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Melbourne Arts Precinct Blueprint

Once an industrial area, the inner Melbourne suburb of Southbank is now one of Victoria’s fastest growing areas and is home to one of the highest concentrations of arts organisations in the world.

Accordingly, the cluster of arts organisations within Southbank, which stretches from the Yarra River through to the end of Sturt Street, has earned the title of the Melbourne Arts Precinct.

Vacant site at 1 City Road, Southbank before Testing Grounds activation project

Vacant site at 1 City Road, Southbank

1 City Road current site activation project - Testing Grounds

1 City Road current site activation project - Testing Grounds

Recognising the enormous cultural and creative potential of the Arts Precinct, in 2011 the Victorian Government provided $500,000 for the creation of the Melbourne Arts Precinct Blueprint. This Blueprint aimed to take into account the many different plans and aspirations of Precinct stakeholders and channel them into a cohesive, high-level vision for future development and activity.

The Blueprint, which also received support from the Commonwealth Government, was steered by the Arts Precinct Working Group. This  group comprised of representatives from key cultural institutions located in the Precinct, as well as Arts Victoria, the City of Melbourne, the University of Melbourne and the Office of the State Government Architect.

Dodds Street Southbank

Dodds Street Southbank

An artists impression of Dodds St activated by a regular farmers market

An artists impression of Dodds St activated by a regular farmers market

The creation of the Blueprint involved extensive consultation with more than 1,000 Precinct stakeholders including residents, business owners, workers and tourists.

From major infrastructure projects to grass-roots activity that will make a big impact, the Blueprint aims to act as a road map for the direction of this vibrant cultural and community hub over the coming decades, giving Melbourne the cultural precinct it deserves - an open, accessible, integrated, imaginative precinct that connects the arts to people and people to the arts.

The Blueprint was handed over to Government for consideration in February 2014.