Eight things you won’t recognise about Melbourne in 2051

The Age: Eight things you won’t recognise about Melbourne in 2051. May 20, 2014. Jason Dowling, City Editor for The Age

Get ready for more crowded footpaths, streets and public transport with Melbourne’s population expected to grow almost 80 per cent by 2050. Photo: Paul Rovere

The government is planning for a metropolis of 7.7 million by 2051, Melbourne is going to change a lot, according to Plan Melbourne. This is how it will affect you.

1) Welcome to BIG MELBOURNE

It’s going to be busier, much busier – on footpaths, freeways, backstreets, trams and trains.

Melbourne’s city centre will expand to become Australia’s biggest. Photo: Jessica Shapiro

Schools will have more students and the wait at the local doctors may lengthen. Melbourne’s population growth projections are massive – almost 80 per cent more residents by 2050.

2) Melbourne will be Australia’s largest city centre.

The CBD is sprawling. The Hoddle Grid will no longer be the centre of the city – add areas such as Montague (South Melbourne), e-gate (Footscray Road), and the north bank of the Yarra River.

You’ll have a lot more neighbours so here’s hoping they are agreeable. Photo: Supplied: Universal Pictures

3) The big squeeze

Everybody may need good neighbours but do you need this many? More than 60 per cent of all new homes will be in established suburbs. The Christmas street party is going to be a crowded affair.

4) Leave my leafy suburb alone!

There will be twice as many new apartments than houses.

More Melbournes will live in apartments and the the city’s CBD will be Australia’s biggest. Photo: Harry Afentoglou

The most crowded areas will be in Melbourne’s west, north and south east where population growth is expected to be double than in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs.

5) Freeway blitz

Melbourne is a city that can’t resist building a new freeway/tollway. Even after the $16 billion east west link from the Eastern Freeway to the Western Ring Road, several more are planned, including completing the ring road from Greensborough to the Eastern Freeway and a new outer ring road.

Backyard play may move to shared communal areas with more Melburnians living in apartments and townhouses. Photo: Jason South

6) What jobs will you have?

There will be plenty of jobs in health and business services such as finance and insurance while manufacturing will almost halve its slice of Victoria’s workforce by 2031 to just six per cent.

7) Goodbye to the backyard

Bid farewell to the great Australian backyard with lots more living in apartments. Two apartments or townhouses for every new detached home.

8) Well, this you may recognise – a long wait for the train

Don’t expect to be catching a train to the airport for that trip to Bali next year.

New train vision could take decades. Melbourne’s City Loop was funded through a combination of state government money and a levy on city properties – it still took almost 15 years to complete.

Melbourne’s Rail Link from Melbourne Airport to Southern Cross and South Yarra will cost up to $11 billion. Less than 10 per cent of this is in state the budget papers. At the current level investment – without federal funding – it could take 40 years to fund the project.

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