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In 2011, when still CEO of Committee for Melbourne, I committed the organisation to look at soft social issues as well as hard infrastructure issues as part of the over-all ‘Melbourne Beyond Five Million’ process. This is the summary of the work stream.
You can’t have a liveable city without social cohesion.
Melbourne cannot be a city that does not do social cohesion well. Considering the recent social crisis in Europe, Melbourne has so far avoided such riots and unrest. This must continue.
Whilst the Melbourne Beyond 5 Million reports focused on preserving and improving Melbourne’s liveability as it grows beyond five million people, it is the software (relationships, trust, belonging and identity) in this hardware that ultimately shape life quality.
Social cohesion is an on-going process of developing a community of shared values, challenges and equal opportunity based on trust, hope and reciprocity, to enable a sense of belonging, connectedness and belief. Recent surveys indicate 100 per cent of Committee members identify social cohesion as important. However, only 50 per cent feel they have the knowledge to contribute to discussion.
The Committee, in partnership with Mission Australia, is leading the development of a paper on the importance of Melbourne’s social cohesion as it grows beyond five million people. The paper is intended to educate members and define the Committee’s future role in preserving a socially cohesive city.
More discussion like this is in: