What defines a liveable city — now and into the future? Is it the infrastructure, the people, the economy, the communities? We asked engineering experts to share their thoughts about what makes liveable cities work.
For a record seven years, Melbourne reigned as not just Australia’s most liveable city, but the most liveable city in the world.
Although it was bumped to second place last year (thanks, Vienna), it still serves as an example of how a city can reflect the character and culture of the people living there.
“We have always had a strong focus on incorporating public art and amenity into our major infrastructure projects,” said Victorian Chief Engineer Dr Collette Burke.
“Through doing this, we have retained our unique character and have created a real sense of belonging throughout the city — by putting liveability front and centre of planning practices.”
Burke will be speaking at the upcoming World Engineers Convention(WEC) during a special public forum on the future of Melbourne and liveable cities. She added that liveability can’t be pinned to one factor over another.
“A liveable city has a beautiful natural environment, well-planned infrastructure projects, top-class education, health and transport services, and a diverse and unique culture where everyone can live, work and play,” she said.
In terms of the criteria used to measure liveability, Chris Champion, Secretary-General for the International Federation of Municipal Engineering and Director International with the Institute of Public Works Engineering Australasia, agreed, saying that many of us innately know what works and doesn’t.
A recent experience moving house reinforced in his mind what matters to people when making those choices. Are there public transport options? Access to healthcare and hospitals, schools, green spaces and parks? Is the air quality good? Is housing affordable? Is there a sense of community?
The point is there’s no one-size-fits-all model, he said.
“A liveable city means different things to different people, or in different stages of life,” said Champion, who will also be speaking about sustainable community infrastructure at the World Engineers Convention public forum.
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Dr Collette Burke and Chris Champion will be part of a forum at the World Engineers Convention 20-22 November in Melbourne discussing the future of Melbourne and how to keep our cities liveable. They will be joined by The Lord Mayor of Melbourne, Sally Capp, and Prof Carlo Ratti from Turin, Italy. To attend the public forum, register here.