11 reasons Melbourne is better now than 11 years ago

We’ve all come a long way since 2011, and so has our city.  

Through tough times, we’ve persevered, and it certainly shows. Of course, Melbourne was great 11 years ago, but it’s even better now. Let us take you on a journey of what we’ve achieved as a council over recent years.  

1. Our Graffiti Blitz is helping us sparkle

Over the past few months, we’ve worked harder than ever to clean our streets. We’ve more than doubled our street cleaning team, responded to an unprecedented number of jobs, and removed more than 14,000 square metres of graffiti as part of our Graffiti Blitz.

Our Clean Melbourne teams can even remove graffiti at heights. A clean city is a great city. 

A person painting over graffiti

A member of our clean team at work

2. We’re paving the way for more people to ride

Enabling different modes of transport is important for the longevity of our city, and we’re riding on Melbourne becoming a place where there’s room for all modes of transport, including cycling.

Current trends indicate one-third of vehicles coming into the city each morning will be bicycles by 2030, so we are working towards 90 kilometres of new protected bike lanes by 2030, about 19 of which have been completed. 

People riding bikes along a city street

Bike riding on a sunny day in Carlton

3. There’s way more wide-open space

We’ve created 92,143 square metres of new open space over the past decade – that’s the equivalent of five MCGs.

Since 2011, we have created a record amount of open space in the municipality, including 26 new parks. And, with our landmark Greenline project well and truly on the way, it’s only going to get greener and lusher.  

Parkland with tall wooden carvings, alongside an elevated railway track

Enterprize Park, beside the Birrarung or Yarra River

4. We’re moving forward on our reconciliation journey

We are committed to a meaningful reconciliation journey to strengthen relationships between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people through truth-telling.

Visit Aboriginal Melbourne to learn about the Declaration of Recognition and Commitment, the Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan, the Stolen Generations Marker, Aboriginal enterprise support, and art and education that provide First Nations perspectives on colonial history. 

Melbourne Town Hall with the Aboriginal flag flying

The Aboriginal flag has flown atop the Town Hall for 10 years

5. We love literacy and libraries

We’ve waved hello to four new pop-up libraries over the past year, welcoming nearly 9500 people who borrowed more than 5000 books, boosting literacy rates around the municipality.

Not only that, in the past 11 years we’ve also welcomed three permanent libraries to Melbourne: Southbank Library at Boyd Community Hub, Library at the Dock and Kathleen Syme Library and Community Centre.  

Children at play inside a library

Young bookworms play at Library at The Dock

6. We’ve stepped up our sustainability efforts

Our commitment to a more sustainable, greener future is more apparent than ever.

Not only are we committing to the use of more sustainable modes of transport – we are on our way to achieving net zero emissions by 2040 and making huge strides in our Food and Garden Organics waste program, having diverted 1165 tonnes of organic waste from landfill.

The exciting news? This is just the beginning of our sustainability journey. 

Three people holding kitchen caddies for compost

Melburnians embrace the benefits of green waste

7. Our city is more accessible

Light-up crossings, ramps, rails, braille signage – the list goes on.

Now, our city is more accessible to than it has ever been, and it’s only going to get easier as we plan to deliver more tactile surfaces and ramps, better adult change facilities and more inclusive open spaces and playgrounds. It’s because we want everyone to be able to access and enjoy the city.

A hand reaching out to touch braille signage

Wayfinding signage in braille on Little Lonsdale Street

8. E-scooters are readily available

In February, we kickstarted our first-ever shared e-scooter trial. Since then, Melburnians and visitors have taken to them in droves.

With an average of 5000 trips a day, it’s no surprise we’re on par with Paris in terms of usage and on track to soon hit the one million mark for e-scooter trips within the City of Melbourne. This proves Melburnians value easy, accessible and sustainable modes of transport. With 1500 available, why not try one today? 

A person riding an e-scooter along a city street

Zipping about on one of our 1500 e-scooters

9. We’re driven by our diversity

One aspect of our city that hasn’t changed over the past 11 years is our appreciation for diversity.

We are proud to be home to people from more than 200 countries, speaking 230 languages and dialects, and practicing 120 faiths. In any given year we support and host hundreds of multicultural events and small multicultural organisations, building vibrancy and enriching our city by making it inclusive and welcoming.

SalamFest and the South Asian Festival had their inaugural events in 2016, and Melbourne Chinatown Multicultural Celebrations held their first event this year, to name a few.  

Dancers at a Spanish festival

Dancers at the Spanish Language Fiesta

10. We’ve got playgrounds, playgrounds and more playgrounds

Lincoln Square, JJ Holland Park, Flagstaff Gardens, Royal Park Playground, the Neill Street Reserve and Buluk Park are just some of the 18 playgrounds we’ve built across the city in the past 11 years. Playgrounds play an important role for young children and families in keeping them active and creative, and we’re proud to nourish this need.

Dare we say, our playgrounds are becoming more innovative too? Lincoln Square’s fresh playspace features a slide and high ropes weaved in around a 150-year-old Moreton Bay Fig tree.

A nature play area

Nature play in Royal Park

11. We’re one of the top cities for international students 

Each year we welcome a fabulous cohort of international students from near and far – students who are not only here to study, but to live, experience and enrich our community.

We’re proud to be one of the top cities for international students. We’re currently second in the rankings for best student experience city, but with our Experience Melbourne program, we’re aiming to be number one.

International student dine and study

International students enjoy an afternoon in the CBD

Move to the city and save

With all of this on your doorstep – if you’ve been thinking about buying your first home, upsizing or looking for a change of scenery – there’s never been a better time to live in Melbourne.  

This is your last chance to snap up stamp duty savings before they end on 30 June. 

A 50 per cent stamp duty concession is available for new residential properties, including apartments, valued at up to $1 million within the City of Melbourne, while a full waiver is available for new residential properties that have been on the market for more than 12 months. 

To find out how you can make the city your local and enjoy extraordinary everyday living, visit This Is Your Local.