Unpacking the Benchmarking Melbourne 2024 report

We were pleased to delve into the detail of the latest Benchmarking Melbourne 2024 report, at JLL’s offices at the end of May. With a panoramic view of Melbourne stretching into the distance, the attendees could visualise the urban growth in Melbourne, that was a dominant theme in the discussion.

Opening the event, Mark Melvin, CEO, Committee for Melbourne and Kate Pilgrim, State Managing Director, JLL highlighted the importance of data, in prioritising research and thought leadership. The annual benchmarking data has over the past few years, enabled collaboration on projects such as housing, bus reform and freight.

Leanne Edwards, Director, Policy & Advocacy introduced the themes in this year’s report. This is the third report, measuring Melbourne’s performance relative to 19 global peer cities. Once again, Melbourne performs very well in its image and influence and experience economy.

However, one issue firmly under the spotlight is the city’s growth model. The 2024 report highlights that Melbourne is now the fourth largest of its peers by footprint, and Melbourne’s suburbs are now sprawling faster than its peer cities. This urban sprawl is placing pressure on aspects of the city’s performance including Melbourne’s connectivity. Less than half of people live close to public transport that runs frequently, compared to nearly 60% on average among 25 global cities. With fewer people living close to public transport in Melbourne, then people’s ability to connect to jobs, activity centres and services is undermined.

A more connected city, is a more productive city. And at the moment, Melbourne’s productivity gap is growing. It is now 25% less productive than its peer cities, according to the report.

Lailani Burra – CEO, .id, reinforced that the spread of housing into outer areas places pressure on people’s ability to access affordable housing, services such as health services and jobs. With 33% of all jobs located in inner Melbourne, and only 10% of the population living in inner Melbourne, Melbourne needs to priorities housing development and job creation in its ‘middle ring’ suburbs, with great connections to its ‘outer ring.’

Jill Riseley AM – Partner, Sustainability, Climate, Circular Economy at Deloitte, discussed several themes arising from the data including sustainability in planning and urbanisation. City resilience is crucial as climate risks intensify, with changes to the built environment guidelines essential. The density and type of housing will need to be more agile as the population grows and ages into the future.

Kate, Jill and Lailani joined a panel discussion and all agreed that Melbourne needs a bold vision to maintain its high standard of living as the population heads towards 9 million by mid-century.

Thank you JLL for hosting our members for such a thought provoking event.

Read Benchmarking Melbourne 2024



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