Strategy 1 Heritage


Celebrate the unique and concentrated 19th century heritage of the Inner Melbourne Region


See reports on this Strategy

The 19th century layout of the Inner Melbourne Region provides the foundation for inner city development. Celebrating and strengthening this is essential to ensuring a high quality living and working environment. As our cities become more intensively used and more densely populated, the public environment and public spaces need to be expanded, better connected, further enhanced and protected.

Inner Melbourne has a range of neighbourhoods and precincts with distinct characters, which significantly contribute to the region's liveability. Many parts of the region have heritage assets and other newly developing areas showcasing contemporary design. The opportunity exists to celebrate the World Heritage listing of the Royal Exhibition Building and the surrounding Carlton Gardens and restore this area as an international destination.

The organised grid of main streets and boulevards provides an easily understood urban structure, and within these grids an informal, fine grained and predominantly rectilinear local pattern of streets and lanes has emerged, which provide spaces in and along quiet residential streets and vibrant inner city laneways. These are shown on Map 2: Boulevards, streets and links framework.pdf (1.31 MB).

The successful urban strategies that have made the City of Melbourne internationally renowned need to be applied across the Inner Melbourne Region in a contemporary manner that will meet the needs of the region over the next 50 years.

What implementation tools are needed?

A need exists to articulate how the various elements of the Inner Melbourne Region contribute to its overall character so that it can be preserved, reinforced and repaired where necessary. Having established the significance of these elements, standards for public design and private development must be established to ensure the region's character is properly managed.

Action 1.1 Inner Melbourne statement of significance to include recognition of Inner Melbourne's unique 19th century heritage

Develop and document a common understanding of the structure, character and significance of Inner Melbourne to inform local policy and design, including its contribution as a 19th century city to the tourism industry and visitor interest, and its selection as a residential location.

Status: Completed. View Reports for this Action.

Action 1.2 Public realm infrastructure standards

Develop a suite of civic infrastructure design standards (TechNotes) for key elements of the public realm, which municipalities can select from in undertaking capital works.

Action 1.3 Built form controls

Work towards introducing built form controls that will protect the heritage of areas of Inner Melbourne.

Action 1.4 Boulevards and major roads

Work with VicRoads to improve the character of boulevards and major roads identified on Map 2: Boulevards, streets and links framework.pdf (1.31 MB), in particular.

Work with Yarra Trams to improve the quality and design of Queens Way and Dandenong Road and the urban spaces, especially at the intersection of Chapel Street.

Status: Closed. View Progress Reports for this Action.

Action 1.5 Key urban squares

Develop plans and implement programs for key metropolitan urban spaces at:

  • Haymarket (Fleminton Road/Elizabeth/Pelham and Peel Streets intersection
  • Albert Square (Albert Road at the St Kilda Road intersection)
  • St Kilda Junction
  • Arts Centre plaza with improved access to Sturt Street.




The 2019-20 IMAP Annual Report is now available - click here.

A copy of the approved Plan is available on this website. Follow this link for further information.