Liveable communities are safe, attractive, socially cohesive and inclusive. They are environmentally sustainable, providing affordable and diverse housing close to public transport, walking and cycling infrastructure. Residents can readily access employment and education opportunities, as well as health and community services. Community engagement, health and wellbeing are supported through provision of public open spaces, recreational facilities and cultural events.
Liveability provides significant benefits to the economy and our community. Walkable 20-minute neighbourhoods improve productivity by reducing car use, lessening road congestion and shortening transit times. Community health costs are reduced through enhanced participation in active travel and exercise, social inclusion and improved mental well-being. While these benefits are acknowledged in policies designed to promote Melbourne’s liveability, current policies for walkability, public transport and public open space would benefit from more clearly defined standards, more ambitious targets, and consistent implementation.
This policy brief highlights the need for: specific policy standards with targets for implementation; the development of walkable neighbourhoods and provision of adequate public space; and the introduction of standards and targets for housing affordability, employment, access to healthy food and moderated access to retail alcohol outlets.