In an international dialogue hosted by New London Architecture, and Bates Smart Melbourne, representatives of council, town planning and architecture discussed via video link the liveability, sustainability and future of the two cities.
Both cities face complex challenges. Melbourne’s population is predicted to reach 8 million by 2051 and London will be home to around 11 million by 2050. Intensification, traffic, transport connectivity, wellbeing, green spaces and affordable housing are among the most critical issues. London adds unacceptable levels of air pollution to the list, along with a reluctance to promote tall buildings.
Both cities are keen to further encourage walking, cycling and public transport use by making streets safe and pleasant to use, increasing green space where possible, and building appropriate infrastructure.
The Lord Mayor of Melbourne, Sally Capp, said that the most pressing challenges also brought with them great opportunities and cited the huge development areas close to the CBD, such as Fishermans Bend, as offering the chance to create “something amazing” within a liveability framework.
“We need to have the courage to actually tackle it and make sure it’s something that’s exemplary if it’s going to add significant value to our city in the decades to come,” she said.