How To Make Melbourne The Most Livable Again

Architects, artists, urban planners, developers, designers and historians comment on the world's formerly most livable city, why it's lost the title and how to can reclaim it.
July 11, 2006, 12pm PDT | Nate Berg
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For a city once recognized as the most livable place in the world, thinking of ways to improve is not easy. Most of the best ideas seem to be already realized in the city of Melbourne. But the many planning professionals and academics and artists asked about how to make Melbourne the most livable city again responded by suggesting some of the most basic infrastructure and planning improvements. Even a city very close to the top, they say, has some of the same problems and shortcomings as nearly any other urban area in the world.

"Improving public transport was the most common suggestion, followed by a call to stop the relentless march of privatisation of state and federally owned assets. Next came the desire to create more public space, reduce traffic and make the city and suburbs more welcoming to pedestrians."

"The general consensus is that Melbourne is already quite an accommodating and engaging city - the trick now is to encourage development that builds on the city's strengths (its grid, its cultural diversity, its human scale, its creative heart), tackles its weaknesses (public transport, urban sprawl, poor building design, lack of affordable housing) and protects its natural environment."

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Published on Sunday, July 9, 2006 in The Age
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