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Explore the map
Have a browse of what other people in our neighbourhood have already pinned on the map, and see what they said the Melbourne CBD’s neighbourhood assets and strengths are.
- Where are the places and services that help to improve community life in our neighbourhood?
- Who are the people, networks and organisations who make this neighbourhood special?
- Are there events, walks or open spaces that you love?
- Is there a special tree or park that you regularly visit or a place that you love to sit and people-watch?
We also asked to know about areas of the CBD where there’s an opportunity or improvement for Council and/or the community to address.
What we know
The central city, sometimes referred to as the CBD, or the Hoddle Grid, is the heart of Melbourne and the economic and cultural capital of Victoria. Laid out in 1837, it encompasses the area from the Yarra River Birrarung to Victoria Street, and Spencer Street to Spring Street.
The central city is the centre of the highest density of jobs and activity in Victoria, where over 900,000* people come to live, work and visit every day.
It is home to Melbourne’s famed laneways, arcades and café culture, a distinct blend of contemporary and Victorian architecture and a diversity of events, shopping, dining, and nightlife. It is a truly mixed use area with a number of different character areas within it, including the Little Bourke Street Chinatown precinct.
Many of Melbourne’s most iconic landmarks are located here, including the State Library of Victoria and Federation Square, Melbourne’s major public square and cultural events space, situated opposite Flinders Street Station, the centre of Melbourne’s public transport network.
*based on pre-covid data
Data is sourced from 2016 Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) Census of Population and Housing, SGS Population Forecasts, and 2020 Census of Land and Employment (CLUE). To learn more about the ABS Census of Population and Housing, including definitions, visit: Guide to Census data.
City of Melbourne services in the CBD
At the City Library we provide loans of books and other material to approximately 7,100 members. We run programs for children, teenagers and adults and have a social worker based at the library.
The City of Melbourne also manages the Melbourne Town Hall, Multicultural Hub and Drill Hall which have bookable spaces for community use.
In the CBD - Hoddle Grid we manage and maintain many public spaces including Batman Park, Cohen Place Plaza, Customs Square, Eight Hour Reserve, Enterprize Park, La Trobe and Exhibition Street Reserve, Merritts Place Reserve, Northbank and Royal Society.
We support the creative sector through venues we manage and operate. In 2021-22 we will support three exhibitions at City Gallery, 22 exhibitions at Dirty Dozen and Capsule and support an artist in residence at Shop 5 Little Collins Street. ArtPlay and SIGNAL provides creative opportunities for children and youth. We will also deliver six Town Hall Grand Organ concerts and three Federation Bells performances every day.
We continue to operate our visitor information centres in Bourke Street, Town Hall and at Queen Victoria Market.
The Melbourne City Baths has approximately 1300 members and 200,000 visits annually. The venue offers a gym, group fitness, swimming pool, swimming lessons, squash, facility hire and Mikvah Bathhouse. The YMCA operates the facility on behalf of the City of Melbourne.
What we heard
City of the Future consultation
- There is an opportunity to make lasting and impactful change, but we should act now. The city needs to adjust to major impacts and economic recovery is crucial to our city’s success.
- The creative sector’s contribution is vital to the city’s economy along with its role in creating vibrancy, social cohesion and unique experiences. It must be a focus in recovery. Opportunities were also identified to accelerate growth through innovation and emerging businesses.
- Building resilience in our community is essential given ongoing uncertainty. Accelerating action on climate change and collective global action are fundamental to economic recovery. There is a strong desire to integrate our city’s ancient and continuous Aboriginal culture and knowledge in responding to contemporary challenges.
- There is great concern about the mental health, equity and wellbeing of our community, particularly vulnerable communities. Community and experts want to see inequality, affordability and inclusion addressed. The desire for more green spaces in our city was consistently linked with health and wellbeing outcomes.
- The digital divide is an issue and we need to consider integrated digital infrastructure that would enable participation in an adaptable, digitally-inclusive and connected city.
See the ideas forum.
Seven initiatives represent our city’s plan for reactivation and recovery following the COVID-19 pandemic. Together, they connect our immediate response to the crisis with our city’s longer-term regeneration. By linking the actions that we take in the short-term with the outcomes we want to see in the future, we can ensure that we target our resources to those initiatives that best meet our long term strategic objectives and ultimately deliver maximum benefit for our city and its citizens.
Initiatives integral to immediate recovery
- Prioritise public health and wellbeing
- Reactivate the city
Initiatives integral to our city’s successful regeneration and ongoing resilience
- Build economic resilience
- Expand equitable opportunity and access
- Transform our spaces and buildings
- Strengthen community participation and align to others
- Evaluate and progress
Read the full consultation recap.
Community Vision consultation
We spoke with more than 750 people who live, work, study, visit or own a business in the municipality to understand what our community values most about the city.
Overall, the community’s top aspirations were for Melbourne to be a city that:
- is healthy and safe
- considers climate change in everything that we do
- is inclusive, accessible and affordable.
Read the full consultation recap.
The community’s feedback was gathered and synthesised into a series of insights and aspirations that helped to create the 10-year Community Vision and four-year Council Plan.
Read the Consultation Report (PDF 1.06MB).
What we're doing
New investments and upgrades in the CBD this year include:
- $50,191,117 – Queen Victoria Precinct Renewal Program
- $3,440,000 – Exhibition Street Bike Lanes
- $2,970,000 – Major Streetscape Improvements
- $1,245,000 – Public Art Melbourne – Growth Areas
- $1,187,750 – Waste and Resource Recovery Hub Expansion Program
- $1,000,000 – A new City Library
- $1,000,000 – Library Pop-Ups
- $580,000 – Cycle Infrastructure
- $356,065 – Make Room
- $200,000 – Investigate Deployment of Distributed Battery Systems
- $596,000 – Other new capital investments including pedestrian sensors, road safety, wayfinding and property works.
We will invest $6,593,800 on renewal works in the CBD including for roadways, footpaths, drains, kerb and channel, parks, landscape, banner poles, library collection and property.
We will invest $3,093,692 on maintenance works in the CBD including at our community facilities and other property, for urban forest health, pedestrian infrastructure, wayfinding signage and smoke free areas initiatives.
This year we will:
- Optimise essential service delivery to enhance inner city liveability
- Act on the review of central city waste regulations and waste truck movement restricted areas
- Establish bespoke precinct-based litter workforce
- Determine master plan for Melbourne City Baths
- Deliver and manage the Business Precinct Program
- Provide accessible creative opportunities to everyone through expanded arts and library programming
- Facilitate integrated water management solutions to support increased greening, reduced flooding and reduced pollution to the bay
- Progress Amendment C387 to protect and celebrate the heritage of the Central City
- Deliver high quality urban design in the Central City and Southbank through Amendment C308
- Repurpose Council assets to provide daytime activities, service assessment and housing assessment for rough sleepers
- Publish the master plans for Flinders Street and Southern Cross station precincts to influence government strategic planning.
Strategic work in the CBD
We will progress delivery of: