Conference paper
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Melbourne’s metropolitan strategy Melbourne 2030 was conceived in 1999, born in 2002, pronounced dead in 2009 and finally buried, unmourned and unloved, in 2011. When the newly-elected Baillieu government announced earlier this year that it intended to scrap Melbourne 2030 and replace it with a new metropolitan planning strategy, the response was a deafening silence. This lack of protest, or even condolences, contrasts strangely with the fulsome praise Melbourne 2030 attracted at its launch and for some time afterwards. The Melbourne strategy was hailed as a model for metropolitan planning, and an example for other cities. This paper analyses the rise and fall of Melbourne 2030, with a view to explaining the strategy’s demise. It explores two possible explanations:
• the strategy was basically sound, but failed due to a lack of political will and commitment; and
• the strategy was flawed in both process and content, and these flaws led it to fail.
The State of Australian Cities (SOAC) national conferences have been held biennially since 2003 to support interdisciplinary policy-related urban research.
This paper was presented at SOAC 5held in Melbourne from 29 November – 2 December 2011.
SOAC 5 was hosted by the University of Melbourne, RMIT University, Monash University, Swinburne University of Technology and Latrobe University as well as the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute and the Grattan Institute, the Victorian State Government and the City of Melbourne.
Three plenary panels brought researchers from across the country to address ‘big issues’: place-based disadvantage, the design and form of Australian cities, and metropolitan governance. Over 175 papers, in 46 themed sessions, cover topics ranging from planning and governance for environmental sustainability, to housing affordability and adequacy in the context of an aging population. Healthy communities, better public transport, high quality open space, participatory planning, and issues affecting the peri-urban fringe are also strong sub-themes within this conference.
All published papers have been subject to a peer reviewing process.

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