City of Melbourne focusing on smart city initiatives

More than $19.1 million will be invested over the year in capital works projects by the City of Melbourne, in an effort to respond to the impacts of climate change.

Acting Lord Mayor, Arron Wood, and Chair of the City of Melbourne’s Environment portfolio, Councillor Cathy Oke, announced that the draft Annual Plan and Budget 2019-20 includes major investments in assets to create a more sustainable city.

“We’re investing more than $19.1 million in capital works projects to make our city more sustainable and resilient. This includes investing $7.1 million in infrastructure upgrades across 480 hectares of Melbourne’s internationally acclaimed parks and gardens,” the Acting Lord Mayor said.

“We will invest $4.2 million to plant at least 3400 trees this year and care for the more than 80,000 trees we manage in the public realm.

“This summer was Melbourne’s hottest on record so it’s important we conserve our water. That’s why we’re investing $4.2 million in our strategy to collect and re-use rainwater across the city. Our projects to renew drains and harvest stormwater will protect our iconic gardens from drought and extreme weather conditions.”

The Acting Lord Mayor also said Council is proud to be using renewable energy from the Crowlands 80MW wind farm near Ararat to power street lights, recreation centres, libraries and Town Halls.

Environment portfolio Chair Councillor, Cathy Oke, said the draft Budget includes $1.9 million to implement the first year of the Green Our City Strategic Action Plan.

“We will work with the Victorian Government to create a demonstration green roof in the central city and increase the quality of green roofs and vertical greening across the municipality. There are currently around 40 green roofs in the municipality,” Cr Oke said.

The City of Melbourne will also deliver more than $29 million in works to upgrade, maintain and install priority city safety and security measures across the central city as part of the Victorian Government’s $50 million CBD security upgrade project.

The Melbourne City Council is working closely with the Victorian Government and Victoria Police to deliver the project.

The Acting Lord Mayor said the CBD security upgrade project is well underway and has already delivered significant safety improvements at Flinders Street Station and Bourke Street Mall.

“Future sites include Federation Square, the State Library of Victoria, Southbank Promenade, Olympic Boulevard, Southern Cross Station and Queen Victoria Market, with work already underway on Princes Bridge.”

The draft Budget will also include $2.6 million for key city safety infrastructure, including $1.8 million on street lighting upgrades and maintenance and more than $350,000 for maintenance and upgrades to the Safe City Camera Network and $360,000 to replace out digital radio network.

“Street lights are one of the biggest assets we maintain, and a key aspect of city safety. Lighting is both a crime prevention method and an easy way to help people feel at ease on our streets and in our parks,” the Acting Lord Mayor said.

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