Melbourne Innovation Districts (MID) is a partnership between the City of Melbourne, the University of Melbourne and RMIT University. This initiative is set to drive investment in the knowledge economy and help shape our city’s future.

MID will provide more opportunities for Melbourne’s knowledge workers, researchers, students, business and community organisations to connect and collaborate, creating innovative ideas essential for the city to continue to thrive and prosper.

The area is home to 21 per cent (60,260) of all knowledge sector jobs in Melbourne and features the central campuses of RMIT and the University of Melbourne, State Library Victoria, Queen Victoria Market, Royal Exhibition Building, Trades Hall and the Melbourne Museum.

MID Partnership

The MID partnership has selected City North as the first of its innovation districts because of its long and successful history of innovation, and the concentration of knowledge institutions and investment in the area.

City North is currently being transformed by a number of infrastructure and property redevelopment initiatives, including:

  • development at RMIT University and the University of Melbourne
  • reshaping of the Queen Victoria Market precinct
  • investment by the Victorian State Government, in particular Metro Tunnel

During this period of change, there is an opportunity to strengthen partnerships and share investment to benefit the knowledge sector and innovation.

The MID vision is to:

‘Develop a world-class urban district and environment that supports and develops next-generation Melbourne – a place designed to leverage emerging technologies and innovation, and build on our city’s unique characteristics to enhance education and economic outcomes, create new knowledge and city experiences, and enrich inclusion and public amenity.’

To achieve this, there is a focus on five work streams:

  • Public realm – rethinking the ways spaces can enable innovation activities such as testing, showcasing and engagement.
  • Enterprise activation – providing targeted support for startups and small to medium enterprises to establish and grow within the district, and make productive connections with other parts of the innovation ecosystem.
  • Digitally-enabled technology – enabling better analysis, insight and collaboration through accessible state-of-the-art and experimental technology.
  • Social innovation – developing, collaborating and researching in new ways and combinations to better meet social needs.
  • Institutional design – tweaking rules, policies and culture to that motivates status quo behaviour and activities are tweaked to better unlock potential in the ecosystem.

Draft Urban Realm Action Plan

The draft Urban Realm Action Plan outlines a five-year plan for enhancing and connecting the public spaces of MID City North. It is also an opportunity to use these spaces to foster innovation, research, experimentation and engagement to better:

  • enhance mobility and connectivity
  • undertake innovation in infrastructure and environmental management
  • set up test and engagement sites
  • establish innovation streets and spaces
  • set up innovation hubs
  • review planning controls


Aspect Studios, Mobile Innovation Hubs, 2018

Vans, trucks or trailers modified to act as mobile innovation hubs.

Image credit: Aspect Studios, Mobile Innovation Hubs, 2018

Read more in the draft Urban Realm Action Plan.

Have your say

Tell us your ideas on how we can continue to make the area a thriving hub for innovative people and creative activities.

1. In which area/s would you like to see innovations or activations take place? Required

Select all that apply

Rank from most to least important.

  1. Enhance the amenity and function of the district’s built form, streetscapes and open spaces. #
  2. Use the urban realm as a testbed for City of Melbourne innovation in infrastructure and environmental management. #
  3. Facilitate the use of the urban realm by businesses and researchers for testing, demonstrating and engaging new ideas. #
  4. Influence design and delivery of external infrastructure and urban realm projects. #
  5. Improve transport, mobility and connectivity. #

Tell us a little about yourself

The survey form is now closed. Thanks for your contributions.