PwC has outlined a vision of ’30 minute Melbourne’, finding that as Melbourne grows it needs to become 'polycentric' to ensure that the time it takes people to get to work is no longer than half an hour.
According to the report, if we move towards a 30-minute city, we not only reduce downside factors but also bring into frame a whole new range of positives.
People have more time to exercise and spend money in their local community, they will work in roles that match their interests and skills, and more time is able to be dedicated to supporting the family unit.
Improves liveability and public amenity by reducing congestion, improving accessibility to services and reducing commute times;
Increases housing supply by promoting higher density development in close proximity to rail stations and through urban renewal, supporting broader efforts to improve housing affordability. This is especially so where there is provision of CBD-style functions in other metropolitan and regional precincts (based on the unique economic and social strengths of these regions);
Drives productivity growth by improving connections to employment and services, promoting agglomeration economies and contributing to a more efficient transport network, including through the efficient movement of freight; and
Improves long term sustainability of public infrastructure by increasing utilisation and reducing government subsidy.
The report find Melbourne faces challenges in maintaining the 30-minute city.
"We have a monocentric structure where high-order services (e.g. health, education), sporting and cultural amenities, and employment are focused on the CBD," the report states.
"As our population continues to grow, transport networks (roads and public transport) become increasingly congested and the ability to access services and jobs within 30 minutes drops away dramatically.
"Key precincts outside the CBD which could accommodate growth in these high order services and jobs (e.g Fishermen's Bend, Arden McCauley and Monash) are underdeveloped and have varying levels of accessibility.
"While the Government is making progress in addressing the issue, the challenge is growing. The Government has a range of current and future transport investments that will improve accessibility for some suburbs that have lower ratings, including Melbourne Metro Stage One and Two, City Loop Split, Western Distributor, North-East Link, Melbourne Airport Rail Link."
"Government and the private sector are more strategically planning precincts to harness their economic and social strengths, and to provide well-planned and accessible high-order services, sporting and cultural amenities, and employment.
"However, population is growing rapidly and we need to ensure that infrastructure investment and precinct development recognises this. Melbourne had the largest growth of all greater capital cities in the ten years to 2016 (964,600)."