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Melbourne: What Next?

An e-book, featuring peer-reviewed chapters written by leading academics, published by MSSI and the Melbourne Social Equity Institute in October 2014.

Editors: Carolyn Whitzman, Brendan Gleeson and Alexander Sheko.


Building on widespread and growing dissatisfaction among Melburnians on the direction that current planning policies are taking the city, this ebook takes a look at the issues facing the city and what can be done to create a better future for Melbourne. Addressing the key challenges in planning the city’s future – transport, climate change, housing, financing infrastructure, and so forth – the ebook presents the perspectives of a wide range of practitioners, activists and researchers.

This ebook was produced in partnership with an emergent coalition – the Future Melbourne Network, which consists of senior practitioners, some of whom were previously involved in the development of Plan Melbourne, along with emerging academics and planners from The University of Melbourne and RMIT. This coalition of passionate Melburnians ran a series of five forums on the big planning issues facing Melbourne in Federation Square from March to July 2014, attracting over a thousand attendees in additional to online engagement.

Melbourne: What’s Next? summarises the presentations at the public forums – with speakers ranging from Melbourne Lord Mayor Robert Doyle to public transport campaigner Danae Bosler to eminent climate scientist Professor Dave Griggs – framed by research by leading academics. It also includes excerpts from public engagement with the Future Melbourne Network project, with ideas contributed on the Future Melbourne Network website and social media channels, as well as at the forums themselves.

This ebook is intended for those interested in exploring the challenges facing the city, how these can be tackled, and how ordinary Melburnians can understand planning for a better future as a process that involves all, rather than just a limited range of professionals. It is hoped that this ebook will stimulate lively and informed debate on planning issues ahead of the upcoming Victorian election, and ensure that politicians and decision makers work together with communities to create a better future for Melbourne.