As a prosperous city, Melbourne will be a stimulating and safe 24-hour city in which people enjoy spending time. The city will enable a mix of activities for all ages and backgrounds including retail, entertainment, business, culture, sport and more as it operates around the clock. These activities will be well-managed, balancing security with the pleasures of exploration and discovery.
Future Melbourne 2008


A large number and broad range of activities were suggested for the City, with no one area dominating apart from restaurants, cafes and bars, for which there was a wide ranging discussion.

There were benefits identified in being a 24-hour city, including meeting Melburnian’s needs and increased international reputation. There was concern shown for the levels of violence in the city, predominantly caused by alcohol and drugs influence late night activities.

There was overlap between this Priority and Priority 3.5. An Events City and Priority 1.1. A Great Place to Live.

Summary of ideas (total 149 statements)

A mix of activities for all ages and backgrounds (52 statements)

A large number of comments described the different activities that are currently present, or desired for Melbourne. These generally covered a broad range of activities catering for children, youth, families, students, elderly, residents, workers and tourists.

Several people raised ideas relating to re-inventing Docklands; for example through having cinemas, arts and crafts, food outlets, carnival rides, retail, general services, farmers’ markets and markets more generally. A ‘Street Beach’ proposal in Docklands similar to Brisbane’s Southbank incorporating art, music and food trucks attracted some discussion on a website conversation. Support was given by a few people who commented that there was precedence in that area; it would successfully promote social activity and would be a popular, people-attracting development. One comment disagreed with spending money on this idea.

Several people sought more shopping, malls and retail in general. Several people desired more music-related activities such as more venues, events, buskers and free concerts. A few people desired more art activity such as theatres, pop-ups and art events. People discussed ensuring that sporting pursuits are available, and some desired more leisure and recreation activities in general. Specific suggestions for children and families included carnival rides, water features/fountains, an Activity Park (an urban multi-challenge puzzle) and recreating the ‘Spanish Steps’. For youth, a 24-hour youth engagement hub which provided for, among other things, entertainment, games and relaxation. An all-ages gig venue and gaming venues were also suggested. This is what one person suggested for the city.

Full of interesting things to see and do such as unique shops/ galleries/ museums/ libraries/ music venues/ theatres/ buskers/ outdoor stages etc.

A few people desired more, diversified or better nightlife in general, particularly for students, residents and visitors.

A few comments were made relating to better utilisation of laneways, for example making them themed, hosting markets and art events.

Many forms of markets were suggested — arts and crafts, a Christmas market, farmers’, produce and traditional markets. One person suggested leaving Queen Victoria Market alone and another suggested it be moved into the Docklands site.

Other suggestions were for galleries, museums, libraries, outdoor and indoor spaces, a petting zoo, and a ‘real-time entertainment system’ app. Restaurants, eateries and bars are covered specifically below.

A 24-hour city (44 statements)

A large number of people desired a 24-hour city or at least wanted longer opening hours. Many of these statements were general in nature, though several people specifically commented on needing 24-hour public transport, and a few commented on needing 24/7 youth services. Longer opening hours were specifically desired for shopping and retail, banks, libraries, restaurants, art galleries, security, cafés, soup kitchens and bakeries.

Late night shopping, life & transport -- Melbourne shops and galleries should open till 10pm every night to generate pedestrian traffic flow Melbourne also needs 24hr PT every night, even at half the frequency of night weekend services

Being a 24-hour city was recognised as a necessary part of being an international city and the 24-hour brand was noted to be important. By being a 24-hour city, people stated that it would better cater for different lifestyles and ages, make the city livelier, contribute to tourism, the economy and bring more people into the city in general. It would make Melbourne more attractive, more of the time, and enhance its accessibility.

Several people made comments relating to how the 24-hour city would be enabled. Provision of 24-hour public transport was often raised in this context; the provision of spaces, places and infrastructure that supports the 24-hour city was also suggested. A couple of people stated not to over-regulate the night-time economy, for example through lockout hours, rules and regulations. The ‘night-time’ culture was specifically desired by a few people.

Night-time safety (29 Statements)

A large number of people expressed concern about night-time safety due to issues of crime, fighting, rough and thuggish behaviour and the presence of intoxicated people and/or drug users. Several people desired better safety in general — a sense of safety, and a city that feels safe for everyone all the time. Some people identified specific groups who are affected, such as older residents, foreigners, women, teenagers and residents.

Issues of safety -- Today I was early in the city, and I didn't feel safe just from hearing all the stories of what happens in the city. I would love to come to the city knowing there is safety. Solutions could be having security guards around different corners and in main areas knowing they are there would make me want to come so much more to the city

Many suggestions were made as to how to address night-time safety. Most commonly, better security, police presence and lighting were suggested. Other ideas included education within the school system, greater funding or more investment in police, a security office, a CCTV Hub with an emergency function the public can access that will link camera footage to police, more taxi services, more armed police, a redress of alcohol promotion and sales and surveillance cameras. A few people identified the need for greater police presence, particularly at events.

Restaurants, cafés, eateries and bars (25 Statements)

A large number of people made comments about restaurants, eateries and bars covering a broad range of topics. More cafés, restaurants, and eateries were suggested by many people. Specifically these included outdoor food venues, for example in laneways; food trucks, for example in Queen Victoria Market, near inner-city parks and universities; breakfast noodle options; a bakery; soup; an Asian street food market in summer, in laneways; market stalls; pop-up cafés; and, something more appealing to replace the convenience stores.

People made statements about where to include more or better food spaces, such as suburbs, new developments, stations and along the river. A few people commented that Melbourne is known for its food, so as to ensure that the great food and coffee continues.

Restaurant/Café design was commented on by a few people in terms of ensuring accessibility for children, deaf and blind but also ensuring its enjoyment in regards to controlling noise, such as closing roads, removing trams, and controlling air traffic noise.

Other comments included the provision of a virtual reality deals app on phones, which would include deals for cafés/restaurants/bars; a suggestion that all bars should be themed; and that there should be a ‘Chief Food Office’ whose role, among other things, is to identify shortfalls in food offerings and up-and-coming food trends.