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What we know

Kensington is a unique inner suburb of Melbourne approximately 4km north west of the central city.

Kensington encompasses Racecourse Rd to the north, Smithfield Road to the east, the Maribyrnong River and South Kensington railway line by Childers St to the south, and Moonee Ponds creek to the east.

Kensington has a distinct heritage character, an active local community and village-like shopping hub around Kensington Station.

Almost 11,000* people live in Kensington, with family households comprising 57 per cent of dwellings - one of the highest in our municipality. People aged between 20-34 make up the largest age demographic.

Housing ranges from small heritage cottages, public housing, and new townhouses in Kensington Banks. There are some industrial and commercial uses in the south east.

Kensington includes part of the Macaulay renewal precinct area to the east which is expected to undergo significant change over the coming decades.

*based on pre-covid data

Quick facts

Data was sourced from the 2016 Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) Census of Population and Housing. To learn more about this data, including definitions, visit: Guide to Census data.

City of Melbourne services in Kensington

The Kensington Community Children’s Co-Operative is run by a Committee of Management on behalf of the City of Melbourne. It offers a 140-place education and care centre with integrated and sessional kindergarten. We also operate the Kensington Maternal & Child Health Centre which supports children’s health and development from birth until school age. Playgroup sessions also operate through this service.

The Kensington Neighbourhood Centre (Anthony Street) hosts a range of programs and events for older people and is available for community hire prioritising older people’s community groups and not-for-profit organisations. The Centre also has a Sensory Garden for use by all Centre visitors and to hold programs specifically to support people living with dementia and their families.

The Venny Adventure Playground in Kensington is run by a Committee of Management on behalf of the City of Melbourne. The Venny offers a range of programs to support children and their families.

Kensington Town Hall is currently managed by YMCA and has many bookable spaces which are available for community use. A range of community events and activities run out of the centre. The rear of the Town Hall is also home to the Kensington Compost Hub and soon to be launched bike repair hub.

We manage and maintain many public spaces across Kensington including:

  • Bayswater Road Park
  • Bellair Street Reserve
  • Cakebread Mews Park East
  • Cakebread Mews Park West
  • The Crescent Council Reserve
  • Cuffe Walk Council Reserve
  • Eastwood and Rankins Park
  • Escarpment Park
  • Fisken Walk
  • Gilbertson Walk
  • JJ Holland Park
  • Kensington Banks
  • Kensington Hall Reserve
  • Kensington Town Hall
  • Lascelles Square
  • Liddy Street Reserve
  • Lynches Bridge Small Reserve
  • Maribyrnong River Reserve Bike Trail
  • Mercantile Park East
  • Mercantile Park West
  • Cornish Lane Council Reserve
  • McAllister Mews Council Reserve
  • Kensington Community Garden
  • Moonee Ponds Creek
  • Parsons Reserve
  • Peppercorn Park
  • Woodruff Street Reserve
  • Riverside Park
  • Robertson Street Reserve
  • Stock Route Reserve
  • Taylor Mews Reserve
  • Warun Biik Park
  • Women’s Peace Garden.

Kensington Community Recreation Centre is currently being redeveloped. The new centre will feature an eight lane 25 metre swimming pool, children’s water play, three full-sized multipurpose courts, updated and expanded gym, large flexible spaces suitable for a range of classes and community uses, accessible change rooms and a wrap-around café.

Newmarket Reserve provides community soccer clubs use pitch in winter season, community sport and training use in summer.

JJ Holland sport ovals provides three sports fields used by 10 community sporting clubs, and local schools for training and competition.

We also manage the Childers Street skatepark and BMX track, Kensington Banks Tennis Courts and Fleming-Kensington Bowls Club site.

  • We also support the Kensington Business Association through our Business Precinct Program.
  • We currently provide annual funding to support the running and delivery of programs at the Kensington Neighbourhood House (McCracken St)
  • We support a range of community groups in and around Kensington to deliver local project and activities through our grant programs. Since 2020 we have funded 21 community projects based in and around Kensington to the value of more than $218,000. This includes the Kensington Repair Hub, Flemington-Kensington Arts Show, Kensington Stockyard garden and many more.

What we heard

City of the Future consultation

We invited community members to reflect and share with us how COVID-19 changed your perspective and priorities for the future of the city. Research and knowledge gathering activities with the community took place from 15 June through to 19 July 2020.
  • 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.

The COVID-19 Reactivation and Recovery Plan integrates with the Council planning framework and City of Melbourne’s strategic plans and is designed to help guide and shape our work now and into the future.

Read the COVID-19 Reactivation and Recovery Plan.

Community Vision consultation

To help form our 10-year Community Vision and four-year Council Plan 2021–25, we completed a period of deliberative engagement with a broad cross-section of the community throughout March 2021.

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).

Six strategic directions from the Council Plan include:

  • Economy of the future
  • Melbourne's unique identity and place
  • Safety and wellbeing
  • Access and affordability
  • Climate and biodiversity emergency
  • Aboriginal Melbourne

Read the Community Vision and Council Plan 2021-25.

What we're doing

Capital Works

Major new infrastructure investment in Kensington this year includes:

  • $10,216,000 – Kensington Community and Recreation Centre Redevelopment
  • $4,200,000 – Pump Stations Upgrade - Stubbs Street

We will invest $2,633,470 on renewal works in Kensington including for roadways, footpaths, kerb and channel, parks, landscape and property.

We will invest $299,692 on maintenance works in Kensington including at our community facilities and other property, for urban forest health and pedestrian infrastructure.

Key Initiatives

This year we will:

  • Determine a plan for recreational needs in Arden and Macaulay.
  • Progress planning and delivery of the Macaulay Structure Plan and Development Contributions Plan.
  • Deliver and manage the Business Precinct Program.
  • Facilitate integrated water management solutions to support increased greening, reduced flooding and reduced pollution to the bay.
  • Advocate and facilitate the implementation of projects within the Moonee Ponds Creek Strategic Opportunities Plan.
  • Publish the Racecourse Road Master Plan to influence government strategic planning.
  • Seek new public open space opportunities.
  • Planning for the Stock Route Food Walk Proposal.

Our strategic work in Kensington

We will progress delivery of:

What do you know?

Share your local knowledge

Check out what others have already shared below and tell us what you think are some of Kensington’s assets and strengths.

  • 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 places you go to locally to cope during extreme weather like heatwaves, air pollution or storms?
  • Are there events, walks, open spaces or special spots that you love to visit and enjoy?
  • You can also highlight where you see there’s an opportunity for the community and/or Council to help address.
Consultation closes 5pm on 22 December.

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