Melbourne will provide the facilities and services needed to ensure our community is a strong one. Our facilities and services are assets that contribute to our health and happiness, encouraging people to meet, collaborate and participate. Melbourne's facilities and services will reflect our commitment to sustainability, and will keep pace with a growing population.
Future Melbourne 2008


People who commented in this section expressed concern for Melbourne’s infrastructure. Sustainable solutions were proposed by a significant proportion of people who had ideas for improving its current state into the future. Improving community life and the quality of facilities was important to many people, with a range of requests for more and better recreational facilities as well as improved public amenities.

There was overlap with this Priority and Priority 1.1. A Great Place to Live (particularly the discussion on Amenities).

Summary of ideas (total 114 Statements)

Infrastructure and sustainability (41 Statements)

Many people commented about the need to invest in the upgrade and maintenance of Melbourne’s infrastructure, particularly to accommodate growth.

While several general suggestions for sustainable infrastructure were made, specific suggestions were also provided. These included a need for climate-responsive infrastructure; a living lab to bridge the gap between existing infrastructure and service delivery, and future demands of a projected population (37 - 48 million by 2061). An Ecosystems Services plan for future growth and the process of curation to help people care about public spaces were also suggested ideas. Other sustainability-based suggestions were to consider new approaches for 24/7 power from water as found in Lucid Energy, and the installation of intelligent streetlights that use less energy.

New facilities, changes and service upgrades (23 Statements)

A couple of people commented that Flinders Street Station, and the Elizabeth St pedestrian underpass need to be cleaned up and restored. Individual requests were for more funding of the North Melbourne Community Centre, community stalls at Queen Victoria Market for fundraising etc, and restore the Domain & Myer Music Bowl.

Several people commented about the creative uses for selling and/or sharing books in public places that included vending machines (to promote self-published authors) and public benches for sharing pre-owned books. A couple of people requested more libraries and one person requested a library service at Flinders Station.

Community facilities (22 Statements)

Several people felt that more community spaces are necessary for a strong community. Individual variations on this included community spaces, community hubs and neighbourhood community centres. Other requests were for access to family-violence services, with safe community spaces; weather shelters to encourage more outdoor activity; restore Flinders St Ballroom and use it as a theatre and gallery; expanded free access to libraries, museums and galleries; as well as, greater maintenance on buildings under the care of The Council.

Recreational facilities (10 Statements)

A few requests were made for greater access to sporting facilities and to increase the number of children’s playgrounds. Sports facility requests included general outdoor fields, netball courts and indoor facilities. This was one comment.

…There are not enough free parks and sporting facilities for people to use. Melbourne is famous for its sport but I don't think there are enough opportunities to actually participate. This is important for people's health and would also provide more social opportunities to meet people.

One request was for a skid pad for legal burnouts. One comment proposed a retractable roof over the pool at the Carlton Baths, to enable year-long usage. One detailed idea described the need for high quality indoor and outdoor recreation spaces.

Other facility requests (18 Statements)

Several people requested more toilets. A couple of suggestions called for more toilets that are safe and child-friendly close to playgrounds. Charging a nominal fee to cover toilet upkeep costs (e.g. UK), as well as 24 hours and pop-up toilets for busy weekend activities were also suggested. There was a request to fix the Flinders St toilets.

Several people suggested that public information should be digitally enhanced. One person recommended:

Single interface for consumer experience -- flexible interactive digital infrastructure provided by CoM which can be used by innovators and allow fast uptake of new technologies and ideas in the city. It would integrate consumer experience, support way finding (both with in situ digital screens, phones and people), simplify the consumer experience (single information point) and integrate data collection, which could be accessed by retailers and other industry (purchased). Like a road system for digital within the city, provided by council, with community input of ideas, information and feedback.

Suggestions were made for displays within community centres and a Community Exhibition Space. In the CBD, this was suggested as an effective way to raise awareness on different topics in public space.

Two people had slightly cautious statements to make. One person said that the city needs to maximise the private and public usage of assets to allow the city to prosper. Another summed up the importance of putting people first as follows.

A city is nothing without its people. As much as we need better infrastructure, that hard 'stuff' needs to be equally balanced with an eye to soft infrastructure like avenues for community engagement and stronger community services that are representative of the various demographics that live, work and play in Melbourne.