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Greater Melbourne contains 31 municipalities, in an affluent multi-cultural metropolis, doubling in size in 30 years.

Large suburban-peri-urban areas are scattered, car dependent, vulnerable to drought and wildfire, and in certain areas river flooding. Social polarization and middle class vulnerability may be on the increase. Peri-rural areas suffer from out-migration, dependency on agriculture and corporate landholdings, declining services.

Climate hazards generally include wildfires and all forms of flooding. Coastal areas are at risk from sea level rise and coastal storm hazards on critical infrastructure.

Population city-region (2018) - 4.9m
Land area city-region - 9993 km2
Density city-region - 508 pp/km2 Population city-region change -

(The map here shows circles of 20, 40 & 60km radius, a rough approximation to the gravity field).

Melbourne region


(World Bank data - - profile for Victoria)

Extreme heat                                                - medium
Wildfire                                                          - HIGH
Water scarcity                                              - low
River flood                                                    - HIGH
Urban flood                                                  - HIGH
Coastal flood                                                - HIGH
Cyclone                                                          - low
Tsunami                                                         - HIGH
Landslide                                                       - medium
Earthquake                                                   - medium
Volcano                                                         - medium

Economic type                                             - high income

GDP /pp city-region                                    - $68350 AUD
HDI                                                                 -


(national level data)

Welfare regime (BTI)                           -9.0
Control of corruption (SPI)                -7.7
Access to justice (WGI)                       -9.3



Organisations, Programmes, and Projects

Victorian Centre for Climate Change Adaptation Research

Description: state government research center until 2014

Melbourne, C40 Cities

Description: city profile and case studies

Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, Victoria State Government

Description: programs for environmental issues such as climate change, water, forests, and coasts

Sustainability Program, City of Melbourne

Description: programs for water and heat impacts

Living Melbourne, City of Melbourne

Description: plan for an urban forest to build resilience and adapt to climate change

Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute, University of Melbourne

Description: projects on environment and resilience

Reports and Policies

Climate Change Adaptation Strategy Refresh 2017, City of Melbourne

Description: update of the climate context and goals from the 2009 plan

Victoria’s Climate Change Adaptation Plan 2017-2020, Victoria State Government

Description: integrates adaptation into core sectors in the region

Resilient Melbourne, City of Melbourne

Description: outlines resilience objectives and projects

Annual Report 2018-2019, City of Melbourne

Description: update on the implementation on the Resilience Strategy

Academic Articles

Fastenrath, Sebastian, Bush, Judy, & Coenen, Lars. (2020). Scaling-up nature-based solutions. Lessons from the Living Melbourne strategy. Geoforum, 116, 63-72.

Description: case study of the implementation of the urban forest project

Fastenrath, Sebastian, Coenen, Lars, & Davidson, Kathryn. (2019). Urban Resilience in Action: The Resilient Melbourne Strategy as Transformative Urban Innovation Policy? Sustainability 11(3), 693.

Description: case study of the implementation of the resilience strategy

Moloney, Susie, & Fünfgeld, Hartmut. (2015). Emergent processes of adaptive capacity building: Local government climate change alliances and networks in Melbourne. Urban Climate, 14, 30-40.

Description: case study of multi-level governance of climate adaptation

Rogers, B. C, Bertram, N, Gersonius, B, Gunn, A, Löwe, R, Murphy, C, . . . Arnbjerg-Nielsen, K. (2020). An interdisciplinary and catchment approach to enhancing urban flood resilience: A Melbourne case. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series A: Mathematical, Physical, and Engineering Sciences, 378(2168), 20190201.

Description: participatory approach to flood management in a Melbourne suburb

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