The actions in this strategy are all directly supported by Resilient Melbourne. While implementation of some actions will be led by the Resilient Melbourne Delivery Office, others will be led by partners across community, academic and business sectors, as well as local and state government agencies.
By working together on these actions, partners will improve Melbourne’s collective resilience and will learn by doing; delivering tangible benefits for Melbourne’s communities while simultaneously generating new knowledge on how best to build resilience.
In developing this strategy, we have followed three guiding principles, agreed at the outset of our work: build on Melbourne’s existing structures and institutions; avoid duplication of effort and investment; and deliver tangible benefits to our communities. Although achieving our long-term objectives will require work over generations – thirty years or more – the actions in this strategy will bring real results starting today.
These actions are affordable, scalable, replicable and measurable. They will support our communities’ efforts to adapt to the accelerating changes we face, to survive no matter what shocks occur, and to confidently thrive, building a Melbourne that offers a higher quality of life to all of its citizens, now and for future generations.
Flagship actions are key initiatives with the potential for metropolitan-wide involvement and transformational outcomes.
We have identified three flagship actions. These have the potential to move us significantly towards achieving our vision of a more resilient Melbourne: viable, sustainable, liveable and prosperous, today and for the long term.
This action will result in a metropolitan urban forest strategy for all of Melbourne. This strategy will enable all those currently involved, and others wanting to deliver urban greening projects in future, to understand how their efforts can best contribute to improving ecosystem health and services such as urban cooling and flood mitigation. It will achieve this by:
- highlighting how and where existing initiatives can be expanded
- enabling the sharing of resources and knowledge by linking together currently disparate efforts
- providing councils better information about their existing tree canopy cover, making resources available for public and private entities
- providing opportunities for utility providers and infrastructure owners to address implementation barriers and help make Melbourne greener and cooler.
This action will develop a comprehensive community resilience framework for Victoria’s emergency management sector. This is a key action of the Victorian Emergency Management Strategic Action Plan 2015–18, a three-year rolling plan that outlines the Victorian Government’s plans for creating safer and more resilient communities. The Resilient Melbourne Delivery Office and Emergency Management Victoria (EMV) are working together to develop an approach to community resilience that is relevant to communities and the emergency management sector alike, and is practical and consistent across local governments and their communities, including business and community organisations.
The framework will be a lens through which sector-wide activities can be viewed, to ensure all activities have community benefit at their core. It will help the sector ensure that empowering communities and their leaders to develop awareness, shared responsibility and self-reliance will be part of all emergency management activities, plans, programs and systems.
EMV will map Victoria’s resilience challenges, using the Cities Resilience Framework, and highlight desired community outcomes (such as ‘protection against bushfire’ or ‘social connectedness’) against each emergency service agency’s roles and responsibilities. They will also identify which other actors are required to achieve the community outcomes. EMV will then consult on these findings, and use the responses to develop the framework and guidance for use.
This planning and coordination initiative furthers the objectives of the Victorian Government, specifically the Active Transport and cycling commitments outlined in Plan Melbourne, by:
- pooling knowledge from researchers, government and infrastructure agencies and cycling advocacy groups
- drawing on local government and infrastructure agency expertise to plan the metropolitan bicycle path network and connect existing bicycle paths, building on existing initiatives such as the Northern Trails initiative
- encouraging local government and infrastructure agencies to build new bicycle paths.
Supporting Actions are initiatives with the potential to improve Melbourne’s resilience on a range of scales – some may affect only a few council areas, while others could apply across the metropolitan area.
Additionally the action will develop a common language and framework across different levels of government, enabling more coordinated approaches to managing water in different regions and sub-catchment areas.
The Neighbourhood Project will also tackle barriers that impede community-led place-making projects, such as planning scheme requirements. It will work with councils to better understand and remove these barriers, while still ensuring that councils can fulfil their legal and public safety obligations. The action will transform 24 under-used spaces in 8 neighbourhoods into useful community public spaces, using a ‘tactical urbanism’ methodology.
The first three Metropolitan Councils to participate in Round 1 of The Neighbourhood Project included: Cardinia Shire Council, Hobson’s Bay City Council and City of Whitehorse.
Applications are now open for Round 2, offering funding of up to $20,000 to bring a community project to life. Download the information packs and sample EOI form. Accepting EOIs from 1 – 10 July, 2017.
The current pilot project is being run on a not-for-profit basis. This means no GST (goods and services tax) is payable and marketing costs are negligible, so properties can be offered for a significantly lower price – approximately 35 per cent below market value. An innovative financing method rewards purchasers for each of the first four years they reside in the property.
The Resilient Melbourne Delivery Office is working with the creators and financial backers of MAP to identify new locations and partners to turn an innovative pilot into something able to address a systemic challenge
- a better understanding of Melburnians’ motivations and barriers to participating in community resilience activities
- a better understanding of the issues, needs and opportunities associated with community members helping one another
- a benchmark against which we can measure changes in beliefs and behaviours in the future.
This research will help the Resilient Melbourne Delivery Office and others (including the Community Resilience Unit) develop programs that address community sentiment and individual attitudes about taking more responsibility, and help people reach out to others, create connections and support each other in good times and bad.
Working with Resilient Melbourne, EMV and MUDRI are expanding the scope of the compendium, to take a broader view of urban resilience, encompassing not just shock events but actions and programs tackling the chronic stresses that weaken the fabric of our society. This will encourage more holistic discussion, collaboration and sharing knowledge on how to build a resilient Melbourne.
The community-based Resilience Compendium identifies and showcases leading practices and lessons learnt, facilitates networks so that communities can share and distribute community-based resilience ideas and successes to other communities, and documents evidence for building more resilient and safer communities.
Suncorp developed Essentials with a view to driving increased competition and innovation in the insurance industry, particularly around more accessible insurance offerings. The Resilient Melbourne Delivery Office will build from this platform and work with additional partners to establish new forms of insurance at various scales, including for small businesses.
Property companies and their partners will:
• Test a range of tools and frameworks, both existing (such as Green Star Communities, Ecodistricts) and new, to collaborate and share in decision making
• Measure results and report on their findings, working in conjunction with academic and other partners
• Contribute to a body of publicly available guidance on participatory planning across Melbourne.
Resilient Melbourne were successful in receiving a $50,000(USD) grant to work with Citymart to crowd-source potential solutions from around the world, in achieving two important goals simultaneously: reducing transport congestion while promoting increased positive social interactions.
Organisations, enterprises and individuals – locally and globally – were invited to propose solutions to these complex challenges across greater Melbourne.
An internationally recognised Challenge Panel is currently assessing ideas to identify a winning solution, which will be considered for implementation.
The laboratories will:
- develop and test strategies for minimising harm and supporting the resilience of young people and their communities
- research the role of technologies in the lives of young people
- foster processes for generating new software, apps, initiatives and enterprises that help young people build the skills and access the services that will equip them to improve their personal wellbeing and resilience
- be a catalyst for community-based initiatives to support the resilience of young people.
The Day of STEM platform works with top STEM-related professionals from major Australian organisations to inspire students to identify and then pursue their dreams, providing them with an educational roadmap as they begin their own career journeys. LifeJourney’s technology enables a single mentor to inspire and guide 10,000 or more students at the same time and has an ambitious target of reaching 2.5 million students across Australia, with potentially up to 1 million in Melbourne alone. The Resilient Melbourne Delivery Office is working with LifeJourney to tailor the Day of STEM service, enabling local government and other partners to help the service reach our young people who are least likely to get this guidance from any other source.
Students from Melbourne’s business schools, working through established business training programs, will help deliver training on applying the B Impact Assessment and taking actions based on the assessment findings, giving mature and experienced students access to new networks, while providing SMEs with affordable business advice.
Local Aligned Actions
Existing initiatives that align with Resilient Melbourne principles and have the potential for further local government input.
In addition to the work described in the actions, the Resilient Melbourne Delivery Office is now working with the Victorian Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning to make sure we are consistent with Victoria’s emerging climate adaptation strategy.
Many of the actions required to protect Port Phillip Bay rely on a coordinated effort across councils and all levels of government. But not all areas of Melbourne fully understand how activities that occur upstream affect the health of the bay, or the threats posed by climate change.
In response, Victoria’s 10 bayside councils formed the Association of Bayside Municipalities (ABM) to coordinate their efforts. They have begun work on a regional coastal adaptation framework that will protect Port Phillip Bay’s value for tomorrow. To date, a document describing the present situation has been prepared. A discussion paper will then provide a basis for consulting bayside councils and other parties. An exploration of adaptation options will include a high-level risk screening of potential hazards and impacts.
The Resilient Melbourne Delivery Office will look to work with the ABM and its project partners to support the implementation of identified resilience building actions, including addressing the impacts of upstream regions on the health of the Bay.
An innovative approach led by the Northern College of the Arts and Technology (NCAT) has been successful in providing students aged between 14 and 18 with industry experience and an associate degree qualification, while supporting and inspiring them to equip themselves for the jobs of the future.
Local government connects closely with citizens, yet has traditionally had little role in education provision. As part of Resilient Melbourne, local government is exploring opportunities to build on local strong connections with TAFEs and upper secondary schools to extend the work led by NCAT into other tertiary and further education colleges and upper secondary schools across metropolitan Melbourne.
Ask Izzy is a free, location-based mobile website that helps homeless Australians find food, shelter, health and other critical support services. On any night, one in 200 Australians are homeless; almost 80 per cent of them own a smartphone. Ask Izzy allows people to search more than 350,000 services across Australia, anonymously.
Ask Izzy has been designed by people who are or have been homeless, and developed in partnership with not-for-profit group Infoxchange, Google, realestate.com.au, News Corp Australia, and more than 20 other partners.
As part of the IBM Smarter Cities Challenge, Melbourne is drawing on the expertise of senior IBM personnel to consider how we can make better use of technology to improve the resilience and safety of our citizens across our metropolitan region. IBM will also consider how social media information created by people in real time can help authorities respond to an unexpected event.
The City of Melbourne is one of three Smarter Cities selected in the 2015–16 cycle to receive an additional grant from Twitter. Twitter will provide access to both current and historic data relating to Melbourne, which can enable time-lapse geographic mapping of the movement patterns of city residents, analysis of citizens’ sentiments towards existing or proposed policies and programs, and heat-mapping of food-borne illnesses and other infectious diseases. Insights gleaned from this data will be incorporated into IBM’s recommendations.
It sets the following long-term vision: ‘Together we are aware, responsive and resilient. Communities, business and government understand flooding, plan for challenges, and take action to manage risks.’
Melbourne Water is coordinating governance and implementation of actions in the strategy, with the input and participation of councils and endorsing organisations.
Life Saving Victoria’s multicultural water safety and settlement program teaches water skills to refugees, new arrivals and international students, and helps them settle in to Melbourne. The initiative includes swimming lessons, beach programs, a ‘meet a lifeguard’ program in classrooms, regional open-water learning experiences, and accredited training programs. Perhaps most importantly, it gives participants the chance to establish new social networks, through the recreational, volunteer and employment opportunities it creates.
The initiative aims to remove barriers to participation, such as:
• distance or lack of transport
• cost of swimming lessons
• lack of facilities and equipment
• cultural and language differences
• lack of ‘learn to swim’ and water safety programs in schools.
Program participation is up from 1,956 people in 2006–07 to more than 13,000 people in 2014–15. All participants were reached via one of the 300 partnering multicultural agencies and organisations.
There is now an opportunity for local government to work with Life Saving Victoria to extend the benefits in more centres across Melbourne. Other emergency management agencies are also looking at how they can build on the success of this program by incorporating similar culturally inclusive approaches into their activities (e.g. grass fire awareness).
Evaluation will contribute to policy on the role of artistic and cultural communities in emergency management plans, preparedness, resilience and recovery.
Over the five years of the project, Refuge will simulate four natural disaster scenarios:
- seven days of extreme heat leads to city-wide power outages and reduced access to food and accommodation
- a North Melbourne community hosts a community evacuated from Natimuk in western Victoria
- a North Melbourne community is evacuated and hosted by the Natimuk community
- a North Melbourne community hosts environmental refugees from Tuvalu.
Refuge is a collaboration between Arts House, the University of Melbourne, the Performing Studies International conference, and a range of organisations involved in emergency management in Victoria.
The Resilient Melbourne Delivery Office will participate in planned ‘Refuge’ events, share lessons across local government, and explore opportunities for running similar events.
This strategy demonstrated the importance of involving groups that are often marginalised. VICSES concentrated its efforts on leaders and members of Koori and culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities, using events created by the community to build understanding and relationships within communities, rather than for them. As well as Koori projects in Maroondah and Darebin areas, relationships have been forged with Jewish, African and Islamic communities. Resources have also been developed to help volunteers communicate with non-English speaking people during emergency incidents.
This strategy is informed by the CSIRO and VicHealth’s Bright Futures report, which states that focusing on people 12 to 25 years old was important part of improving mental wellbeing in the community. The report notes the importance of educating and preparing people in this age group to be resilient and adaptable in a world characterised by decreasing job security, the fluidity of globalisation and technology, increasingly diverse societies and increasing exposure to the internet.
The capacity to be autonomous, regulate one’s emotions, have self-confidence and empathy, and solve problems, are critical resilience abilities for our entire community. A priority of VicHealth’s Mental Wellbeing Strategy 2015–2019 is building these qualities in young people, so that they are integrated and self-perpetuating for decades to come.
Currently, Melbourne’s 15 radial suburban train lines feed into Melbourne’s central business district via the City Loop tunnel. This creates a major bottleneck in our public transport network and prevents us from increasing network capacity to serve our rapidly growing population.
In 2015, the Victorian Government announced the construction of a 9 kilometre rail tunnel from Kensington in the city’s north, to South Yarra, via the central city. The Melbourne Metro Rail Project will also deliver five new stations and cost approximately $10.9 billion, with works to begin in 2017.
Melbourne Metro will reduce the rail network’s vulnerability to failure by providing entirely separate end-to-end lines from Sunbury in the west to Cranbourne-Pakenham in the south-east. Additionally, 39,000 more passengers will be able to reach and leave the central city during the morning and afternoon travel peaks.
Greater capacity on the public transport network will reduce congestion across all modes of transport. The project will be equivalent to removing 18,000 cars from the city’s roads during the busiest hours of the day, and will provide public transport users with an alternative to taking trams along Swanston Street, currently the city’s busiest tram and pedestrian corridor.
Achievements of the PVT partnership include:
- working with 57 executive leaders on gender equity
- staff training on preventing violence against women in culturally and linguistically diverse communities
- developing resources, including gender audit guidelines
- advocacy, including a submission to the Victorian Royal Commission into Family Violence.
In Melbourne’s southeast, the Together We Can initiative is also tackling family violence. Led by Cardinia Shire Council, Family Life and the University of Melbourne, it brings together the efforts and resources of a range of organisations, including schools, businesses, all levels of government, and the community sector. The process began with a community convention, held in late April 2016, to share what is already working well, identify what is still needed, and start finding solutions together.
Work on the 30-year strategy, which will outline short, medium and long-term infrastructure priorities, is now under way. The strategy will cover energy, water and waste, transport, education and training, health and human services, justice, culture, civics, science and agriculture, and information and communications technologies (ICT). Consultation will occur throughout 2016, with the final strategy to be published by the end of the year.
One of the 30 draft objectives is ‘build resilience to shocks’, as unexpected events are likely to disrupt Victoria’s society, environment and economy over the coming decades. These shocks could be anything from natural disasters, pandemics, ICT disruptions, global economic crises and terrorism, to relatively minor but more frequent disruptions to transport networks.
Victoria’s vulnerability to these shocks will partly be determined by the resilience and adaptability of its infrastructure. Infrastructure Victoria’s 30-year strategy aims to ensure that Victoria’s infrastructure is able to adapt and respond positively to unexpected events. Infrastructure Victoria is working with the Resilient Melbourne Delivery Office to best align our respective efforts.
The Taskforce recognised that the issues are complex, difficult to understand and interconnected, and that steps taken by governments alone will not succeed. Thus the Strategic Framework to Strengthen Victoria’s Social Cohesion and the Resilience of its Communities was developed, in partnership with communities, academics, service providers, philanthropic foundations, businesses and other interested parties.
This document identifies ways for governments, communities, families and young people to work together on projects that promote social inclusion. The Resilient Melbourne Delivery Office and metropolitan councils will continue working closely with the Community Resilience Unit to strengthen Melbourne’s social cohesion. The Taskforce has been funded for four years.