South Yarra is located to the south of the Yarra River Birrarung and the east of St Kilda Road. City of Melbourne’s South Yarra neighbourhood is to the west of Punt Road and includes significant open spaces and buildings, residential streets, and the Alfred Hospital. South Yarra to the east of Punt Road is governed by City of Stonnington. Approximately 23% of the total South Yarra population lives in City of Melbourne’s South Yarra area.

Earlier this year we asked how we might make South Yarra neighbourhood the best it could be. From the 508 contributions received, these draft neighbourhood priorities were developed.

  • Aboriginal Melbourne

    For the Wurundjeri, Bunurong, Taungurung, Dja Dja Wurrung and Wadawurrung peoples of the Eastern Kulin, the place now known as Melbourne has always been an important meeting place and location for events of political, cultural, social and educational significance. We will ensure that the Traditional Owners’ culture, lore, knowledge, and heritage enrich the city’s growth and development.

More recognition and visibility of the Bunurong and Wurundjeri people’s ongoing cultural connection to Country.

What you told us

We heard you want better acknowledgement of Bunurong and Wurundjeri Traditional Owners and opportunities to learn and connect with their culture and heritage.

We also heard you’d like to see greater use of Boon Wurrung (Bunurong) Woi Wurrung (Wurundjeri) and names, signage, language, creative art initiatives and plantings.

“Celebrate Aboriginal history and culture […] celebrate culture through festivals, events and other initiatives in the neighbourhood.”

“Education for local people about Aboriginal language and culture.”

“Signage in Aboriginal language next to English where appropriate.”

What we’re doing

As part of our Reconciliation Action Plan 2021-23 we are identifying and implementing opportunities for the dual naming of spaces to reflect Aboriginal cultural heritage.

In 2022, our annual festival of ideas was dual named narrm ngarrgu | Melbourne Knowledge Week, following consultation with Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung Traditional Owners.

At this year’s narrm ngarrgu | Melbourne Knowledge Week we launched Mapping Aboriginal Melbourne a spatial mapping tool highlighting places and events of Aboriginal cultural significance within the city. An interactive map is located in Town Hall Commons and available in desktop and mobile versions.

This educational resource has been developed with the Bunurong Land Council Aboriginal Corporation and the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung Cultural Heritage Aboriginal Corporation and supports Council in placemaking and signage. The Map identifies Aboriginal Places of Significance in the South Yarra area.

We host the YIRRAMBOI Festival every second year, providing opportunities for Aboriginal artists to present their continuous and diverse contemporary practices.

What’s On Melbourne provides a list of events with Aboriginal programming throughout the year, including National Reconciliation week and NAIDOC week events.

  • Access and affordability

    We will reduce economic and social inequality by ensuring universal access to housing, core services and information.

Ensure that public spaces and transportation options are accessible for all.

What you told us

We heard that having accessible transportation options, including tram stops, roads, parks and other public spaces and amenities are important to you. You would like people of all ages and abilities to have access to public amenities to help them move through the neighbourhood.

“More accessible spaces for people with mobility issues and parents with prams.”

“More changeroom facilities in toilets for changing kids in men’s toilets. I'm often changing my daughter on the floor of a toilet.”

“More tram services, all accessible stops, more services for the aged and disabled.”

What we’re doing

The Disability Access and Inclusion Plan 2020-24 includes actions to ensure the delivery of best practice universal access design in new and redevelopment initiatives. City of Melbourne also advocates to other tiers of government on matters that impact on people with disability and/or equity of access issues.

Programs, events and work opportunities for people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities.

What you told us

You’d like to see more neighbourhood initiatives, programs and services that are affordable, inclusive and welcoming to all people.

“Meal service for single and aged folk, daily papers and free tea and biscuits for residents who are otherwise alone at home and feeling isolated.”

"Have Fawkner Park cater to more than sports and dogs off-leash. These are great to have but I don’t have a dog and I don’t play sports so there isn’t much on offer in the area for someone like me.”

“Foster a more inclusive, diverse and respectful community. It's a lovely area but it feels very exclusive.”

What we’re doing

We provide a broad range of health and support services, programs and resources to assist the community including children and their families, young people, older people, Aboriginal communities, LQBTIQ communities.

See also Programs and events for older people - City of Melbourne

Our Inclusive Melbourne Strategy increases access to opportunities for all people and outlines how we will respond to the diversity of religions, cultures, age groups, gender, sexual orientation and ability among the people who live, work, study in and visit the city.

Our Creating Communities of Equality and Respect: Women’s Safety and Empowerment Action Plan 2021-2024 outlines action that can be taken to prevent violence against women.

The South Yarra Senior Citizens Centre is prioritised for use by older people and carers. It provides an environment which is safe, dignified and has equitable access for all users and visitors. It has recently improved its audio equipment enabling people with hearing difficulties to participate in activities. Wherever possible signage in the centre is presented alongside some community languages to better serve culturally and linguistically diverse community members.

The centre is working to make the space more inclusive for older LGBTIQ+ people.

What we’re doing next

We will be looking at further opportunities to incorporate community suggestions and advance inclusivity, accessibility and affordability within the South Yarra neighbourhood.

Advocate for rental security, housing affordability and work towards reducing homelessness.

What you told us

You have concerns around housing and rental affordability and want to see initiatives that help reduce homelessness in the South Yarra neighbourhood.

“More initiatives to increase social and affordable housing availability. More homelessness services that provide holistic support to people who are struggling.”

“Initiatives to address rental security and housing affordability. I want to stay in South Yarra but I’m not certain that I can.”

"Address homelessness issues on the streets.”

What we’re doing

Affordable housing, including social housing and subsidised market housing, is a priority for the whole of the municipality. Our Affordable Housing Strategy 2020-2030 guides our actions to deliver more affordable housing in response to the affordable housing shortage that the municipality is experiencing.

Currently, there are no areas within the South Yarra neighbourhood identified for affordable housing projects. However, there are several projects ongoing and planned in the neighbouring suburbs that will benefit community members across the whole of the municipality.

We are actively working through our in-house support team, with other agencies and our recently established Homes Melbourne to support people experiencing homelessness and increase pathways out of homelessness.

  • Climate and biodiversity emergency

    We will prioritise our environment and take urgent action to reduce emissions and waste in order to protect public health, strengthen the economy and create a city that mitigates and adapts to climate change. The City of Melbourne declared a climate and biodiversity emergency in 2019.

Implement sustainable waste management practices and advocate for renewable energy initiatives

What you told us

You would like more work to be done implementing and advocating for sustainability initiatives, including engaging with local businesses on how to reduce their carbon footprint, local composting hubs and a shift towards renewable energy sources.

“More awareness and education around what can and can't be recycled needs to be addressed in South Yarra.”

“Initiatives to support businesses to go green, like bio-digesters for leftover food disposal.”

“Implement better recycling and waste management such as green waste and public composting".

What we’re doing

We declared a climate and biodiversity emergency in 2019 and are taking bold action on climate change. We’ve committed to zero-net emissions by 2040 in addition to a range of other actions and priorities.

To find out more, visit: How to act now on climate change.

Our urban water in the city initiative aims to help us better understand sustainable water management and provides resources and ideas to make a difference at home or work.

Our Waste and Resource Recovery Strategy outlines ways to help become a zero-waste city. We provide a wide range of services including street bins, garbage compactors and residential and commercial bin collections and recycling.

We are leading the reduction of food waste and diversion of waste from landfill, through our food and organics (FOGO) collection service for single-unit and multi-unit dwellings up to five storeys. We will also be trialling textile bins and a food organics pilot in high-rise buildings.

In 2017, the City of Melbourne became the first capital city council in Australia to be powered by 100 per cent renewable energy through the Melbourne Renewable Energy Project.

By continuing our innovation in renewable energy, Power Melbourne will play a lead role in reaching our ambition to become a whole city powered by 100 per cent renewables by 2030.

We also support the idea of a circular economy and through leadership and community neighbourhood projects, including social enterprise grants, are reviewing a container deposit scheme, alternative waste technologies and developing circular economy guidelines.

  • Economy of the future

    We will focus on driving economic recovery and creating the conditions for a strong, adaptive, sustainable and thriving future city economy supported by a diverse mix of industries and jobs that provide dignity and opportunity.

Provide tailored support for local businesses to help recover from COVID-19.

What you told us

You said there is a need for more tailored support for local hospitality and retail businesses, such as incentive programs, rent reductions and targeted engagement initiatives.

“It's concerning for businesses around here because we rely heavily on office workers for revenue, but we don't see them returning five days a week.”

“Music, arts and other cultural activities should be encouraged to create business opportunities, to support the ravaged arts sector.”

"City of Melbourne needs to consult with local businesses more and communicate better. As a small business, I don’t feel like my needs are considered or heard as much as the residents issues are.”

What we’re doing

We provide support for businesses through grants, mentoring, workshops, extended outdoor dining initiatives, regular newsletters, sharing data and research and more.

We are strengthening Melbourne's economic recovery, through precinct program support, delivering an enhanced business concierge service and supporting the night-time economy.

What we’re doing next

We can further help community organisations to explore opportunities with local business and precinct associations around employment pathways. Find out more about our services and support for business.

Expand the range of hospitality, fresh produce and retail businesses in South Yarra West.

What you told us

You would like to see a more diverse range of businesses, retail and hospitality offerings in the South Yarra neighbourhood, to help reinvigorate the neighbourhood's economy.

“There are not many options for food, entertainment or socialising, especially on St Kilda Road.”

“We need a café in Fawkner Park for parents who wait for their children, visitors, older residents who want to socialise and all other people!”

What we’re doing

City of Melbourne strives to maintain and support a diversified economy and to attract investment from all over the globe across many industries. Our Invest Melbourne program provides support for existing and new businesses, including access to financial assistance and experienced business advisers.

Our Business Precinct Program 2021-25 provides annual financial support to help precinct trader associations deliver local activations, marketing and promotion campaigns.

  • Melbourne’s unique identity and place

    We will celebrate and protect the places, people and cultures that make Melbourne a unique, vibrant and creative city with world-leading liveability.

Protect local heritage, parks and gardens, and work to retain the ‘village feel’.

What you told us

Many of you told us that heritage protection and retaining South Yarra’s low-rise residential areas is important to you. You love the village feel of the area and would like to see that retained while also accommodating the needs of tourists and visitors.

“Maintain its heritage and beauty whilst continuing to service the greater population as a recreation and tourist attraction.”

“Some greater consideration to development. Thoughts about residential versus commercial versus hospitality.”

What we’re doing

Our Heritage Strategy 2013 sets out our plan to protect heritage buildings, places and objects. It has been developed to ensure the city’s rich traditions and memories are celebrated and our places and objects are identified and protected.

The South Yarra Heritage Review is underway. The independent review took a holistic view of South Yarra’s buildings and streets, carefully considering Aboriginal, colonial, contemporary, community, tangible and intangible heritage values.

We’ve developed a Development Activity Model to better inform you of future buildings and construction in your area.

Following extensive review and consultation, the new Code of Practice for Building, Construction and Works came into effect from 17 March 2022. The new Code coincides with the upcoming launch of City of Melbourne Services online, which will bring digital permits to construction activities at the end of March.

An inclusive COVID-19 recovery, reinventing the St Kilda and Commercial Road precincts.

What you told us

You would like to see South Yarra - particularly its outer edges - thriving through neighbourhood activities and community-focussed businesses, ultimately becoming a destination for residents and visitors.

“St Kilda Road and Commercial Road are big roads, so they don't feel cosy and don't have a neighbourhood feel. They don’t feel like a part of the neighbourhood.”

"More community events and programs in the parks and pop-up businesses around the neighbourhood to draw people out.”

“There are no good options of diverse restaurants, bars and other entertainment venues on St Kilda Road. It won't attract residents and we can't compete against the businesses on Chapel Street. There's no sense of community in this precinct.”

What we’re doing

We support the delivery of community events through our annual Connected Communities grants and the recently launched Connected Neighbourhoods small grants.

Our Business Precincts Program also supports local business associations to run activations in their local nieghbourhoods.

Our Economic Development Strategy 2031 supported by our Creative Strategy 2018-2028, highlights opportunities to transform and reimagine the role of the city as a place to work, visit and be entertained.

We showcase businesses, events and activities in South Yarra through our social media and What’s On webpage. Here we profile world-class arts and culture, bars and restaurants, retail and other curated content themes to highlight unique aspects of South Yarra.

Creation of local spaces where people can connect and participate in activities together

What you told us

You believe that South Yarra would benefit from more spaces that contribute towards building a stronger sense of community and identity. Suggestions include community gardens and a community hub in City of Melbourne managed spaces for community members and private businesses.

“A community garden in Fawkner Park where people can spend time together. Also, a coffee shop in Fawkner Park, near the tennis courts so that people, especially our senior residents, have somewhere to meet and socialise.”

“A community hub and programs for children with disability and after school activities.”

“A ‘cosy’ café, a proper pub for the locals, a coffee cart at the Tennis Centre. Also, better use of the reserve between Domain Road and Botanical Gardens.”

What we’re doing

The South Yarra Senior Citizens Centre’s main hall is available for community use, with priority access given to groups and organisations offering services for older people and not for profit organisations.

The Tennis Centre in Fawkner Park is a City of Melbourne venue that is managed by the Victorian Tennis Academy and available for public hire and classes.

We are looking at ways to provide flexible multi-use spaces across the city for the community to access.

More amenities in South Yarra, including public toilets, BBQ facilities, picnic tables and drinking fountains.

What you told us

Many people who live and visit South Yarra enjoy spending time outdoors. You would like to see this encouraged with more public amenities to support outdoor leisure and recreational activities.

“Exercise equipment in Fawkner Park and picnic facilities are missing in South Yarra.”

“More toilets in Fawkner Park. There’s only one block of toilets here.”

“More focus on people that need to recreate outside of their homes because they live in flats or apartments.”

What we’re doing

We provide and maintain a range of street furniture and amenities to support people who live, work and play in South Yarra.

Fawkner Park’s Pasley Street North entrance and multi-purpose court underwent upgrades this year to resolve long-standing drainage issues, improve tree and landscape health, enhance pedestrian and cyclist safety and improve the amenity of the park entrance.

We are currently implementing the recommendations made in the Domain Parklands Master Plan 2019-39, including reviewing and upgrading of amenities in Alexandra Gardens.

What we’re doing next

We will explore opportunities to provide further amenities to assist workers, residents and visitors participate safely and comfortably in activities in South Yarra.

Working with neighbouring councils to deliver better outcomes for the entire South Yarra neighbourhood.

What you told us

City of Melbourne shares the governing of the South Yarra neighbourhood with the City of Stonnington, with more than half of the population living in the Stonnington Council area.

We understand that many people during their daily events interact with places, facilities and services that cross the boundaries of both local government areas.

Many of you provided feedback on issues and opportunities relating to areas across both Melbourne and Stonnington council areas.

“More connection to the City of Melbourne - we are cut off from the rest of the city and feel more like Stonnington.”

“I take my dog to Fawkner Park in City of Melbourne, and I also go to the library in Prahran. It’s interesting that South Yarra is split into two councils.”

What we’re doing

City of Melbourne is a member of the M9, an alliance of the nine inner Melbourne councils that work cooperatively and collectively advocate for issues and projects of mutual interest.

City of Melbourne engages with other local councils and government agencies for various City of Melbourne based projects that require external support and collaboration.

What we’re doing next

We will explore ways to work with our neighbouring councils, particularly City of Stonnington and Port Philip, to better service the whole of South Yarra.

  • Safety and wellbeing

    We will plan and design for the safety and wellbeing of those who live, visit, work and do business in Melbourne, regardless of their background.

Negotiate safe shared use of roads and paths and address issues relating to aggressive and anti-social road behaviour, traffic flow and parking spaces.

What you told us

South Yarra is a popular destination and hosts major arterial roads. We heard that people are concerned about safety on the roads, footpaths and other paths in the parks.

“Reduce traffic congestion and increase road safety. Toorak Road is very congested and cyclists and e-scooters on the footpaths are dangerous to everyone.”

“Safer street crossings for example on Punt Road and Commercial Road.”

“Install signs and enforce bicycle speed limits in Fawkner Park. It's very dangerous for pedestrians, especially older people, children and dog walkers.”

What we’re doing

Our Transport Strategy 2030, delivers a protected bike lane network, safer speed limits, trials including e-scooters, and more efficient traffic signal timing. It also supports electric vehicles, bicycling encouragement programs and advocacy and implementation with the Victorian Government.

City of Melbourne hosts and is involved in the Hooning Community Reference Group, facilitated by the Department of Transport. Community members have been invited to participate to provide local perspective and feedback on hooning related issues.

The Transport Engineering Team will be undertaking a Pedestrian Safety Review study in South Yarra in 2022/23, to identify a range of pedestrian and road safety improvements in South Yarra. The study will include consultation with the community.

Address safety issues relating to theft, antisocial and aggressive behaviours and improve night-time lighting.

What you told us

You told us there are some parts of South Yarra where you don’t feel safe, and that the area would benefit from initiatives to increase safety and security. You are particularly concerned about anti-social behaviours and poor lighting in some areas.

“Our shop has been burgled twice in the last two years. There needs to be more safety measures in the neighbourhood.”

“We’ve had people wander into our shop and threaten us. I worry about when my wife is here without me.”

“I don’t feel safe walking late at night. There are often people who seem to be on drugs. There needs to be better lighting in the parks.”

What we’re doing

We are working with Victoria Police and other agencies to deliver initiatives that improve safety on the streets of Melbourne and within our communities.

We participate in the Neighbourhood Policing Initiative’s Local Safety Committee meetings, chaired by Victoria Police, to understand the community’s safety and security concerns and to collaborate with stakeholders in addressing issues.

The City of Melbourne Lighting Strategy 2021 aims to responsibly manage the environmental and social impacts of night-time lighting while promoting improvements to safety and amenity, especially for pedestrians. All streetlights in South Yarra have been upgraded in the last few years.

What we’re doing next

We do not have further plans to improve public lighting, however, we will investigate requests from the public and take the appropriate actions.

Manage noise pollution from public events and traffic for a more relaxing living environment.

What you told us

You told us that you appreciate South Yarra’s vibrancy and its attraction to many visitors. However, you would like to see more initiatives that are community-focussed, making sure that the area maintains a high level of liveability.

“Make it quieter. There are lots of very noisy events, cars and motorbikes at all hours.”

“It’s great that people come here to enjoy outdoor music and film events but sometimes it’s excessively noisy for the residents, all through summer.”

What we’re doing

Various noise related issues, including noise from festivals, events, entertainment and sporting venues, can be reported through our noise reporting tool.

The Environment Protection Authority (EPA) offers a 24-hour pollution hotline on 1300 372 842 where you can report noise from entertainment venues and events or any other music noise.