Melbourne’s resilience journey

Melbourne is a vibrant and proudly multicultural city of 4.9 million residents, originating from over 180 different countries. A “city of cities,” Melbourne is made up of 32 local government councils spread over 10,000 square km around Port Phillip Bay, an area that comprises hundreds of diverse local neighbourhoods, each with its own character, cultural mix, and set of advantages and problems.

Today, the scale and pace of demographic change in Melbourne are unprecedented. Projections suggest that by 2051 Melbourne will be home to approximately 7.7 million people, and is likely to be Australia’s largest city. Globalization continues to disrupt our economy and society, while climate change increases the risk of extreme events and undermines many of the assumptions we have relied on to plan and develop our city. To cope with this increasing complexity and uncertainty, we need a new approach.

This approach must be centred on our communities, on supporting and enabling them to adapt to accelerating changes and the associated stresses, to survive no matter what shocks occur, and to thrive confidently. By linking new resilience-building actions with existing efforts, we can build a Melbourne that is a better place for its future generations, and whose services and advantages can be enjoyed by all of its citizens.

Meet the Chief Resilience Officer

Maree Grenfell

Team Leader, City Resilience

Maree Grenfell is the Team Leader of City Resilience at the City of Melbourne. For the last five years, Maree has been Melbourne’s Deputy Chief Resilience Officer for R-Cities, developing and now implementing Melbourne’s first Resilience Strategy.

Maree’s experience spans over 15 years’ creating and leading teams, and developing award winning policy frameworks and programs to drive cultural transformation for sustainability outcomes in the NGO and local government sectors.

A strategic and creative change strategist, Maree brings a new mindset to old themes. She draws on an eclectic academic and professional background in urban design, sustainability, self-sufficiency, social psychology, and environmental activism, to create and deliver transformational programs that shift mindsets and practice around inclusive communities and resilient environments. A natural connector of ideas and people, Maree’s work focuses
on complex multi-stakeholder initiatives and pioneering projects to build capability and collaborative capacity at community, city, and national levels. She is driven by a vision of a community-centered future in which cities and human well-being are interdependent.

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