The city most liveable

Susan Saunders

Let’s take a philosophical view of life in the city. It does not matter where you live, there will also be the good and the bad. In the Melbourne CBD, this article looks at both, making some suggestions for improvement.

Many Residents 3000 members are long term residents of the CBD. What is it that makes living in the city so enjoyable? It is like living in a big country town. 

You meet and talk to people you know in the street and in the corridors or the lift of your building. Everything you need in life, such as places to buy food and clothes, the post office, the chemist, your doctor, optician, and the dentist most likely is within 100 metres of your apartment. There are wonderful parks, sporting facilities, arts centres, theatres, and regular events to attend. Such essentials of life exist within walking or tram ride of your home. 

Since COVID though, Melbourne is not the most liveable city in the world. Why is that?

Here is a list of eight “no, no’s” for our beautiful city. That which is definitely “NOT COOL”.  See if you agree.

  Loud noises. As residents, do we not have the right to “quiet enjoyment” of our living space? For example, the people who ride their un-muffled motor bikes or cars up and down the streets as though the competition with their mates is to make the loudest noise. They are so far behind the times. Today, I would think that “cool” are those that are silent and fast (via an electric vehicle).

  Protesters. Walking our streets on Saturday at lunch time, it is not that bad, as the protesters are usually well behaved and respectful. It is just the guy or gal who yells into a megaphone. “Not cool”. This is not fair on buskers who must be licenced and of a certain standard before they can perform in the streets.

  Construction sites. There are many that are well run, especially those that use electric rather than diesel powered cranes. They keep their workplace tidy, remove graffiti and keep dust to a minimum. “Cool”.

 Graffiti tagging as opposed to commissioned street art. The people who adorn our buildings and structures with their jumbled markings might think that it is a legitimate art form, but it is often an expression of rebellion against society. It shows a lack of awareness that for livability and mental health, the appearance of our community environment needs to be stylish and appealing, even glamorous to show off our vibrant environment. 

  Rough sleepers and organised beggars. What a perplexing problem! Long term residents know that many beggars are regular attendees on weekends or holidays to take advantage of the gullible tourists. There are a lot of hard-working people, often with more than one job who must look at the rough sleepers and wish there was more support for them to help them turn their life around.

 “Post no Bills” used to be the saying. City people really do not want political stickers posted on poles and shelters. Currently the city is being festooned with them! “Not cool”. Again, this activity degrades the visual amenity of the city and disturbs other who may not agree with the messaging.  

  Litter and cigarette butts.  A definite “no, no” for a progressive, modern city where people want to work and play. Think about ways to encourage people to want to keep our city clean and lovely.

 Drug dealing and organised crime. Unfortunately, such activities are present in all the big cities of the world. This is a serious problem needing the strong hand of the law and adequate policing. 

What if these “not cool” things could be fixed? Those that want a more liveable city to enjoy and to share with our many visitors and daily workers need to report problems, take part in helping authorities with their jobs for the common good. 

There are apps like “Snap, Send, Solve” that allow you to take a photo of the problem and send it to the correct department who have the resources to take action. 

Change will come about if the mindset of the community becomes one of wanting to build a better, more liveable, more appealing city. 

Note:  Residents 3000 next Forum is on Thursday, February 1, 2024 at the Kelvin Club. Please see details on our website, Facebook, or Instagram. •

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