This week’s Urban Series features the most liveable city in the world for seven consecutive years according to the Economist Intelligence Unit’s annual global liveability survey: Melbourne, Australia. Infrastructure is one of the categories considered for this rank, but it is not the only reason why the capital of the State of Victoria reigns in quality of life and successful urbanism projects. To find out, keep reading.
5 Reasons Why Melbourne is The Most Liveable City in The World:
1.It strives for sustainable buildings:
In 2013 Melbourne was recognized by the C40 & Siemens Climate Leadership Awards for Energy Efficient Built Environment, category for its Sustainable Buildings Program. The city’s aim is to improve energy and water efficiency in private commercial buildings according to the Siemens’ report. Moreover, city places sustainability and low carbon emissions for the commercial building sector high on its priority list. “As Australia’s fastest growing city, Melbourne has consistently embedded sustainability and environmentally responsible growth,” says Siemens.
2.It invests in having the best transport network in Australia:
How crucial was urban planning and infrastructure investment to Melbourne’s success? The government of Victoria leaves no doubt: “Melbourne’s complex matrix of road and rail transport networks are the best in the country. People and goods are efficiently transported in, out and around the country—a feat made possible due to the largest air and seaports in Australia.”
Transport infrastructure is key. In this regard, Melbourne has the busiest curfew-free passenger and container airport, handling 29 percent of the country’s international air freight. Also, the Port of Melbourne is Australia’s largest container and automotive port. Further, “the Victorian Government is committed to ongoing investment in our world-class transport infrastructure” with projects including Melbourne Metropolitan Rail, the railway level crossings removal, and a commitment to improving roads to relieve congestion.
3.It possesses a telecommunications network for global business:
The local government is proud of the city’s telecommunications network of satellites and submarine fiber optic cables that provide unfettered and seamless access to global business. “We have a strong and diverse industry of multiple service providers, each plugging into a reliable and stable network infrastructure. The Australian market is deregulated, with local and international players providing competitively-priced services.”
4.It focuses on strategic long-term planning for its future:
Michel Masson, CEO of Infrastructure Victoria, speaks about how crucial it is to take a long-term view, in an interview during the Public Sector Week 2017. The firm released a 30-year Infrastructure Strategy for Victoria’s future development, as it believes that good planning can make the difference. Within the plan Masson recommends increasing development in areas that possess optimum infrastructure and around employment centers. “If we ultimately want a spread of jobs across the metropolitan area, we need to think through how we can make Melbourne’s major employment centers not just places to work, but great places to live and enjoy. If more people live closer to where they work, this will help to lift the productivity of the whole city,” he says.
5.It constantly reinvents itself, one block at a time:
According to Smartcitiesdrive.com Melbourne’s urban success ultimately corresponds to the city thriving in reinventing itself and revitalizing its central area. The article explains that in 1992 about 40 percent of the city buildings were almost empty as most residents had fled to the suburbs. Today “the central area and Melbourne has become revered around the world for its vibrant public spaces and innovative laneway repurposing.” It was key to make property owners buy into the vision of city planning.
Like Melbourne, Mexico has middle-size cities, capitals of their states and former capitals of the country. Santiago de Queretaro, Monterrey or Guadalajara could be used as comparable examples to Melbourne. They are all key cities in Mexico’s economy and represent significant population centers. A focus on long-term strategic planning, telecommunications networks for business, investment in transport infrastructure and sustainable urbanism could benefit not only these cities, but all those in Mexico.