Every person in the municipality will be aware of - and manage - risks associated with climate change. We will adapt to ensure long-term benefits for the community and capitalise on opportunities for adaptation.
Future Melbourne 2008


People who gave feedback about Melbourne regarding climate change overwhelmingly supported a stronger focus on (environmental) sustainability. This was seen by a very large number of people as a way to be more resilient in the face of a changing climate, and for Melburnians to better adapt to this future trend. Education and research were identified by a large number of people as an important part of this process of adaption, and various specific solutions and measures were proposed.

There was overlap between this Priority and Priority 5.1. Zero net emissions

Summary of ideas (total 201 statements)

Sustainable city (105 statements)

A very high number of statements talked about sustainability as a priority for Melbourne. There was a strong crossover of statements in this section with those in 5.1 Zero net emissions.

Many of these statements used the concept of sustainability in an environmental or ecological context. Several ideas contained detailed statements of how people hoped to see Melbourne be more sustainable in the future.

I hope Melbourne can become the most sustainable and environmental friendly city in the world. It should adopt the most advanced idea and technology emerged and utilise them to constantly improve its infrastructure, environment and community consciousness.

Some people stated that better environmental outcomes could be achieved through increased investment in sustainability. For one person, Environmental Upgrade Agreements (EUAs) were highlighted as an example of this. Another person stated that investing in renewable energy would...

…make us stand out internationally, attract tourism, develop leading research and, oh yeah, be a great step toward saving the world.

Other individual people provided examples of sustainability that they thought significant, these included retro-fitting buildings, solar panels, green walls, banning plastic bags, having more drinking fountains in the city (to reduce plastic water bottle use); The Council leading by example through projects including the collection of rainwater.

Climate change was referenced specifically by a very high number of people as a significant priority for Melbourne. One person noted that the benefits of addressing climate change may not be immediate, but that it should be prioritised nonetheless.

Resilience (23 statements)

A large number of people stated that Melbourne should become more resilient in the face of a changing climate. Resilience was talked about in a number of contexts by several people; all in relation to making Melbourne better able to adapt to climate change.

The types of resilience that people saw as important included transport resilience, social resilience, building resilience, water resilience, and internal Council resilience — to enable continuity of services.

Education and promotion (19 Statements)

Many people highlighted the importance of public education to influence Melbourne’s ability to adapt to a changing climate. Public awareness was seen by many as key to addressing issues relating to climate change.

Education and dissemination of information from leading organisations to raise public awareness is a key component…

People stated that education could be delivered in a variety of ways. Several people advocated for a visual arts approach, some stated that events were the way to promote sustainable living, and some people called for green walls as a sustainability measure with an educative component. One person stated...

Build an iconic, publicly available green-roof that demonstrates the possibility of green-roofs and engages public imagination.

Focused solutions and standards (20 Statements)

Many people proposed specific solutions or standards to address Melbourne’s ability to adapt to climate change.

Legislating the greening of city spaces (i.e. roof space) was one idea supported by several people. Some people stated that various other green technologies were the key to future Melbourne’s adaption. A couple of people advocated for easily used digital ‘dashboards’, which allow people to track their personal carbon footprint.

Several statements specified research as a solution to the needs of Melbourne in the face of a changing climate. Undertaking research to tackle climate change was important to one person who stated...

With the federal side neglecting key areas such as climate change/adaptation, distributed renewable, automation, marine and space, the City of Melbourne has the opportunity to work with big donors/multinationals to support basic research centres in the state enriching and underpinning the economic advantages we seek.

Some people wanted to see evidence-based approaches, informed by research, in the hope that resources might be directed more appropriately.