27 Oct Melbourne, The Sustainable City 2020. The Government’s Strategy to Create A Smart City
Melbourne, Australia, was named as one of the sustainable cities by the United Nation in 2020. Melbourne even won the title for three consecutive years as the most livable city in the world based on data from The Australian Bureau of Statistics, ABS.
This city is used to be known for its coffee, street culture and street art in the eyes of the World, but now its environmental initiatives have earned it a reputation as one of the most sustainable, not only in Australia, but worldwide.
What are the programs that have been taken and carried out by the Melbourne government so that they can get this title? And what are the characteristics of a sustainable city itself? In order not to be curious, let’s read the article below!
Conceptually, a sustainable city refers to the running of the economy and social activities by minimizing the negative impact on the environment. So, the next generation can still feel the green city with the same conditions. Inspiration and innovation in building cities is to imitate the work of nature, because nature itself is sustainable.
Sustainable cities include quantity, quality, continuity of clean water supply, waste water treatment and environmentally friendly waste management, accessibility and mobility supported by sustainable transportation, use of new and renewable energy, requirements for green buildings, and adequate green open spaces.
According to the BBC, the following are the main indicators of a city being called a sustainable city:
1. All city residents have equal access and services without discrimination.
2. Public transportation is considered safe and is a good alternative to private vehicles.
3. Safe for cycling and walking.
4. Residents can access and enjoy Green Open Space
5. The use of new and renewable energy is more massive.
6. Waste is valued as a resource and recycled wherever possible.
7. Access to more affordable housing.
8. Inter-community relations are stronger and citizens help each other to eradicate crime.
9. Public facilities can be accessed and enjoyed by everyone.
10. Application of sustainable production and consumption.
Melbourne is the capital and most populous city in the state of Victoria and the second most populous city in Australia and Oceania. Its name refers to an urban area of 9992.5 km2 consisting of one metropolitan area and 31 municipalities. The name of Melbourne is also often used to refer to the downtown area. The city occupies most of the coast of Port Phillip Bay and spreads inland to the Dandenong and Macedon mountain ranges, the Mornington Peninsula and the Yarra Valley.
The population is approximately 4.9 million (19% of Australia’s population). Its inhabitants are called “Melburnians” and the city was founded on 30 August 1835 in the royal colony of New South Wales by free settlers from the Van Diemen Mainland colony. Melbourne was established as a city by Queen Victoria in 1847, then became the capital of the new colony Victoria in 1851.
Thanks to the Victorian gold rush of the 1850s, the city entered the golden age of “Marvellous Melbourne” and became one of the most important cities in the British Empire and one of the largest and richest cities in the world. After the federation of Australia in 1901, this city became the seat of Australia’s provisional government until Canberra was designated the permanent capital in 1927. Today, Melbourne is a leading financial center in the Asia-Pacific region and ranks 20th in the Global Financial Centers Index.
The Government’s Strategy
Hold a Hackathon Competition to maximize the use of opendata
To realize concept smart city a comprehensive, the government has built a separate division. In Smart City, it contains 45 people and is divided into six teams, namely research, citylab, geographic information systems, strategy and open data.
They believes that the community can help resolve issues in the field by utilizing available data (through open data). Data can be accessed by anyone without exception, data is not open when it comes to privacy, security, and sensitivity.
Emma Forster, Innovation Officer of Smart City Office, said that currently there are more than 200 datasets available and accessible via open data platforms, 32 of which are automated and can be accessed via the Socrata API. And since open data was opened until now, it has accumulated more than 30 thousand unique users, 240 thousand page views, 1 million hits APIper month, and grew to 86% this year.
The government also held a hackaton competition so that the use of open data was more massive and relevant to the conditions on the ground, where the startup community or students participated in the competition. This is the first time this competition has been held, since initiating the concept open data platform in 2014.
From the competition, an application called Melba (Melbourne’s Smart Assistant) was determined as the winner and was used to maximize the use of open data by the community. This application offers an AI-based solution that helps its users to search for empty parking lots, navigate pedestrian congestion, construction disruptions, and shortcuts.
The objective of this program is to make urban agriculture and urban oasis in the heart by changing the roof parking lot of 2000 m2,in collaboration with three companies continuing to realize it. The farm will later be built in Melbourne’s thriving Seafarer area.
Melbourne Skyfarm is built right in front of the Yarra River and the Melbourne Convention Exhibition Centre. Where visitors will be able to visit farms and plantations, taste honey from beekeeping hives directly in our rooftop hives, enjoy healthy dishes at sustainable cafes, and enjoy relaxing time on the deck. Visitors can also rent a unique event space for various activities, attend classes at the environmental education center or enjoy the children’s playground.
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In 2017, the city of Melbourne created its first renewable energy project, in which a group of local governments, cultural institutions, universities and companies collectively purchased renewable energy from newly built windmills. The Windfarm now plays an important role in providing energy in the city as it will be used to power city halls, banks, schools and universities, and turn on street lights and support organizations such as the Melbourne Convention Exhibition Center to deliver emissions.
Applying the Principles of A City that is Committed to the Environment
Ensuring the city is clean, safe, pollution-free and accessible to everyone is a step taken by the City of Melbourne towards a positive climate change. They also developed a Climate Change Mitigation Strategy until 2050 in accordance with the contents of the Paris Climate Agreement and consulted with climate change experts and society in 2020.
They also launched a Waste and Resources Recovery Strategy 2030 with the aim of reducing the amount of waste produced, increasing resource recovery. power, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions from waste. One of the actions of this strategy is that the government in the city makes regulations and prohibitions against using single-use plastic made from polystyrene because it can endanger the health of the wearer and to maintain a clean environment.
Those are the strategies that have been carried out and implemented by the government until they are named one of the sustainable cities in the world in 2020. There are still many more programs that are planned to be implemented in the future. Hopefully the plan can be realized properly and also wherever we are, please continue to maintain the cleanliness of the surrounding environment, reduce waste production, and use eco-friendly products. So that, the city where we live can become one of the sustainable cities in the future.