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Local action – how far have we travelled since the 2006 ‘Future Melbourne’ talks?

Posted in Events, Research, Visions by Ferne Edwards on May 9th, 2007

Last year, the Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning at the University of Melbourne presented a series of ‘Future Melbourne‘ public forums. These forums invited local and international experts to discuss pertinent local issues such as urbanism, security, obesity and transport. The topics included:

The Suburbs – Are the ‘burbs the cradle of Australian democracy and the haven of the Australian family or is the suburban sprawl full of stressed-out commuters breathing toxic sludge? And why do so many inner-city people lampoon the suburbs?

The Great Transport Debate – Melbourne is served by a 19th century grid of trains and trams, and by 20th century freeways. The trains dont run on time and the freeways are congested. Is there a way forward? Who should own our transport networks? How will we get around Melbourne in the 21st century?

Urban Consolidation – Some people like to grizzle about the sprawl, as they drive through it on their way to the Dandenongs or the coast. But they also shudder at the apartment towers which are transforming Melbourne. Just how close should we be living to each other – in the interests of happier lives and a more sustainable city?

Now a year on, many of these issues are still at large while some are more of a concern then ever before. So how far into the future has Melbourne travelled in the last year? How is our development as a sustainable city? Make up your mind by reading the transcripts or listening to the audio recordings available for each forum at and feel free to comment on

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