Planning for Melbourne's Future (2022)

Forum Round Table

Date: Wednesday 30 November 2022
Venue: City of Melbourne Bowls Club, Flagstaff Gardens, West Melbourne
Time: 1.30 – 5.30 pm

Do we understand the extent to which global change will shape our cities? How liveable will they be in the future? What will they look like? How many people will be living in them by 2050? Where will the food come from to feed them? What resources will be available to maintain and operate city services and essential infrastructure. Do we really know the future we should be planning for?

These are questions we must address if we are serious about planning for the future. This has implications for our city, and all of the services that support it including transport. 

This forum will present scenarios we have to plan for to provide the basis for a city plan and a transport service plan to support it.

Program Outline

12.30       Registration 

1       Welcome, by Chair

2       Global Change and Adaption – Future Scenarios to Plan for    

                      Julian Cribb: Food and challenges to feed a growing population 

3     Scenarios to Plan for 

4      Creating a living city that can feed itself 

                    Fiona Sutton-Wilson: Environmental imperative – creating a living city

                    Sophia Christoe/Julian Cribb: City farming – what would it look like?   

                    Chair:  Social, economic and political, imperatives, summary of scenarios to plan for 

5     Break 

6     Policy and Planning Implications – critical elements in a city plan

7     Discussion and Workshop to establish essential elements of a City Plan 

8.   Summary and Recommendations  

Close 5pm  

Julian Cribb AM

Julian Cribb AM is an Australian author and science communicator.  He is a Fellow of the UK Royal Society for the Arts, the Australian Academy of Technological Science and Engineering (ATSE) and the Australian National University Emeritus Faculty. 

His career includes appointments as scientific editor for The Australian newspaper, director of national awareness for CSIRO, editor of several newspapers including the National Farmer and Sunday Independent, member of numerous scientific boards and advisory panels, and president of national professional bodies for agricultural journalism and science communication.

 His published work includes over 9000 articles, 3000 science media releases and 12 books. He has received 32 awards for journalism. He was nominated for ACT Senior Australian of the Year in 2019. He is a co-founder of the Council for the Human Future. He was appointed a Member of the General Division of the Order of Australia (AM) in 2021.

Julian is principal of Julian Cribb & Associates who for twenty years have provided international consultancy in the communication of science, agriculture, food, mining, energy and the environment for over a hundred scientific, government and private organisations.

 For the past two decades his main literary focus has been the self-inflicted existential emergency faced by humanity. This is dealt with in five books: The Coming Famine (UCP 2010) explored the question of how we can feed 10 billion humans this century; Poisoned Planet (A&U 2014) is his first book on global contamination by anthropogenic chemicals. Surviving the 21st Century (Springer 2017) tackles the existential crisis now facing humanity from a combination of ten megathreats – and what we can do about it.

Fiona Sutton-Wilson

With a career established in large complex organisations, Fiona has over 20 years experience establishing programs of transformational giving and stakeholder engagement, and is an expert in major gift philanthropy.

Earthwatch Institute Australia creates partnerships with individuals and organisations to tackle environmental challenges, together. It is responsible for numerous programs including the urban based Tiny Forests program. 

Human activitiesare reducing vegetation and canopy coverin cities, resulting in habitat fragmentation, species extinction,biodiversity lossand rising temperatures. Research shows that our cities hold substantially more threatened species than our non-urban areas, and that our broader community doesn’t realise the true value of biodiversity.  

The decline ofgreen canopy alsomeans Australian city dwellers face a much hotter future.Major heatwaves are Australia’s deadliest natural hazards, particularly for cities, with alack oftreescausing“heat islands”. This means our cities may becomeunliveable.

With68% ofAustralia’spopulation predicted to live in cities by 2050. 

Sophia Christoe

Sophia Christoe is a Project Coordinator at the Open Food Network Australia (OFN) whose mission is to transform the food system. OFN is a not-for-profit building the tools and resources needed to create a new food system that is fair, local, and transparent. It does this by providing an open source online software platform that enables efficient and transparent short food supply chains, resources to help those building local food supply chains and consultancy and research that helps advance new food systems. In 2021-22 Open Food Network created and operated the largest collaborative logistics pilot in Australia, ‘Open Road’, which received majority funding support from the Victorian Government.

Sophia’s academic background and practical expertise is in sustainable food systems and agroecology. She applies her on-the-ground experience of food production, distribution, sales and marketing with systems-level interventions in projects such as Open Road, which she coordinated, to demonstrate what tomorrow’s food system could look like, today.
The COVID-19 pandemic and recent floods in Qld and NSW have demonstrated how unprepared our food system is for (un)natural disasters. ‘One in a hundred-year’ floods and fires are becoming commonplace; we need to do more to ensure our society is protected.

Convenor and Chair