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Victoria’s environmental infrastructure, which includes public parks and open space, is fundamental to the liveability for which Melbourne and its regional centres are renowned. Securing and expanding environmental infrastructure, located within or close to urban areas, will be key to accommodating the significant population growth forecast for Melbourne and regional centres in future years.

Prior to the COVID‑19 pandemic, the populations of Melbourne and Victoria had been growing faster than at any other period in the history of the state. While the pandemic has stalled this growth, it is likely that strong population growth will resume in coming years. This will in turn increase the demand for environmental infrastructure across Melbourne, in larger regional centres such as Geelong, Shepparton, Bendigo, Ballarat and Albury‑Wodonga, as well as in peri‑urban towns such as Bacchus Marsh, Warragul/Drouin and Gisborne. If the recent increase in home‑based working arrangements continues in the years ahead, it is likely to further increase the demand for access to environmental infrastructure closer to people’s homes.

The combination of these demographic changes will make innovative planning approaches crucial to meeting the future environmental infrastructure needs of Melbourne and growing peri‑urban and regional centres.

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