Sustainability is at the heart of our community’s vision for Melbourne. We pride ourselves on being a sustainability leader, setting ambitious goals for both our organisation and the community to preserve and improve the city we love.
We face a number of future challenges due to climate change, population growth, changing demographics and economic volatility. These challenges have prompted us to look at new ways to respond, while maintaining and growing Melbourne’s position as one of the world’s most liveable cities.
We are tackling these challenges in partnership with our community, by sharing the responsibility for building and maintaining a healthy and resilient environment for today and into the future.
Learn more about our goals for the city and how we are addressing our sustainability challenges and aspirations in each of the following areas: as a city for people, creative city, prosperous city, knowledge city, eco-city and connected city.
To ensure we lead by example, we focus on embedding sustainability thinking into everything we do. From empowering staff to look for sustainability opportunities in their existing roles, changing our processes and systems to drive sustainable outcomes, to creating unique programs in collaboration with our community to inspire change, we continually strive to pioneer the sustainability agenda.
Only by taking a holistic approach to considering the natural environment, our community, good governance and a healthy economy will we achieve all our goals and fulfil our community’s vision.
We report yearly on our sustainability progress using the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Sustainability Reporting Framework, the most widely-used sustainability-reporting standard in the world. We adopted this framework because it helps us identify, measure, report and assess how we are performing in our day-to-day activities in economic, social and environmental terms on the issues that matter most to our organisation and stakeholders. The Framework is accepted as the world’s highest standard of sustainability reporting.
Urban resilience is defined as the capacity of individuals, communities, businesses and systems within a city to survive, adapt and thrive not just as a response to shocks (such as heat, fires and floods) – but also to the stresses that weaken the fabric of a city on a day-to-day or cyclical basis. Such stresses can include rapid population growth, increasing social inequality, increasing pressures on our natural assets, increased unemployment or under employment, climate change, and increasing rates of alcoholism and family violence.
We are committed to improving the resilience of our municipality, and to actively contributing to the resilience of the greater Melbourne region. Over the past 12 months, Resilient Melbourne – a metropolitan-wide project, hosted by the City of Melbourne with funding provided by 100 Resilient Cities (100RC) has been working to identify the key shocks and stressors for metropolitan Melbourne. 100RC was pioneered by the Rockefeller Foundation to help cities across the world become more resilient to the growing challenges of the 21st century. As part of the project, a long-term strategy was developed to ensure such issues are successfully adapted to and mitigated. The City of Melbourne’s Future Melbourne Committee endorsed the Resilient Melbourne Strategy on 17 May 2016.
Resilient Melbourne marks an important point in Melbourne’s development. It offers a new way to address the chronic stresses and acute shocks we are likely to experience, and to achieve our vision of a city in which our diverse communities are viable, sustainable, liveable and prosperous, today and long into the future. It marks a significant milestone for greater Melbourne, making it the first time in 180 years that a metropolitan-wide strategy has been led by local government.
The strategy is a result of the work of more than 1000 individuals from 230 organisations, Melbourne’s 32 metropolitan councils and many Victorian Government departments. It identifies four key long-term objectives, supported by 33 actions divided amongst four key action areas, as shown below.
Strategy at a glance
In a resilient Melbourne, our diverse communities are viable, sustainable, liveable and prosperous.
Empower communities to take active responsibility for their own and each other’s wellbeing, safety and health.
A dynamic economy
Provide diverse local employment opportunities that support an adaptable workforce that is ready for the jobs of the future.
Our shared places
Create and sustain buildings, infrastructure and activities that promote social cohesion, equality of opportunity and health.
A healthier environment
Enable strong natural assets and ecosystems alongside a growing population.
Reduce our exposure to future shocks and stresses. Flagship action: Metropolitan urban forest strategy.
Withstand disruptions and bounce back better than before. Flagship action: Emergency management community resilience framework for Victoria.
Significantly improve people’s quality of life. Flagship action: The metropolitan cycling corridor network.
Build resilience thinking into our institutions and ways of working. Flagship action: The Resilient Melbourne Delivery Office.
In order to embed resilience thinking and long-term outcomes across diverse sectors, a five-year Resilient Melbourne Delivery Office has been created to coordinate and implement the actions highlighted in the strategy. In the first year, the City of Melbourne will provide 50 per cent of the funding for the Delivery Office, and the Victorian Government will contribute 50 per cent.
Over the five years of the Delivery Office, these operating costs will be shared evenly between the City Of Melbourne, the Victorian Government and all participating metropolitan councils. Actions will be funded by relevant government agencies and in-kind services from 100RC ‘Platform Partners’, and enhanced by philanthropic and corporate supporters.
As well as being involved as a lead stakeholder in strategy facilitation and implementation, the City of Melbourne will also lead or co-lead three specific strategy actions:
Local government renewables group purchasing (co-led with the Cities of Moreland, Port Phillip and Yarra)
Understanding drivers of community resilience
Professorial chair in resilient cities (co-led with the University of Melbourne).
More information, including a downloadable strategy, see Resilient Melbourne1.
Learn more about how the City of Melbourne is striving to embed sustainability at the heart of everything we do as an organisation, as reflected in our goals of ensuring:
resources are managed well (see Goal 7 performance)
we are an accessible, transparent and responsive organisation (see Goal 8 performance)
we involve the community in our decisions, achieve continuous improvement, promote an engaging, safe and - diverse workplace, reduce our environmental impacts, manage our risks and supply chain (see Our organisation)
To understand how we have applied the Global Reporting Initiative (see Our reporting approach).