The City of Yarra is renowned for its dynamic night life spread across a number of precincts, principally Collingwood and Fitzroy (Smith, Gertrude, Brunswick and Johnston Streets) and Richmond (Victoria, Church and Swan Streets and Bridge Road). In addition at night, activities such as leisure and recreation, libraries, parks, sports and arts operate.
Yarra’s Night Time Economy (NTE) contributes 8.4% of jobs to Yarra (2,976 jobs), with the economic benefits of the NTE estimated to outweigh costs at a ratio of 2:1 (REMPLAN 2013). However, a dollar figure cannot be placed on all costs. A lively night life can on occasion create nuisance impacts and negatively impact upon perceptions of safety. Over the course of 2012 and 2013, an extensive program of research and consultation highlighted the following concerns with the NTE:
• traffic congestion, inadequate public transport and private taxis and contested car parking,
• reduced amenity in public spaces impacted by noise levels, increased volumes of rubbish and on occasion, public urination and vomiting, and
• problems with anti-social behaviour specifically associated with night activities and the negative impacts this has upon perceptions of community safety and general quality of life.
An additional 20,000 residents are expected to move to Yarra in the next 15 years (id. Forecasts 2014). Some will be living in new residential development in these night precincts, which is likely to escalate tension between entertainment and residential needs.
This strategy has been developed to address this. It involves a four year program of activities to improve entertainment precincts and modify the way services are delivered outside business hours and to advocate to other agencies and levels of government to do the same.