Melbourne is a highly creative city that recognises the role creativity plays in expressing our identity, creating a sense of belonging and transforming our economy.

The expiry of the City of Melbourne’s Arts Strategy 2014–17 gave us an opportunity to take a new look at creativity, bearing in mind international trends and competitive city positioning.

Our new Creative Strategy allows us to harness the full potential of creativity in the city by integrating it into everything we do, not as an add-on but right at the start, when contemplating the changes and challenges ahead of us.

We will engage creative practitioners of all kinds to work with subject experts on city opportunities and challenges that relate to the nine goals Melburnians have set for their city.

Through this approach, Melbourne will draw on the full potential of its extraordinary creative community to benefit all who live, work and visit here.

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Putting our approach into practice

The City of Melbourne selected three city challenges and matched them with multi-disciplinary teams of creative practitioners to test the approach of the Creative Strategy.

Idea
The Open City

Description
Embrace the Aboriginal seasons – specifically Waring (Wombat) Season when wombats emerge from their burrows to bask in the winter sun – by opening the city, its cultural organisations and experiences and its public realm for everybody in Melbourne across four weeks in the middle of the year.

A cloak circles the city, making all artistic and cultural experiences, indoor and outdoor, free to all. People from Melbourne’s many and varied communities are transported into the city to participate and engage with activities that are physically and emotionally inclusive, welcoming and warm.

Creative practitioners
Madeleine Flynn, Paola Balla, Tristan Meecham, Jennifer Hector and Sophia Brous.

Idea
Innovation Island / Edgelands

Description
A place dedicated to experimentation, where rules are re-thought and re-written and small craft-based manufacturing, education and community co-exist and interact with large industry for the benefit of all.

In the short term, enticing new projects and transport options draw in people to experience the uniqueness of the site and its rhythms. Over time, signature developments realise the area’s potential, bringing together diverse communities, industries and activities.

Creative practitioners
Timothy Moore, Joel Stern, Shelley Lassica, James Hillier and Jessica Wilson.

Idea
Slow Streets

Description
The little streets are slowed down and opened up to celebrate the things Melburnians hold dear and to showcase our city’s future. Initially, activations and interventions demonstrate how reimagining and sharing our little streets can build vibrant and uniquely Melbourne inner-urban communities and ecosystems. Over time, core infrastructure decisions allow the little streets to express the city’s ambition to be a city for people that is sustainable, prosperous, creative and much more.

Creative practitioners
Gideon Obarzanek, Sophia Brous, Michaela Webb, Timothy Moore and Ross Harding.