How Melbourne is preparing for a population the size of London by 2050

Melbourne’s plan for more homes won’t be at nature’s expense. As the city prepares for a population the size of London in 2050, there’s a new plan in place to protect “green wedge” areas across Melbourne suburbs.

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Green wedges encompass everything from wine regions to garden spaces, and have been considered by the state government as not only essential, but making Melbourne “a great place to live”.

The state’s Minister for Planning, Sonya Kilkenny, said: “From our iconic wine regions to market gardens, our green wedges contribute not only to our economy but make Melbourne one of the best cities in the world to call home.”

Releasing the Green Wedge and Agricultural Land Action Plan, which focuses on preserving green wedges and agricultural land across Melbourne’s outskirts, it aims to ensure that as the city grows, “homes are being built up and out – not just out”.

With the aim of complementing the Housing Statement plan to build more homes within established suburbs that offer residents proximity to jobs, transport and services, the minister said such plans cannot be at the expense of productive agricultural land and access to nature.


Stressing that “balancing land use needs on the city’s fringe for both housing and agriculture is essential for Victoria’s sustainability”, the state government flagged that Melbourne is set to reach a population the size of London by 2050.

That population growth will partly coincide with the Labor government’s landmark Housing Statement, which has set the ambitious target of building 800,000 new homes over the next 10 years. Seven in 10 of these new homes are targeted for established suburbs.

As part of the green wedge plan, protections will be in place for areas responsible for supplying 41 per cent of metropolitan Melbourne’s food needs – a total 80 per cent of its vegetables. Cultural heritage sites, water catchments, conservation areas and quarries will also be encompassed under the plan.

The government also reported that planning reforms will also be introduced, in a bid to provide better permanent protection for green wedge areas against overdevelopment and inappropriate use through agricultural land controls.

From Minister Kilkenny’s perspective, “more housing doesn’t have to come at the expense of our green wedges – that’s why we’re providing better permanent protection for these areas against overdevelopment”.

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