan 2021-23, we are identifying and implementing opportunities for the dual naming of spaces to reflect the Aboriginal cultural heritage of the area, specifically Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung for the Melbourne CBD.

In 2022, our annual festival of ideas has been dual named narrm ngarrgu | Melbourne Knowledge Week, following consultation with Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung Traditional Owners.


More recognition of Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung people's ongoing cultural connection to Country with visibility through signage, education, placemaking and creative art initiatives.

What you told us

You value the Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung peoples ongoing cultural connection to Country and its significance in the development of the city. You would like this connection to be more visible through cultural appropriate signage, more cultural education, placemaking and creative art initiatives.

“Unique identity is Aboriginal Melbourne - we will stand out in that way.”

“I think Indigenous landmarks and locations should be clearer throughout the city.”

Cultural activities within neighbourhoods such as stalls selling yam daisies and other flora, reed necklaces and basket weaving”

What we're doing

We host the YIRRAMBOI Festival every second year, providing opportunities for Aboriginal artists to present their continuous and diverse contemporary practices.

We are also partnering with the Victorian Government and other stakeholders to deliver specific components of Greenline along the north bank of the Birrarung Yarra River.

We have completed a review of Aboriginal history as it relates to the Hoddle Grid. This was undertaken by independent heritage consultants working with Traditional Owner Groups and makes up volumes 3, 4 and 5 of the Hoddle Grid Heritage Review.

At this year’s narrm ngarrgu | Melbourne Knowledge Week we launched an Aboriginal Melbourne spatial mapping tool highlighting places and events of Aboriginal cultural significance within the city. An interactive map will be located in Town Hall Commons and available in desktop and mobile versions. This educational resource has been developed with the Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung Cultural Heritage Aboriginal Corporation and supports Council in placemaking and signage.


[February 2023] Monday 13 February marked the 15th Anniversary of the National Apology to the Stolen Generations. As part of the ongoing work towards reconciliation, we are in the process of acknowledging, recognising and paying tribute to the Stolen Generations by establishing a marker within the municipality. The Victorian Aboriginal Community – including those who are part of the Stolen Generations and their families – are invited to provide feedback on three potential shortlisted marker locations.

[January 2023] Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung Elder, Uncle Dave Wandin, shares the importance of understanding an Acknowledgment of Country and how to deliver it with respect.

Find out more about Melbourne’s Traditional Owners and Aboriginal peoples’ deep connection to Country.

[November 2022] From the Heart: Enshrining a First Nations Voice in the Australian Constitution was a talk celebrating the Uluru Statement from the Heart, the 2021/22 recipient of the Sydney Peace Prize. Presented by The University of Melbourne and the City of Melbourne, partnering with the Sydney Peace Foundation, it included a keynote address from Professor Megan Davis, followed by a panel discussion with Professor Davis, Pat Anderson AO and Noel Pearson, facilitated by Jon Faine AM, with music from University of Melbourne Indigenous musicians Jonathan Watling and Shauntai Batzke.

[October 2022] Learn about key places of Aboriginal cultural and historical significance using the innovative and interactive digital map Mapping Aboriginal Melbourne. Created by the City of Melbourne, in consultation with Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung and Bunurong Boon Wurrung Traditional Owners.

Accessible as both a physical display and online via desktop and smartphones, the map is a powerful truth-telling tool that gives all Melburnians education and insight into the history of the land and its Traditional Owners. It also seeks to engage the community in dialogue around the gathering, interpreting and storing of Aboriginal knowledge.

  • Access and affordability

    We will reduce economic and social inequality by ensuring universal access to housing, core services and information.

Greater recognition and support for apartment living and strata communities and more affordable housing.

What you told us

Most residents of the CBD live in high-rise apartments. You’d like to see more affordable housing, better design quality, more sustainability and housing types within apartments. You’d like greater recognition and support for apartment living and strata communities.

“It would be great to have building managers brought together and given support. Some are better than others.”

“Integration of public housing in existing apartment blocks.”

“Our apartment building doesn't have common rooms like some of the newer ones do. Our apartments are too small to have gatherings. Would love an affordable space for CBD families that can be rented out for birthday parties, dinner parties, afternoon teas. We can't always rely on parks and gardens due to Melbourne's weather!”

“Build new buildings with 8-star ratings.”

What we're doing

We have established Homes Melbourne to coordinate and facilitate more affordable housing for key workers and people on low-incomes.

As part of our Climate and Biodiversity Emergency response we are advocating to the Australian Building Codes Board, along with State and Federal Governments to ensure that the National Construction Code delivers better outcomes for people and the planet. This means fast tracking changes to the building code, such as a 7.5 star rating for all new buildings, to enable the transition to resilient, zero carbon buildings.

What we’re doing next

We have some resources on our apartment living page to support the strata community and are keen to hear your ideas on further addressing this.

We’re also looking at ways to make homes in the CBD more comfortable, healthy and affordable to live in. Some resources are available for residents here.


[December 2022] Owners Corporations and management companies are looking at ways to bring residents together for social activities, including Essential Community which invited residents from various high-rise buildings in the CBD and Southbank to meet their neighbours for a Trivia Night in December.

[November 2022] Residents 3000 hosted an Owners Corporation forum for residents to discuss strata related issues and ask questions around changes to legislation.

[October 2022] We've met with the Strata Community Association and Facilities Management Association to investigate ways we can provide further support for apartment residents and managers.

Spaces and services are welcoming for all people including families and children, older people, Aboriginal communities, migrant communities, neurodiverse people, LGBTIQ+ communities.

What you told us

You would like to see the CBD as an affordable and inclusive place. This would include community spaces and services for all people including families and children, older people, Aboriginal communities, migrant communities, neurodiverse people, LGBTIQ+ communities.

“More spaces where families and people of all ages can sit without having to spend money.”

“More facilities for grandparents to take their children while parents are working.”

Really making Melbourne a great place for families by thinking through what it means to live in the city as a family - not just the city as a transient place. Looking after people already living in the city. Not just one bedroom boxes.

What we're doing

We provide a broad range of health and support services, programs and resources to assist the community including children and their families, young people, older people, Aboriginal communities, LQBTIQ communities.

Our Inclusive Melbourne Strategy increases access to opportunities for all people and outlines how we will respond to the diversity of religions, cultures, age groups, gender, sexual orientation and ability among the people who live, work, study in and visit the city.

Also, our Creating Communities of Equality and Respect: Women’s Safety and Empowerment Action Plan 2021-2024 outlines action that can be taken to prevent violence against women.

What we’re doing next

We will be looking at further opportunities to incorporate community suggestions and advance inclusivity within the Melbourne CBD neighbourhood.


[February 2023] We are continuing our mission to alleviate period poverty with the extension of its free period care pilot program until 30 June 2023. Since the launch of the trial in September 2021 more than 6,700 period care products were dispensed from vending machines across six Council-owned facilities including the City Library and the Melbourne Town Hall public toilets on Collins Street.

[February 2023] We are embedding equity of access and inclusion across our tourism services, programs, events and information. We have worked with Guide Dogs Victoria to implement virtual beacon technology to aid people with vision impairment in navigating Swanston Street and Bourke Street. We are also investigating improvements to our tactile street signage across the city.

[February 2023] The Melbourne Conversations: Homes for All event was held on 15 February at the Queen Victoria Women’s Centre. The complexity and extent of the housing crisis needs a comprehensive, targeted response. This panel explored affordable housing options available now and in the near future, along with ways to create pathways out of homelessness – at pace and scale. Experts discussed their roles in innovating, advocating and collaborating to invest in our housing future.

[November 2022] A new Family Services Pop-up has been established in a great central location next door to the Elizabeth St Pop-up Library to promote health, education, learning and development. These Maternal and Child Health services to support our families in the CBD will be run by appointment only.

[November 2022] Pop in to our Bourke Street Lounge, City of Melbourne Libraries' latest pop-up library offering a comfortable space to meet, study or just relax. The collection caters for a broad range of readers.

[October 2022] We've created a number of free and accessible pop-up libraries which are taking over temporary spaces in the CBD. Play, read and learn at the new Federation Square Pop-up Library for kids. Feed your mind at the beautiful and bountiful Elizabeth St Pop-up Library, with an array of best-selling books, access to wi-fi, and a bespoke Make*It Space.

[October 2022] Councillors endorsed the internal design for the new Munro Library and Community Hub. Set to open by the end of 2023, the library will attract more people to the market precinct and help support the economic resurgence and vitality of the precinct.

Spaces and services designed to consider use by people of all ages, abilities and backgrounds.

What you told us

A city that is accessible and easy to navigate is important to you as well as spaces and services for people of all ages, abilities and backgrounds.

“Disability access could be improved - not a ramp around the back of a building.”

“Fix the pathways with the dots for the blind and making the CBD more accessible for vision and mobility impaired people.”

What we're doing

Our Disability Access and Inclusion Plan 2020-2024 focuses on ensuring more accessible services and events, adult change facilities, and with support from community and transport groups, more accessible transport services.


[February 2023] We are renewing and upgrading infrastructure to comply with the Disability Discrimination Act, predominantly Tactile Ground Surface Indicators (TGSIs). This program of works is running ahead of schedule and at the end of January approximately 20 projects have been delivered, equating to over 70% of the program.

[February 2023] Our libraries have recently launched their own Disability Inclusion and Accessibility Plan with action to improve accessibility to our libraries, services and resources.

[November 2022] A forum to mark the 30 year commemoration of the Disability Discrimination Act was held on 24 November at Melbourne Town Hall. This was an opportunity for community members to come together to hear and share on how the Disability Discrimination Act has enabled greater access and inclusion for people with disability.

[October 2022] To make our city more inclusive for everyone, we've partnered with Bayley House and Travellers Aid to launch the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower Symbol initiative across the city. People with a hidden disability can now access free sunflower lanyards, pins, stickers and wrist bands, to effectively and discreetly signal that they may require assistance at events, businesses and on public transport.

People with a hidden disability can pick up the wearable products from locations across the CBD including: City of Melbourne Tourism Hubs, Traveller's Aid Flinders Street Station, and Traveller's Aid Southern Cross Station.

Local food production and access to fresh food.

What you told us

You’d like visible local food production through small planters, community gardens, food forests, edible fruit trees and partnerships with social enterprises. You highlighted the value of Queen Victoria Market and the need to access fresh food in other city locations.

“I would love to see a few more fresh food mini markets in the CBD. Like a European vegetable market in a little area where people can pop out at lunchtime and buy some fresh produce or grab a fresh lunch. We have QVM but would be nice to have something like that actually in the CBD.”

“Plant edible fruit trees so that they can be used for a source of food for people experiencing homelessness and other people in need. Principles of sharing and caring are very important in Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung culture.

What we're doing

Our Community Food Relief Plan 2021-2025 commits to improving access to food and food relief services, and to investigating opportunities for pop-up markets in our local neighbourhoods.

Our Community Food Guide is a resource for community agencies and anyone in the community who needs information on how to access affordable, fresh and healthy food.

What we’re doing next

We continue to work with food relief providers on initiatives and programs to improve access to food for vulnerable members of our community. This includes supporting communities to grow their own food, helping to increase food supply and production.


[February 2023] We are in the process of reviewing the City of Melbourne Food Policy and during March will be seeking community feedback on the draft food policy via the Participate Melbourne page. We encourage you to have your say in City of Melbourne supporting and promoting a food system that provides good food for all.

[February 2023] We are launching the Grow It Local program in early 2023 for all City of Melbourne community members to get involved in growing food at home. As part of the program, Grow it Local have launched the latest Autumn Seed Service, a patch-to-plate adventure that makes free heirloom seeds and instructional content available to local residents. This free offer is available to the first 100 participants who register to receive a package containing heirloom seed varieties including kale, rainbow chard and spinach. Participants will learn to grow from seed-to-spanakopita with Costa Georgiadis via online videos for each stage of the growing journey and support is also available from Grow it Local’s garden guru.

[October 2022] The Community Food Guide has been updated for 2022 and a new interactive Community Food Map is now live.

  • Climate and biodiversity emergency

    We will prioritise our environment and take urgent action to reduce emissions and waste in order to protect public health, strengthen the economy and create a city that mitigates and adapts to climate change. The City of Melbourne declared a climate and biodiversity emergency in 2019.

Decarbonising transport and keeping cars out of small streets and lanes.

What you told us

Reducing carbon emissions is important to you. You would like to see the decarbonisation of transport and have more pedestrian-only and shared zone areas, especially in small streets and lanes.

“Charge cars that travel through the city a toll. Use the funding to support better public transport from outer suburbs.”

“Introduce zero cars within 2-4kms of CBD this will reduce emissions. This will reduce accidents as well.”

“I wish there were more streets that were closed to motor vehicles. I love the CBD but there are too many cars on the road. It is a waste of space and the noise and air pollution detracts from the sense of place.”

What we’re doing

We’re committed to zero emissions transport, including supporting transition to electric vehicles, as outlined in our Transport Strategy 2030 and Climate Change Mitigation Strategy.

We’re pursuing higher environmental standards through our proposed planning scheme amendment C376 Sustainable Building Design. This proposed amendment will incorporate electric vehicle (EV) charging and EV readiness for new buildings to ensure they support our vision of a zero emissions city by 2040.

We’re also fast-tracking the delivery of protected bike lanes and pedestrian and bike-friendly street improvements across the city and participating in a 12-month e-scooter trial.


[October 2022] Melbourne Conversations held an event The Electric Vehicle Revolution on 19 October at Sustainability Victoria. Electric Vehicle (EV) technology is speeding towards new possibilities. The question is, what do we want all this to look like in our cities? Our expert panel considered how all this new EV tech can lead to more accessible and inclusive transport options. They delved into the urban design and infrastructure upgrades needed to support EV uptake, and how to encourage diverse socio-economic access to electric transport

[October 2022] We’re currently undertaking community consultation on our Zero carbon buildings project. With buildings contributing up to 66 per cent of our carbon emissions, they play a big part in our city reaching its net zero emissions target by 2040.

Greening the city streets, buildings and rooftops.

What you told us

Spending time in urban green spaces can help our physical and mental health. You value this too and would like to see more greening of city streets, laneways and buildings including rooftops, and more biodiversity and flora and fauna within the city.

“Use eucalyptus as well as a range of other indigenous species to revegetate and increase tree canopy.”

“Initiative to green the CBD's buildings including greening rooftops - so much of the city looks onto the rooftops of other buildings - let's make these spaces nice to hang out in and nice to look at.”

“Urban Forest - greening of laneways, vertical gardens, assistance for buildings that want to build rooftop garden live on 50th floor, see all the way to Cathedral and Parliament.”

What we're doing

We’ve developed an Urban Forest Strategy and are currently delivering year 8 of the Central City Urban Forest Precinct Plan. The future review of this plan will incorporate community engagement and input.

The Urban Forest Fund supports gardens, tree planting, biodiversity projects, green roofs and vertical greening, and intersects with the Green Our City Strategic Action Plan which aims to improve the quality and quantity of green roofs and vertical greening in Melbourne.

Our Nature in the City Strategy also outlines how we will protect and enhance ecosystem health and biodiversity in our city.


[February 2023] We recently hosted two successful Canopy Green Roof Forum workshops at the Library at the Dock. These workshops were facilitated by Melbourne’s emerging horticultural star Jac Semmler, who provided residents from Docklands, CBD and Southbank with practical planting advice and design tips to beautify their rooftops and balconies with biodiverse flowers and year-round blooms.

Community participants were delighted to partake in the planting session with Councillor Hakim, and take home a special potted creation.

[February 2023] We are renewing our Urban Forest Precinct Plans, starting with East Melbourne, Melbourne CBD, South Yarra and Carlton. Consultation for these neighbourhoods will begin in March. The precinct plans outline what is going to be planted where, when and why over the next ten years. We are delivering workshops in the neighbourhoods and asking community members to provide feedback to us from March to May this year. This is an exciting opportunity for local residents to have their say on the future of street trees within their neighbourhood.

[February 2023] Through our Urban Forest Fund, we’re supporting five new greening projects that will beautify and cool our neighbourhoods, creating 1000 square metres of new green cover. Tram stops will be transformed into lush eco-installations and community gardens will pop up in unlikely places through $500,000 in matched-funding to create a greener, more sustainable city.

[February 2023] Yarra Trams will deliver a pilot project, installing green roofs at four popular city tram stop shelters. The initial trial of four tram stops is being jointly funded by the City of Melbourne, Department of Transport and Yarra Trams, with the tram stop rooftop planters expected to be installed by mid-2023. Two of the central CBD stops for the trial will include Stop 3 on Routes11, 12, 48 and 109 (Collins and William Streets) and Stop 5 for Route 58 (William and Bourke Streets).

[February 2023] We have launched the trial of the Floating Wetlands project on the Yarra River - Birrarung. Three large wetlands have been towed onto the river, occupying prime locations at Yarra’s Edge near Webb Bridge and Victoria Harbour Promenade in Docklands. The Floating Wetlands trial is a joint initiative of the City of Melbourne and the State Government. The project has been funded through a $700,000 grant from the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning and was first identified by the City of Melbourne’s 2019 Yarra River Strategy.

[January 2023] The Greenline Project’s Birrarung Marr Precinct Site One concept design was endorsed by the Future Melbourne Committee on Tuesday 6 December 2022. We will now progress the detailed design and program planning for Birrarung Marr Precinct Site One, working towards construction commencing in 2023. Thank you to everyone who contributed their feedback. Consultation took place from 2 August to 12 September 2022. View the final concept design and learn more about what we heard on the community consultation page. You can also access the meeting notes and watch a livestream from the Future Melbourne Committee meeting.

[October 2022] We've created an inviting and functional space on Lonsdale Street in the Greek Precinct with new cafe screen planter boxes and an improved footpath.

Education programs on climate change, biodiversity and disaster preparedness.

What you told us

You’d like to see more education programs on climate change and biodiversity. Many of you told us that you don’t feel prepared for disasters that might affect your neighbourhood.

“Pop-up workshops and classes, to improve sustainability in own home.”

“Educative sessions videos at Federation Square about climate change and initiatives to take to conserve energy, etc. Reduce use of plastic, change to paper bags.”

What we're doing

We declared a climate and biodiversity emergency in 2019 and are taking bold action on climate change. We’ve committed to zero net emissions by 2040 in addition to a range of other actions and priorities.

To find out more, visit: How to act now on climate change.

Our urban water in the city initiative aims to increase understanding of sustainable water management and provides resources and ideas to make a difference at home or work.

We also offer a range of community environmental education and awareness programs including Nature Stewards, our Citizen Forester Program, Gardens for Wildlife and sustainability walking tours.

We are the first organisation to have eventsincluding the Moomba Festival, Melbourne Fashion Week, Melbourne Music Week, naarm ngarrgu Melbourne Knowledge Week - which are all certified Carbon Neutral through the Australian Government’s Climate Active Program.

What we’re doing next

We have an initiative on Community Disaster Resilience and will look to run programs to help our community feel more prepared for future events.


[February 2023] We’ve become one of six cities around the world to appoint dedicated Chief Heat Officers to raise awareness about extreme heat risk, provide local leadership and collaborate to deliver solutions. We’re currently delivering Heat Health Preparedness seminars with a range of community groups across February and March. We're also working on developing a plan to make the city safer from the impacts of heat and will be engaging with people who may be vulnerable to the experiences of heatwaves across each neighbourhood.

More promotion and adoption of renewable energy like solar.

What you told us

You’d like to see more promotion and adoption of renewable energy options.

“Turn the CBD into a negative powered hub using solar horizontal wind production.”

“Sustainability having solar as necessity on all buildings and putting energy to the grid.”

“Possibly introducing a greener initiative, running of renewables.”

What we're doing

In 2017, the City of Melbourne became the first capital city council in Australia to be powered by 100 per cent renewable energy through the Melbourne Renewable Energy Project.

By continuing our innovation in renewable energy, Power Melbourne will play a lead role in reaching our ambition to become a whole city powered by 100 per cent renewables by 2030.


[February 2023] We're working to make it easier to access affordable renewable energy. Our Power Melbourne project will install a network of neighbourhood batteries around the city to help renters, people living in apartments, and those running small businesses access more affordable renewable electricity. Late last year we consulted with community on ideas for where neighbourhood batteries should be installed and how we design retail plans with an energy retail partner. Keep an eye on the Power Melbourne page for opportunities to get involved in the next stage of engagement activities, opening soon.

[October 2022] We’re currently undertaking community consultation on our Power Melbourne project which will install a network of neighbourhood batteries around the city. The batteries will be linked to a retail electricity plan to help residents and businesses access more affordable renewable electricity.

[October 2022] We're boosting sustainability in the Queen Victoria Market precinct, powering up more than 650 solar panels to cut carbon emissions and electricity costs.

Improving waste management and circular economy projects within the CBD.

What you told us

Reducing food waste and improving waste management is important to you. To help with this you’d like to see local circular economy projects such as composting and a vending machine-like system for glass and refilling stations for household products.

“More incentives for recycling would be great e.g. clothing recycling bins so that they can be upcycled later on.”

“Food and organic waste treatment for apartment towers - that's a huuuuuge opportunity.”

What we're doing

Our Waste and Resource Recovery Strategy outlines ways to help become a zero waste city. We provide a wide range of services including street bins, garbage compactors and residential and commercial bin collections and recycling.

We are leading the reduction of food waste and diversion of waste from landfill, through our food and organics (FOGO) collection service for single-unit and multi-unit dwellings up to five storeys. We will also be trialling textile bins and a food organics pilot in high-rise buildings.

What we’re doing next

We also support the idea of a circular economy and through leadership and community neighbourhood projects, including social enterprise grants, are reviewing a container deposit scheme, alternative waste technologies and developing circular economy guidelines.


[February 2023] We continue to provide a wide range of services for reusing, recycling or disposing of unwanted household items and materials. 11,400 combined tonnes were collected from various sources including communal recycling bins, cardboard bins and residential collections between October 2022 and January 2023.

[February 2023] We continue to roll out the Food Organics Service to high-rise residential apartments across Melbourne. Selected buildings are undertaking a 12-month pilot program to collect and process food scraps using an on-site organic processor. For more information on the pilot, visit Food Organics High-Rise Pilot.

[February 2023] A second information session was held with residents and stakeholders for Little La Trobe Street precinct in February proposing options for greening including drain gardens, window planting and recycling hub.

[October 2022] An information session for proposed communal waste facilities in the Little La Trobe Street precinct was held in September. Feasibility of a smaller compactor is currently underway based on community feedback and further updates will be provided later in coming months.

[October 2022] We continue the rollout of the Food Organics and Green Organics (FOGO) high-rise trial.

  • Economy of the future

    We will focus on driving economic recovery and creating the conditions for a strong, adaptive, sustainable and thriving future city economy supported by a diverse mix of industries and jobs that provide dignity and opportunity.

Enhancing resilience of the CBD through defining and promoting distinct neighbourhoods within the city.

What you told us

The CBD is well-known for its lively and culturally and socially distinct areas within the neighbourhood. You’d like to see greater promotion and distinction of these areas to support local businesses and enhance resilience of the CBD, especially post COVID-19 lockdowns.

“We’d like to get to know each other more. We’d like to be more active in the precincts. I’m keen to see a recovery led by small business owners and residents”

“Define and market unique neighbourhoods of the city like New York does.”

What we're doing

Our Business Precinct Program 2021-25 provides financial support to precinct trader associations to help them reactivate and promote their distinct areas.

We are also supporting Melbourne’s creative industries through reusing and reenergising precincts and vacant spaces throughout the city.

What we’re doing next

We are keen to partner with the industry and local communities to continue to advance these opportunities further.


[February 2023] As the Munro development is nearing completion, it's now time to upgrade the streetscape along Therry Street. Early works have commenced, with the majority of work to take place from mid-February until mid-2023. The upgrades will greatly improve safety and define new spaces for locals and customers to enjoy the Market atmosphere. The shops along Therry Street will remain open, please follow the signage in place.

[October 2022] Our Business Precinct Program provides annual funding for precinct associations to create opportunities for business networking, education and training, and initiatives to encourage visitation and local spending. In the CBD, five precinct associations will receive grants of up to $90,000 this financial year:

  • City Precinct
  • Melbourne Chinatown Association – first-time recipient
  • Collins Street Precinct Group
  • Greek Precinct Association
  • Melbourne City North Business Association

[October 2022] Councillors discussed the Municipal Planning Strategy and Draft City Spatial Plan at the 19 July Future Melbourne Committee meeting. The strategy plots how Melbourne will look and feel over the next 10 to 20 years – with a focus on affordable housing, tackling climate change, creating jobs and delivering sustainable high-quality development and design.

More support for small businesses and diversity of hospitality options.

What you told us

You’d like to see more support for small businesses and diversity of hospitality options.

“30% off in restaurants was excellent, some more of those.”

“Small business in the CBD is dead and the probability of revival is low”

“Encouraging sole traders to grow their business and become a small business”

“Support small business and retail, support offices to attract employees back to full time work”

What we're doing

We’ve provided and continue to provide a range of support for businesses including: grants, mentoring, workshops, extended outdoor dining initiatives, regular newsletters, research and data sharing.

We continue to strengthen Melbourne's economic recovery, including through precinct and shopfront activation, delivery of an enhanced business concierge service and support for the night-time economy.

Through our Business Precinct Program 2021-25, local businesses are encouraged to join their representative association to benefit from City of Melbourne support to deliver local activations and marketing and promotion campaigns.


[February 2023] We’ve launched the Melbourne Economy Snapshot, a free seasonal activity guide designed to help businesses make data-led decisions by understanding Melbourne’s new rhythm.

The first edition shows a sky-high December, with a record $1.1b spent across the city. Friday and Saturday remain the busiest days in Melbourne, while our night-time economy continues to flourish. Delve into the nitty gritty and explore weekday, weekend and night-time activity.

[February 2023] Dusk 2 Dawn applications were open throughout November and December. Applications are currently being reviewed, with successful activations commencing in May.

[February 2023] The City of Melbourne’s social enterprise grants program supports social enterprise businesses to thrive in Melbourne. The program supports start-ups and existing enterprises which are expanding or developing new products or services with a distinctly social purpose. Applications are currently open and close at 2pm Friday 10 March 2023.

[February 2023] Between October 2022 and January 2023 our Business Concierge service have had 5000 interactions with businesses across the municipality. The range of enquiries have been simple support requests over the phone and email, face to face interactions and supporting new businesses in their start up.

[January 2023] Lunar New Year celebrations were hosted by the Melbourne Chinatown Association on 22 January 2023. Over 50,000 people attended the area on the day, an increase from the last event (which was held in 2019) by 19%.

[December 2022] The Christmas Collective program is an initiative as part of the Christmas Festival. One of the objectives is to increase visitation and spend supporting the economy. A total of $74,726.00 in funding was allocated to 15 businesses/groups to deliver an event or activity.

[December 2022] To support local businesses, we lifted the holiday spirit with our Christmas Decoration program, including the Melbourne CBD which remains a focus in driving visitation and connection to the city’s core retail and hospitality offering.

[December 2022] The Collins Street Precinct provided pop up gift wrapping during the Christmas period.

[December 2022] The Melbourne City North Precinct Association hosted the Little Korea Christmas Festival held December 17 & 18 2022 in Healeys Lane.

[December 2022] The Greek Precinct hosted the Lonsdale Street Greek Festival/Antipodes on 22 and 23 October 2022, with an estimated attendance of 100,000. Christmas in the Precinct was held on 18 December 2022.

[November 2022] We have doubled our funding to support conferences, workshops and other business events – bringing more people together to drive innovation and boost the economy. Council’s 2023 Business Event Sponsorship Program has an increased focus on innovation in life sciences, finance, including fintech and funds management, information and communications technology, energy and environment.

The line-up of exciting events will entice tens of thousands of workers, students and business owners to the city, while promoting opportunities for learning and engagement with the knowledge and innovation sectors to future-proof the city.

[October 2022] The Lord Mayor's Small Business Awards recognised the achievements of 49 Melbourne business owners who've been operating in the City of Melbourne for more than 10, 20 and 40 years, including in the CBD:

  • Wendy Scully Millinery, a fascinator and millinery business at Emporium Melbourne.
  • Dungeon of Magic, a specialty games store located in the basement of the Royal Arcade in Melbourne.
  • The Chicken Pantry, an iconic poultry and game shop at Queen Victoria Market.
  • You Day Spa, an oasis at the Paris end of Collins Street.
  • Clementine's, an orange-themed gift shop stocking Victorian-made goods on Degraves Street.
Affordable communal workspaces for start-ups and creatives and improving digital literacy across the city.

What you told us

To help reinvigorate the CBD, you’d like to see affordable communal workspaces for start-ups and creatives, and increased access to digital services and improvements to digital literacy.

“Small hubs created for local entrepreneurs at affordable rates. City is not as expensive as pre-COVID but getting mass bookings means that offices can be full all the time.”

“It would be great if there were community-based coworking spaces. One aspect of apartment living in the CBD is that they are not huge spaces. COVID has impacted ability to use shared spaces and facilities within our buildings and many of the older buildings don't have these amenities. […] it would be great if the City of Melbourne could broker this or if we had known about community spaces that are modern functional.”

"Vibrant free places for community groups and artists to meet, spread throughout the city for easy access.”

What we're doing

The Micro-Labs project mixes retail, community and co-working in one city location. We will bring a shopfront to life at 227-229 Bourke St for residents and visitors to enjoy, and to support our businesses and economy.

Our Library Service now with pop-up libraries are fostering digital literacy skills and increasing access to free wi-fi from our community facilities.

What we’re doing next

The changing nature of work has seen an immediate demand for a more flexible work life. Coworking spaces are a perfect solution to this growing demand, and we are supporting this start-up ecosystem through programs and initiatives.


[February 2023] Book-A-Librarian has kicked off again for 2023 where people can book one on one time to get some digital literacy support with online platforms and use of digital devices.

[November 2022] We've published live data dashboards which are updated four times daily to share information with the community. The Micro-Labs data dashboard shows visitor activity, equipment usage, popular book themes and noise levels.

The data collected through different sensors in this pop-up coworking space is useful as we plan and operate city spaces like parks and libraries.

[October 2022] Centrally located at 227-229 Bourke Street Melbourne, Micro-Labs is now open for visitors. Pop by to join an event, browse our pop-up library or even book to use the space. From May we started testing a new type of city space. Micro-Labs will explore the ways that city shopfronts can be repurposed to support people most in need of retail, community and workspaces.

  • Melbourne’s unique identity and place

    We will celebrate and protect the places, people and cultures that make Melbourne a unique, vibrant and creative city with world-leading liveability.

Preserving our city’s old buildings and heritage.

What you told us

Melbourne has a unique and distinguishable character and you’ve told us that preserving our old buildings and heritage is important in retaining this.

“Retaining the buildings etc for the things that make Melbourne unique with the Melbourne feel.”

“Consider what future generations want from today architecture before an [older] building is pulled down.”

“Avoiding facadism to better protect Melbourne's special identity.”

What we're doing

Our Hoddle Grid Heritage Review, is the first comprehensive review of heritage buildings in the central city since the 1990s. The independent review took a holistic view of more than 1000 buildings, carefully considering Aboriginal, colonial, contemporary, community, tangible and intangible heritage values.

We have sought heritage protection for 126 properties and five precincts through Amendment C387. The properties include 48 places that represent the best of our city’s postwar residential and commercial architecture and tell the story of Melbourne’s evolution from 1945 to 1975. This was recently endorsed by the City of Melbourne Future Melbourne Committee.


[February 2023] Built in 1888 as a gateway into Melbourne’s central city, Princes Bridge remains one of the Yarra River – Birrarung’s most iconic crossings. We are restoring the bridge to ensure it can continue to support residents, workers and visitors into the future. The works will include renewing the road asphalt, installing bicycle lane separator kerbs, waterproofing the road surface and general repairs.

[February 2023] The final stage of heritage restoration works has commenced in H and I Sheds at the Queen Victoria Market. The program will start with in-ground works, including trenching to install essential trader services and then progress onto the restoration of the shed frame and roof.

For the duration of shed restoration and ensuing market infrastructure works, you can find your favourite fruit, veg and organic traders from H and I Sheds across Queen Street in the newly restored C and D Sheds.

[February 2023] Over at the Food Hall at the market, the butterfly roof, brickwork and high-level painting are complete. Other progress includes the installation of the structural steel for the canopy over the entrance on the corner of Victoria and Elizabeth Streets. Upcoming works include glazing of the windows and skylights and installation of internal walls within the amenities.

While there will be changes to the way you navigate the Market, it remains open for business with the best fresh produce and shopping in Melbourne. For more information about what’s happening at the Market, visit the Queen Victoria Market website.

[February 2023] The Royal Exhibition Buildings and Carlton Gardens World Heritage Management Plan is currently open for consultation through Engage Victoria and closes on 3 March. The Strategy Plan for the World Heritage Environs Area will be subject to a Heritage Council hearing in May 2023.

[October 2022] The Minister of Planning has approved Amendment C387 Hoddle Grid Heritage Review (Permanent Controls). The Amendment now forms part of the Melbourne Planning Scheme.

[October 2022] We’re stepping up to protect the city’s heritage, releasing a new policy update to set out how recent changes to planning controls and policies are celebrating Melbourne’s iconic laneway culture.

More events, activities, and art and support for artists and performers.

What you told us

Melbourne is recognised as a cultural destination with an array of galleries, world-renowned street art and bustling music and theatre events.

You’ve said that being a cultural city is important to you and that you’d like to see more events, activities and art within the city and more support for artists and performers.

“Lots of free events - lots of opportunities to try new things from different cultures.”

“[It produces] wonderful and wide-ranging events to see and [it is] proactive in incentivising visitors to make the journey in. [It] invests in making the city a vibrant and interesting place.”

“Making venues more affordable for groups to rehearse and perform in the city…. Having a thriving arts culture has always been so important to Melbourne as it attracts people and gives the city a buzz and a safe and exciting vibe with lots of people living and working in the city. The people who work, rehearse and patronise these concerts, shows and events helps the local economy and makes the city a more attractive place to be.”

What we're doing

We are showcasing Melbourne's unique culture and creativity through our public arts projects and program of events, encouraging more people to visit our city and participate in arts and cultural activities.

The Flash Forward project connected 40 historic laneways across Melbourne and commissioned more than 80 creatives to create artworks through lighting, music and creative installations.

Arts Grants are available to artists and small to medium arts organisations from all backgrounds and abilities.

Creative Spaces connects artists and creative practitioners with spaces, promotes artists and their work, and provides an index of live and virtual events.

We are presenting multiple premier events with extensive free programming throughout the year, including New Year’s Eve, Christmas Festival, Moomba, Melbourne Music Week, Melbourne Fashion Week, narrm ngarrgu Melbourne Knowledge Week and YIRRAMBOI.


[December 2022] New Year’s Eve attracted approximately 475,000 visitors into the city to celebrate the new year and enjoy the dazzling fireworks and laser displays from 30 CBD rooftops. The night also featured popular celebration zones at Docklands, Flagstaff Gardens, Treasury Gardens and Kings Domain with free family-friendly entertainment, food trucks, performances and fireworks at 9.30pm and midnight.

[December 2022] Christmas Festival delivered a festive decoration, lighting installation and activation program across the city for the enjoyment of families and visitors to the city. Highlights of the 2022 program included Christmas Square at Federation Square, a 16.5 metre LED Christmas Tree, lighting projections on the Melbourne Town Hall, a Christmas carnival in Birrarung Marr and a Christmas Maze in Docklands. There were also a two new activations in 2022; Argyle Square Carlton featured a Christmas themed roller rink and large Christmas Tree and Queensbridge Square featured a pop-up playground featuring bell swings, a giant dance floor and an interactive orchestra. City of Melbourne also made funding available to the precinct associations to deliver their own localised festival activations.

[November 2022] Melbourne Awards Gala Ceremony was held on 12 November 2023 at the Melbourne Town Hall and celebrated the inspirational Melbourne organisations, projects and Melburnians who are dedicated to making the city a thriving, forward-thinking capital city in the categories of community, sustainability, Aboriginal Melbourne, arts and events, hospitality, knowledge and innovation, urban design and LGBTIQ+

[October 2022] Melbourne Fashion Week ran from 10-16 October and featured a city wide dispersed program celebrating and supporting the best in Australian fashion including runways in unexpected and impressive locations, talks with experts, hands on workshops, pop up fashion moments and immersive experiences. Unique Melbourne venues and spaces across the city were showcased including runways in Shed 21 Docklands, Wesley Place, Queen Victoria Market Dairy Hall, 333 Collins, the State Library Victoria, Emporium Melbourne, the Meat Market and Walker Lane.

The following events were sponsored via the annual Event Partnership Program and the City Reactivation Event Support Program between October 2022 and February 2023:

  • Time • Rone –Immersive Exhibition – ongoing to 23 April
  • SalamFest World Cup edition
  • Lonsdale Street Greek Festival
  • Victorian Festival of Diwali
  • Melbourne Harmony Festival
  • Melbourne Cup Parade
  • Night Noodle Markets
  • Polish Festival
  • No-so-silent Cinema
  • Firefly Zipline
  • Vida Melbourne Latin Festival
  • Australian Open
  • Midsumma Festival
  • Chinese Lunar New Year
  • National Sustainable Living Festival
  • Antipodes Festival

[October 2022] A distinctly ‘Melbourne’ pop-up experience is at the heart of a new campaign by the City of Melbourne, designed to celebrate the city and encourage visitation.

The Only in the City campaign showcases the unique fibres that make up Melbourne’s cultural fabric – the exceptional food, fashion, retail, art and entertainment that can only be experienced in the city.

The $4 million integrated marketing campaign will be rolled out across multiple channels, boosting the city economy and supporting thousands of jobs.

[October 2022] Our new Experience Melbourne program will deliver more exciting events, enticing tourism initiatives and a bold new marketing campaign to boost visitation and better promote the city’s unique experiences.

[October 2022] Performing arts professional, Penny Miles, has been appointed as Chair of the Night-time Economy Advisory Committee, leading a group of industry experts to enhance Melbourne’s resurgence after dark. The committee includes representatives from some of Melbourne’s best-known hospitality venues, creative events and arts organisations. The Night Chair is a voluntary position.

Reactivating the city and reinventing it through innovation, creative production and new uses of city buildings and spaces.

What you told us

In the short term you’d like to see the city reactivated through the return of office workers, visitors, tourists and students. Next, you want the city “reinvented” after the impacts of COVID-19 through innovation, creative production and new uses of city buildings and spaces.

“Would like to see more use of diverse spaces (upper story spaces in older buildings, more public design in small spaces at ground level that encourage a sense of discovery.) Interesting interpretation.”

What we're doing

Our Economic Development Strategy 2031 supported by our Creative Strategy 2018-2028, highlights opportunities to transform and reimagine the role of the city as a place to work, visit and be entertained.

Our This is Your Local, a marketing and communications strategy promotes the central city as a great place to live.

What we’re doing next

Newly vacant spaces create opportunities to revitalise the city by encouraging creatives back into the city, and providing inspiration for residents, workers and visitors to engage and collaborate in city life.

We are also looking at ways to move beyond the office, stimulating a mix of industries through precincts and innovation.


[February 2022] The Greenline Project’s Birrarung Marr Precinct Site One concept design was endorsed by the Future Melbourne Committee on Tuesday 6 December 2022. We will now progress the detailed design and program planning for Birrarung Marr Precinct Site One, working towards construction commencing in 2023. Thank you to everyone who contributed their feedback. Consultation took place from 2 August to 12 September 2022. View the final concept design and learn more about what we heard on the community consultation page.

[October 2022] Feedback received during community consultation on The Greenline Project will help to inform and kickstart the delivery of the project in 2023. This is a transformation project that will present a new vision for the north bank of the Yarra River - Birrarung. It will see the development of five precincts covering 4km between Birrarung Marr and the Bolte Bridge.

  • Safety and wellbeing

    We will plan and design for the safety and wellbeing of those who live, visit, work and do business in Melbourne, regardless of their background.

More programs, spaces and tools to enhance local community connection and strengthening Melbourne as a series of ‘neighbourhoods within the neighbourhood’.

What you told us

For positive mental and physical wellbeing people need to feel safe and connected. You have reinforced this by telling us that you want to see more programs, spaces and tools to enhance community connection, particularly between high-rise residents, international students and and small businesses. You value the diverse character of Melbourne and would like to see more grassroots activities and community projects that strengthen and promote Melbourne as a series of 'neighbourhoods within the neighbourhood' and not only a 'CBD'

Could include smoking ceremonies for neighbourhoods to bring people out of their residences and together as a form of healing and moving on from the pandemic. Include more traditional ceremonies for neighbourhood events/activities.

“Perhaps more community activities, e.g. tree planting, information-based walking tours, etc”.

“Seeing more grassroots activities and community projects that we can get involved in.”

“Address social isolation of single people. Link people to walk dogs to connect younger with older people.”

“Council funded residents connection services & residents events.”

“Creative centres for community building. We hardly even know our neighbours.”

“The CBD is not a homogenous place, there more we can strengthen each neighbourhood within the CBD and create an interconnected network, the better, stronger and more resilient the whole CBD will be."

What we're doing

We deliver community events through our Events Partnership Program and Connected Communities grants. Our Business Precincts Program also supports local business associations to run activities and we assist international students through our international students programs.

What we’re doing next

We’ve been trialling meet-up events for residents and small business owners as part of Participate 3000 and are keen to develop future initiatives that foster local community connection and to strengthen Melbourne’s unique "neighbourhoods within neigbourhoods” character.


[February 2023] Since opening in May 2022, Micro-Labs has had more than 11,000 visits and hosted 150 diverse events. From entrepreneur meetups, community imagination exercises and sewing classes to car mechanics workshops, clothes swaps and movie nights – Micro-Labs has been a space for community members, students, visitors and small businesses to connect, share, learn, create and develop this city hub together.

[October 2022] We’re supporting the delivery of a number of community-led initiatives including through our Community Grants Program.

[October 2022] We're supporting the Melbourne Men’s Shed who have helped to establish a second location at the Peter Mac Men’s Shed which has opened recently.

Addressing street safety issues such as drug and alcohol use, mental health, aggressive behaviour and the need for more police and security presence, and better lighting.

What you told us

You highlighted the importance of addressing street safety issues such as drug and alcohol use, mental health, aggressive behaviour and the need for more police and security presence and better lighting.

“There are a lot of good things about living in the city, but I also don't feel safe. I don't walk anywhere unless I have someone with me. Laneways are poorly lit.”

“More police around at night, I don't feel safe at night we hardly see any police around the city.”

“Sometimes I am afraid to walk alone at night in Melbourne CBD, especially Flinders Street areas, as there are people on drugs. I feel unsafe when there are a higher number of drunk people at night on weekends.”

What we're doing

We are working with Victoria Police and other agencies to deliver initiatives that improve safety on the streets of Melbourne and within our communities.


[February 2023] We are working with members of the Alcohol and Drug Foundation - Local Drug Action Team to develop a Drug Safety in the City of Melbourne flyer. Consultation has been undertaken with broader members of the Melbourne Alcohol and other Drug (AOD) Services Network as well as residents and small business owners in Carlton, East Melbourne, South Yarra and the Melbourne CBD. The flyer is currently in final production and will be distributed to residents and small business owners.

[December 2022] As part of Victoria Police's Neighbourhood Policing initiative, a Local Safety Committee meeting was held for Melbourne West and North on 9 December 2022, and included representatives from Carlton, Parkville, Docklands, Kensington, North Melbourne, West Melbourne and the western part of the Melbourne CBD.

[October 2022] We hosted a Safety Summit on 19 August 2022, and brought together government agencies, service providers, resident groups and other community members to discuss four key areas including:

  • issues related to drug and alcohol affected people and mental illness,
  • police presence and patrols,
  • safety at night
  • safety infrastructure
Support for people experiencing homelessness and working towards reducing homelessness.

What you told us

You are concerned about the number of people experiencing homelessness in the CBD. You said that you would like to see more support provided for them, that you’d like to understand more about existing services and suggestions on how you might be able to help.

“It seems that there has been much money and time invested in gentrification of Melbourne without addressing and solving issues such as homelessness and sparse housing.”

“I tend to see many homeless people and it creates an unsafe environment. Maybe they should have access to a mobile phone so they can know what shelters they can go to or police officers to escort them to the appropriate services.”

What we're doing

We are actively working through our in-house support team, with other agencies and our recently established Homes Melbourne to support people experiencing homelessness and increase pathways out of homelessness.

The Make Room project brings together Melbourne’s corporate sector, philanthropists and charities to help fund the project to refurbish Council owned property at 602 Little Bourke Street into 50 studio units for rough sleepers. Extra support services will also be offered to residents while they secure longer term housing.

Construction is scheduled to commence October 2022 and be completed late 2023.


[February 2023] We are boosting our support for Melburnians experiencing homelessness, partnering with the Salvation Army to offer meals and outreach services at a night-time café in the CBD.

The renewed City East Hub, based at the Salvation Army’s Project 614 site at 69 Bourke Street, will make it easier for some of Melbourne’s most vulnerable people to access essential services.

The service will introduce twilight meals and support 7 days a week throughout January, as well as further support including:

  • After hours outreach, 5 days a week
  • Housing and homelessness advice
  • Showers, lockers and information

We are also working with the Living Room to establish storage and locker services at their Hosier Lane Service, which will allow people experiencing homelessness to store their personal belongings safely and access a wide range of support.

[November 2022] Our landmark Make Room project has been further bolstered with two significant philanthropic grants and updated schematic designs.

Council has now raised $14.5 million for the $20 million project, following $650,000 in donations from the Erdi Foundation and Hansen Little Foundation.

These donations secure the fit-out for the project’s in-house social enterprise and 10 rooms. Wraparound services will be delivered under funding by the Victorian Government.

[October 2022] Our Make Room project is another step closer to providing rough sleepers a pathway out of homelessness, with the signing of a lease agreement with Unison Housing.

The agreement will enable Unison to start design and construction work at 602 Little Bourke Street, converting the Council-owned property into safe and supported accommodation for some of Melbourne's most vulnerable residents.

In another boost for the project, we have recently secured nearly $1 million in additional philanthropic funding, with generous donations from the Helen Macpherson Smith Trust, the William Buckland Foundation and the Loti and Victor Smorgon Family Foundation.

Council and project partners have now secured more than $13.7 million of funding towards the $20 million project, with the Victorian Government investing $9 million in the project and further funding commitments from The Ian Potter Foundation, Gandel Foundation and Lord Mayor's Charitable Foundation.

Improving street maintenance and cleanliness.

What you told us

You expressed that unclean and poorly maintained streets add to the perception that an area is neglected and unsafe.

“The city needs to be clean and inviting not grungy and dirty.”

“The city seems neglected and the onslaught of COVID is palpable. The streets and public spaces are always dirty and graffiti is rampant.”

What we're doing

We’ve established a Rapid Response Clean Team who patrol the CBD and respond in real time to requests for street cleaning and graffiti removal.

Between 7-21 March 2022, the Rapid Response Clean Team conducted a two-week blitz, cleaning illegal graffiti from the CBD grid and corridors.


[February 2023] We continue to expand our Rapid Response Clean Team to fast-track graffiti removal, dumped rubbish, cigarettes, street sweeping and syringe collection across the city. Residents, workers and visitors continue to play an important role in reporting graffiti and rubbish across the city using Council’s QR code reporting system.

Between October 2022 and January 2023:

  • 42,000 square metres of graffiti was removed
  • 1350 tonnes was sent to landfill from public litter bins
  • 11,400 combined tonnes from various sources including communal recycling bins, cardboard bins and residential collections.
  • Over 1800 tonnes of cigarette butts collected and recycled.
  • 1435 tonnes of street sweepings collected
  • 712 loose syringes collected from public spaces
  • 110 collections from syringe bins located in public and private facilities

[October 2022] The Clean Melbourne Graffiti Blitz ran from 6 March to 30 June to combat illegal graffiti and tagging, improve public spaces and ensure the city is sparkling to entice people in. This significant work follows a decision to help fast-track graffiti removal from private properties, enabling us to step in to support property owners with their own graffiti removal, where possible. We continue to work closely with Victoria Police to identify and deter offenders.

During the blitz, Victoria Police arrested 22 people for illegal tagging, using information and footage that we supplied. Our campaign to tackle illegal graffiti continues, with a record $28.2 million investment in its our Budget, including $1.5 million to expand the Rapid Response Clean Team.

[October 2022] We've committed to high-pressure cleaning works across the city, with a focus on the Chinatown precinct following the four-month Graffiti Blitz.

Balancing the needs of various transport and road users.

What you told us

Some of you said you would like driving and parking in the CBD to be easier and cheaper, while others would like less cars in favour of active transport options. Increasing the safety of cycleways, improving public transport systems and enhancing pedestrian access were suggested.

“Empty bike lanes and related narrowed streets, removal of street parking spaces, restricted road access, expensive private parking.”

“Still too many cars, needs more for cyclists and more crossing time at major intersections.”

“Easier and cheaper parking for cars, especially for people who would rather drive than take small children on public trains and trams.”

“While the rollout of bike lanes has been an impressive start, need to keep going to ensure there are connector lanes out to surrounding municipalities so that everyone can have the choice to commute by bike safely.”

What we're doing

Our Transport Strategy 2030, delivers a protected bike lane network, station precincts as key gateways, little streets as streets for people, safer speed limits, micro mobility trials including e-scooters, and more efficient traffic signal timing. It also contains an approach to support electric vehicles, bicycling encouragement programs and advocacy and implementation with the Victorian Government.

An Independent Transport Review anticipates that bike trips to the CBD will exceed pre-pandemic levels and recommends that the accelerated roll-out of new bike lanes continues.


[February 2023] Footpath upgrades have been completed along Lonsdale St, Exhibition St and La Trobe St. Works on Queen St are set to commence soon, works notifications will be sent to residents and traders.

[February 2023] Little Lonsdale Street upgrade works have commenced between Elizabeth and Swanston Streets, with the remainder of the project to commence in stages across 2023.

[February 2023] Flashing bicycle warning signs have been installed on La Trobe Street at the Melbourne Central carpark entrance and Park St warning road users of bike/vehicle conflict risk. This project was delivered as part of a successful Blackspot funding application.

[February 2023] We’re working with the Department of Transport and Planning to inform its evaluation of the e-scooter trial and decision on the legalisation of e-scooters. The Victorian Government extended the trial until 31 March 2023. To date there have been more than 3 million e-scooter trips across the city as part of the trial, many of which are replacing car trips and providing increased access to city attractions.

[February 2023] We’re collaborating with other nearby councils as part of M9 to develop actions that encourage more people to ride. We supported Ride to Work Day activities in October that showed an increase in bike and scooter users by 48 per cent compared to 2021.

[October 2022] We're planning footpath upgrades as part of our Streetscape Improvements Program for 2022-23 to respond to the changing needs of our streets and improve the experience of footpaths for people in some of the city’s busiest walking areas. From now until mid-2023, we’ll be rolling out footpath upgrades across a number of sites.

More amenities in the CBD including public toilets, seating, tables, drinking fountains, shelter and shading.

What you told us

You’d like to see more amenities in the CBD for workers, residents and visitors including public toilets, seating, tables, drinking fountains, shelter and shading.

“Toilets and water taps to give dogs water or wash kids feet are a bit few and far between.”

“Missing some good clean public toilets”

“More seating is needed in Melbourne parks. More facilities also. Existing seating is also lacking shade. Benches are poorly positioned.”

“Now that weather is practically unpredictable, some shaded outdoor areas in parks and gardens would be beneficial.”

What we're doing

We provide and maintain a range of street furniture and amenities to support people who live, work and play in the CBD.

What we’re doing next

We are keen to look at opportunities to provide further amenities to assist workers, residents and visitors participate safely and comfortably in activities in the CBD.


[October 2022] We're set to revitalise Hardware Lane with $2 million in new streetscape works to improve pedestrian safety and attract more visitors to the area.

[October 2022] We're spending over $150,000 on new lantern-look light installations to improve visibility and accessibility in the Chinatown precinct.

[October 2022] We welcomed community feedback on our draft Design and Construction Standards from 17 May to 15 June. Our Design and Construction Standards determine how our city is shaped and guide our approval processes. They ensure that consistent materials, furniture, signage, lighting, planting and utilities are used across our public spaces.

Recreation facilities and exercise options.

What you told us

Surrounded by historic parklands and the Birrarung (Yarra river), the CBD provides attractive recreation and exercise facilities. You have made suggestions for facilities and options that you would like to see within and around the CBD.

“Adult exercise equipment in parks and below apartments. To be able to keep fit and independent when ageing. Multi-lingual instructions on equipment.”

“It would be great to have more gardens and safe, somewhat green running spaces for women to feel comfortable exercising outdoors.”

“Even in lockdown we found fantastic bike trails, parks and things to see and do. All family friendly.”

What we're doing

With a big focus on Active Melbourne, we support health and wellness through encouraging participation in healthy moderate physical activity. We are doing this through supporting recreation in our beautiful parks and gardens such as Alexandra Gardens and the Domain Parklands, Fitzroy Gardens, Flagstaff Gardens which surround and are walking distance from the Melbourne CBD. We have also extended our network of dedicated bike lanes to encourage more people to cycle.

The Active Melbourne app is our official platform to support your health and fitness and includes on-demand and live virtual gym classes, tracking and personalised training programs. It is a free fitness service. Our website also has other training resources including Workout Wednesday videos.


[October 2022] We've recently completed major refurbishment works at the Melbourne City Baths, which provides health and fitness services and programs to the community. It has the largest swimming pool in the CBD, as well as a gym and a fitness studio.

Addressing planning, development and construction impacts on liveability.

What you told us

You told us that your liveability in the CBD is being impacted by planning, development and construction decisions and have concerns about the abundance of high-rise construction. You would like to receive better communication from council on these issues.

“Skyscrapers compromise the city - especially access to sunlight. Dark and windy. Poor interface with ground floor.”

“City is expanding residential living and towers with little consideration of impacts to increased service requirements, disruption from noise as these service providers (waste, delivery etc suppliers) need to conduct their services during the night and disturbing residents.”

What we're doing

We’ve developed a Development Activity Model to better inform you of future buildings and construction in your area.

Following extensive review and consultation, the new Code of Practice for Building, Construction and Works came into effect from 17 March 2022.

The new Code coincides with the upcoming launch of City of Melbourne Services online, which will bring digital permits to construction activities at the end of March.

We are advocating to the State Government for a stronger regulatory framework to manage construction noise.

We are reviewing central city waste regulations and waste truck movement restricted areas as one of our 2021-22 Budget initiatives.


[January 2023] The Neighbourhood Portals have been updated with links to planning register entries relevant to each neighbourhood, making it easier for community members to find local planning applications. Weekly Planning Applications and Decisions Lists are now sorted by neighbourhood for ease of reference. Sign up to receive these weekly emails.

[November 2022] A community reference group (CRG) has been established by CBUS Property and Armitage Jones for the development at 435 Bourke St. Residents and business owners impacted by the development are encouraged to express an interest in participating in the CRG or find out more information by emailing

More support for our international students.

What you told us

International students are now returning to Melbourne and you said that you would like to know what support is available for them as they adjust to being back in the city.

"The rent for students is too high, there should be more cultural activities for people to go to"

“The students will be back so [Melbourne] will bounce back"

"Give better opportunities to new students"

What we're doing

The safety and wellbeing of international students is important to us. We deliver a range of initiatives, including The Couch - International Student Centre in partnership with the Salvation Army, outings to attractions, events, behind-the-scenes tours and ticket giveaways through the Experience Melbourne program.

We also offer conversation clubs and many free items including books, eBooks, music and movie streaming from our libraries, along with wellness programs, and mentoring and workshops to help you get job-ready.

We are a collection point for the Melbourne International Student Guides and we’ve partnered with Insider Guides on the Lighthouse International Student Directory. We also offer a City of Melbourne international student newsletter which can be subscribed to here.


[November 2022] My Melbourne Student Ambassadors play a key role in co-designing, leading, supporting and promoting initiatives of the My Melbourne Program. We’ve appointed 10 students from nine different regions who have studied or are currently studying 10 different majors at six Melbourne education institutes.

[October 2022] We hosted the launch of the International Education Association of Australia (IEAA) 'Employer Guide to Employing International Students and Graduates' at Melbourne Town Hall.

[October 2022] Thanks to our advocacy and partnership with major universities across Australia, the Federal Government recently agreed to introduce an automatic 4-year post-study work visa for international students who complete their studies in Australia, to enhance Melbourne’s attractiveness as a study destination and to deliver more talent and skilled labour.

[October 2022] Melbourne has been crowned Australia’s best student city and the fifth in the world, as the number of international students in the city continues to increase. Melbourne ranked third in the world for ‘student voice’, which is based on former students recommending the city to their peers as a destination of choice for student experience.

[October 2022] In May 2022 there were more than 85,000 international students in Melbourne – a 25 per cent increase from December 2021, and the highest level since March. Students from India are Melbourne’s biggest international cohort, making up 22 per cent of all international students, followed by China, Nepal and Vietnam.

[October 2022] The inaugural Melbourne International Student Week took place from 7-13 May 2022, bringing together all students studying in Melbourne – both local and from abroad – by showcasing the culture and services that this great city has to offer.

Increasing off-leash areas for dogs and education programs to encourage responsible pet ownership.

What you told us

You observed that there has been a noticeable increase in pets including dogs within the CBD. You would like to see more designated off-leash areas and access to water while maintaining safety and comfort for other park users. We’ve also heard that you’d like to have more education on responsible pet ownership, particularly in high-rise buildings.

“More drinking fountains for inner city dogs (CBD can get hot).”

“More community gardens and dog parks.”

“Many people got dogs during the pandemic but don’t seem to know how to care for them. We often must clean up our common areas that are being used as toilets. We need support with education for high-rise pet-owners.”

What we're doing

We recently sought feedback from the community about dogs in open space including their views on proposed dog off-leash locations. We are currently looking into this and into opportunities for education programs for pet owners.


[February 2023] We are currently working on developing 'dogs in the park' events in neighbourhoods. These events, in partnership with behaviour trainers from the Lost Dogs' Home aim to raise awareness and provide education of dog behaviour, enrichment and responsible dog ownership to improve dog and human experiences in public places.

[October 2022] Council resolved to create some new dog off-leash locations within the City on 28 June. This will come into effect once it’s published in the Victoria Government Gazette. Locations where off-leash activity is not currently permitted will become available for use. Find out more about new dog off-leash areas.

[October 2022] We recently asked for your feedback on our draft 2022-2025 Domestic Animal Management Plan, which covers issues such as pet registration, nuisance pets, dog attacks and domestic animal businesses. We’ll consider your feedback and incorporate it into the final version.