The conversation

In November 2018 the draft Urban Realm Action Plan was released for community consultation. The plan outlines opportunities to support innovation in City North; the first district identified by the Melbourne Innovation Districts (MID) partnership. It was informed by initial stakeholder engagement and extensive district site analysis.

We also asked for help identifying areas in City North that could be enhanced through innovative activities, design and planning.

Read more about City North and the draft Urban Realm Action Plan.

Gathering insights

What we heard

Many respondents expressed excitement about the possibilities outlined in the draft plan including further activating and enhancing areas such as University Square and Argyle Square.

Feedback also focused on preserving the unique character of City North, alongside opportunities for activating the urban realm such as:

  • pop-up spaces
  • lectures series and workshops
  • community gardens
  • exercise equipment areas.

Concern was expressed around:

  • the strategic justification for the existing boundary
  • further consideration of East-West routes including Grattan Street.


Feedback gathered was used to inform the Melbourne Innovation Districts City North Opportunities Plan.

The community were supportive of the MID City North vision and expressed their desire to more deeply engage to realise innovation outcomes.

Community feedback also identified that further consultation is required to understand a broader and more holistic view of City North's urban realm beyond innovation and activities.

As a result of this, we have:

  1. Added Haymarket Roundabout to the list of intersections that would benefit from improvements to its mobility and connectivity attributes.
  2. Added Swanston and Grattan Streets to the list of innovation streets and spaces. These streets were identified by stakeholders as having opportunities for enhancement.
  3. Recommended an update to the City North Structure Plan (2012) to maximise the potential of MID City North and outline a holistic vision for this area as a great place for all people.

Feedback not reflected in the plan will be considered as part of the City North Structure Plan refresh and in the planning of projects and activities in MID City North.

Next steps

Feedback we collected was used to shape the Melbourne Innovation Districts City North Opportunities Plan, which was endorsed by Future Melbourne Committee on 12 November 2019.

Melbourne Innovation Districts