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Melbourne liveability risks falling as population rises

Melbourne is routinely named the world’s most liveable city but experts warn this title could be short-lived as population grows.

Victoria University has called on a prominent and diverse suite of experts to share insight on what Melbourne can do to maintain its world-class status when its population doubles.

Professor Peter Dawkins, Vice Chancellor and President of Victoria University said industry and government leaders need to uphold social, economic and infrastructure standards throughout coming years of significant growth, if Melbourne is to continue to advance.

“Factors central to liveability such as security, infrastructure and environment could be unsustainable if proper arrangements aren’t decided now,” Professor Dawkins warned.

“Melbourne will overtake Sydney as Australia’s largest city in about 30 years,

“We want to ensure that all of the things that make Melbourne the great city it is today, and keeps us on top of the international ‘best cities’ lists, are maintained for all to enjoy in the future.”

Victoria University has teamed up with Committee for Melbourne and The Age to bring together leaders in planning, technology, business, education and social and cultural fields to debate and discuss how Melbourne will cope with a population of 8 million people.

They will host a conference this week to tackle issues like how to keep cities ‘green’, how to combat rising security risks and how to remain smart and innovative whilst supporting a large population.

Professor Dawkins said Melbournites shouldn’t need to sacrifice lifestyles to allow for continuous growth.

“London and New York don’t receive the same international liveability acclaim as Melbourne, and some reasons behind this could be attributed to difficulties in supporting populations of around 8 million people,” Professor Dawkins explained.

“There a lot of complexities to consider when balancing growth and improvements to lifestyle, but the two can occur harmoniously,

“This is why we’re bringing our city’s leaders together – to identify issues and determine a way forward that will get the best out of Melbourne, whatever it may look like down the track.” ENDS

Media are invited to attend Melbourne 2050: How will we cope with 8 million people?

Where: Etihad stadium, 740 Bourke Street Docklands.

When: Thursday 6 August, 5.00pm to 10.00pm and Friday 7 August, 8.00am to 6.00pm.

A Program and Speaker Biographies are online and are attached.

RSVP: julia.johnston@vu.edu.au  

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