1.0 Introduction The environment plays a significant role in the success of the city. For a city to be considered to have a successful planning and management it must have put into consideration all the environmental factors such as social and economic needs. Investors look for a secure place with good infrastructure that can enable them to operate their businesses efficiently; therefore, it is important to make the city more competitive in terms of infrastructure, security, and other social and economic aspects. However to effectively establish an effective urban planning one needs to analyze and understand the conflicting relationships within the city and its environment. This paper is going to examine the key features or factors that need to be considered to be able to effectively make Melbourne City more competitive like other cities with good urban development such as Curitiba, Hammarbay, and Totnes.
2.0 The concept of Urban Sustainability
Most people live in the urban areas because of better life; research indicates that over half of the worlds population lives in the urban centers (Brown et al. 2012). People are looking for employment which they believe that can be easily found in the urban areas (Dixon & Eames 2014). Therefore, the problems or challenges experienced in the urban areas are mostly contributed by this huge population. Most people have always held the perception that life in the urban areas can be more comfortable than rural areas; indeed, there are a lot of opportunities in the urban areas. However, that would only be possible if the city is environmentally conscious about the threats and challenges experienced. One can easily be disappointed by the perception that life in the city is comfortable especially in a city with many challenges such as poor housing, poor infrastructure, and high insecurity cases. Establishing an environmentally sustainable city can ensure that most of the challenges mentioned previously are permanently eradicated and curbed for future development of the city (Davies 2015).
3.0 Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats of Melbourne City
3.10 Strengths of Melbourne City
Despite the challenges mentioned and discussed above, Melbourne city continues to thrive because of its strengthening factors. The city still has a room to grow and develop to become as competitive as other cities with good environmental sustainability strategies like Curitiba, Totnes, and Hammarbay. Some of the citys strengths include diverse industry base, skilled and multicultural workforce, good sporting, art and cultural capital. Melbourne has undergone various industrial transformations since Australia opened up its economic global competition in the late 1900s (Alliance 2009). Melbourne has been one of the cities that have exploited this opportunity by shifting its manufacturing focus from local based to global based. As such, the city has been able to diversify its workforce that consists of educated, flexible and multicultural personnel (Alliance 2009). The industries have been able to offer employment to a huge population. The diversified workforce has enabled the city to stand on its feet with a great economy. The citys workforce is composed of people from diverse ethnic backgrounds; research shows that most of the people employed in Melbourne come from different countries. The citys workforce comes from over 200 countries across the world. It also consists of people speaking over 230 languages with more than 130 diverse religious backgrounds (Alliance 2009).
Melbourne is a city of art, sports, and other cultural activities. Globally, Melbourne city has been recognized for its sporting excellence and other cultural activities (Alliance 2009). The city is equipped with various cultural facilities such as parks, museums, and also sports grounds; for example, Melbourne cricket ground, Melbourne Park, Melbourne Arts precinct, and Melbourne Museum (Alliance 2009). Apart from the cultural and sporting facilities, Melbourne is also known for its cultural food and festivals. During the peak season, many people come to Melbourne to see and also enjoy the cultural benefits mentioned above. Additionally, Melbourne city is also advantaged to have the natural resources that many urban cities lack across the country and also worldwide; for example, the city has access to clean and safe water that come from natural resources such as the river (Alliance 2009).
3.20 Weakness of Melbourne city
As people continue to move to the urban areas, challenges also keep accompanying them to the cities (Newman & Jennings 2012). Melbourne city is faced with social class discrimination threat; where the upper class enjoys every privilege including better houses because they can afford it, while the lower and middle class continue to struggle. Melbourne is not different to other cities across the world that experience urban challenges. However, the citys management has enacted various strategies that can help the city achieve its goals. Some of the goals of Melbourne include to be a city of people by supporting every member of the community irrespective of his/her religion, sex, disability, economic and social status, to be a creative city by supporting the artistic expressions, be a prosperous city by supporting investors, and be an eco-city by building a sustainable town that is more competitive in terms of environmental conservation and urban planning (Lorenz et al. 2008). To be able to achieve these goals, the city needs to come up with effective sustainability strategies that will place it at a competitive level locally and internationally. Like any other city around the globe, Melbourne aims at creating a city in a context that can allow people to engage with one another freely and efficiently irrespective of their social class (Woodcock et al. 2010). This goal cannot be achieved when the city still tolerate the exploitation of the middle and lower classes. However, this does not mean that the city is perfect; one should know that Melbourne is also experiencing the challenges witnessed in urban areas.
3.30 Opportunities of Melbourne City
Melbourne has various opportunities that need to be exploited fully; for example, good and recognized learning institutions, clean environment and natural resources. Melbourne city is equipped with various learning institutions; for example, University of Melbourne, Monash University, RMIT University, Deakin University, La Trobe University, Melbourne polytechnic. The city can make use of these institutions to meet its goal of becoming a city of diversity worldwide. Again, the city can also utilize the learning institutions to create more skilled and knowledgeable workforce; instead of getting people from outside the city.
Melbourne is also equipped with various natural features such as rivers that make the city cool and attractive. Although the city has thrived to become a place where people can enjoy to stay in like it is today, people should know that it did not come out of nowhere to its current state. The citys success has been shaped by effective planning designed by the earlier management (Woodcock et al. 2010). Managing the citys environment has not been effectively implemented. The citys management needs to design a strategy that can ensure maintenance of a clean environment and its surrounding.
3.40 Threats facing Melbourne City
Congestion problem has recently increased in the city due to huge population flowing into the city frequently. Over the past decade the citys population is said to have increased by 600,000 (Dixon & Eames 2014); this can be used to estimate the futures population growth. The population is constantly increasing as people continue to seek settlement in the city. Most of the citys residents have permanent residence within the citys suburbs (Pink & Lewis 2014). As people continue to move in to the city, the congestion problem also increases as well. The transport and infrastructure department is exposed to an increasing pressure due to congestion on the roads and other transport areas (Alliance 2009). The city is more challenged during the peak seasons when the citys climate is considered favorable as people come from various places both within Australia and outside the country. Melbourne is an attracting city (Pink & Lewis 2014); therefore, it attracts more tourism both locally and internationally. Again, rural-urban migration has also contributed to this congestion problem as people continue to move to the urban areas in search of better life.
Poor housing is another challenge that Melbourne experiences. Poor housing in the urban areas has become a major threat to majority of newcomers to the city (Hu et al. 2013). However, Melbourne has tried to manage this issue over the past years; however, the problem still remains especially with the affordability of the houses. As people continue to flow in to the city, the houses continue to become competitive (Woodcock et al. 2010). Therefore, only certain group of people can be able to afford the houses as the prices continue to hike. The middle and lower class continue to suffer as their counterparts in the upper social class continue to enjoy the benefit of living in better houses. People continue to experience challenges as they also struggle to secure employment.
A changing climate is another great challenge that faces the city of Melbourne. The climate change problem in the urban areas is either caused by either natural factors or human activities (Bulkeley & Betsill 2013). This is what happens in Melbourne, the climate change issue is not only caused by the natural factors; but the human activities have also contributed greatly to the problem. Previously, the problem of climate change has been majorly associated with the natural causes. However, the climate change problem has become more intense due to the increased human activities (Alliance 2009). The threat is most likely to affect the future performance of the city and its sustainability. As a tourist attracting city, Melbourne is exposed to the threat of losing its core revenue source due to climate issues. The city has experienced extreme heat waves, flooding, and storms as well in the past years.
4.0 Recommendations for the Citys Management
Despite these advantages, Melbourne city has not been able to control the challenges that have deterred it from achieving its goals. The city needs to pick examples from other cities around the world that have been able to establish a sustainable city such as Curitiba, Hammarbay and Totnes. Some of these cities developed from nothing because they never had the advantages that Melbourne has; however, they have been able to develop an efficient infrastructure, good housing strategies, reduced climate population, and other urban sustainable strategies. The success of these three cities has been majorly associated with good urban planning strategies; therefore, Melbourne needs to pick some examples from them. The following are some of the recommendations that the city needs to adopt so that it can enhance its sustainability.
The city needs to ena...
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