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Making Melbourne ‘liveable’ is a policy objective of the Victorian state government. In some domains of liveability, Melbourne performs well compared with other Australian cities in its policy ambition and performance. However, to achieve its liveability aspirations, greater ambition is required in some of its policy targets.

Melbourne’s target of an average net density of 15 dwellings or more per hectare is low, and well below that required to create walkable neighbourhoods (at least 25 dwellings per hectare). Notably, only 21% of Melbourne’s suburbs are achieving even this modest dwelling density target.

Melbourne is doing well in:

  • moving towards the 95% policy target for access to public transport
  • providing access to public open spaces within 400 m of residences.

69% of residences have access to a bus stop within 400 m, tram stop within 600 m or train station within 800 m, moving towards Victoria’s ambitious 95% public transport policy target. However, unlike Sydney, Melbourne does not have a target for service frequency.

36% of residences in Melbourne meet the stricter public transport national liveability indicator requirements, and are within 400m of a public transport stop with a scheduled service at least every 30 minutes between 7am and 7pm on a normal weekday. This result highlights the importance of service frequency in measuring transport access.

However, Melbourne is not doing well in:

  • fully implementing policies aimed at increasing access to destinations, street connectivity, and density to create walkable neighbourhoods
  • providing access to public transport and walkable communities in outer suburban areas.
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