The Municipality of Melbourne will be one of the world's great walking cities where residents, workers and tourists have easy access to the many activities available within the municipality. Walking will be easy and attractive and a primary way for anyone and everyone to get around their local area. As well as being a very effective form of mobility, walking will also provide personal and public health, environmental and cultural benefits. A connected city gives top priority to walking, providing a comprehensive, fine grained and good quality pedestrian network.
Future Melbourne 2008


There were significant benefits identified for the City in increasing the pedestrianised areas. The benefits identified were that the city would become more human friendly in a variety of ways and be more attractive to locals and visitors. There were many specific ideas provided on how walking in the city can be improved.

There was overlap between this Priority and Priority 1.4. Designed for People, Priority 6.1. Effective and Integrated Public Transport, Priority 6.2. Cycling City and Priority 6.5. Smart City Driving.

Summary of ideas (total 90 statements)

Pedestrians prioritised, and zoned for (66 statements)

All of these comments supported a pedestrian prioritised, or at least pedestrian-friendly Melbourne city. This discussion was general in nature. This was one general comment.

Make pedestrian the focus of the future city

It was suggested that prioritising pedestrians and making pedestrian zones would help make the city more people-friendly, help activity centres flourish and generally adhere to Melbourne being clean, green, healthy, active and sustainable. Many people suggested that removing, or reducing cars, would achieve this.

Pedestrian focused CBD (no personal cars permitted).

Several people also identified cycling and public transport, as a priority along with walking/pedestrians.

No cars, all movement by public transport, bicycle or pedestrian.

Many specific ideas and areas were provided for locations where pedestrian zones could occur. Elizabeth Street was identified by several people as being a possible street for pedestrianising, or made more like Swanston Street. This was thought to be good for flood mitigation, business, and a couple of people suggested the inclusion of more trees, greenery, art and flowers. One person suggested more streets like Swanston Street in general (i.e. no private vehicles).

Eliazabeth (sic) Walk -- Elizabeth St from Flinders to Bourke, or even higher to Lonsdale, doesn't carry much traffic anymore. Why not create a pedestrian/green precinct like Swanston Walk in Elizabeth St?

Several people suggested air walks/sky walks, subways or overhead bridges as another pedestrian zone opportunity. This would have multiple benefits — utilise air space and provide quiet space and sanctuary for walkers. City Road Sewer around Southbank was suggested as a specific location. A highly detailed idea suggested a walking (and wheelchair traversable) route south-east to north-west via interlinking buildings — an open-air terrace link, protected from the weather utilising toughened glass.

The laneways were suggested by a few people to be another opportunity for pedestrian zones, especially as they are already active, vibrant and functioning well. It was suggested that agreements could be made around delivery vehicle access. Specific laneways identified included: Flinders, Little Collins, Little Bourke and Degraves.

Some conversation was sparked on the website around an idea to have a huge open pedestrian plaza like the ‘Spanish Steps’ at Collins and Springs Streets. It was thought that this would address the shortage of space for pedestrians arriving via Parliament Station and would be a nice area to enhance though one person thought it would be better located in Bourke Street - running downhill.

Other areas for pedestrians were identified: north-south walking routes are a priority; pedestrianize the block between Spencer and King streets on Bourke; prioritise pedestrian spaces around mosques; footbridges connecting CBD with inner suburbs, such as Carlton, South Yarra and St Kilda beaches.

Pedestrian usability and accessibility (24 statements)

Many people made comments on pedestrian usability issues such as congestion and safety issues at road crossings and on footpaths. Several general comments were made supporting an easy to get around, accessible and walkable city.

Several people raised the issue of road crossings, that they were dangerous and congested with little space for pedestrians. Specific areas identified as congested were Collins/Spencer intersection and Flinders Street Station. Safer road crossings were desired around mosques. A few solutions were suggested: using a pedestrian-only traffic light coupled with diagonal crossing like Elizabeth/Flinders Street station and one idea proposed a pedestrian crossing dancing-game, using the red person, like in Berlin, to keep people’s attention on the light and increase safety.

Several people commented on footpaths. A few stated that overcrowding was an issue, for example around Southern Cross Station, and that footpaths need to be wider. People also wanted footpaths to be clean and tidy, as well as safe and accessible. Flinders Street Station was stated to need more smooth transitions, and footpaths in the south were identified as needing improvements due to tree root damage. One person suggested focusing on the outer suburbs as a solution to crowding. This was one statement identifying the downside to not providing quality pedestrian facilities.

more pededstrian (sic) space, less cars, you need to be careful that crowds don't put people off coming to the city and no footpath space, easier to shop in boring malls in the suburbs.