Melbourne was recently handed The economists “the world’s most liveable city” award. Once again Melbourne beat out cities such as Vienna, Vancouver, and once again, not one Melbournian was surprised. People who call Melbourne their home town know exactly why it continues to win this sought-after award. The economist explains the reason Melbourne keeps winning these prized bragging rights is based on multiple financial and social situations that are comparable between all the cities listed, but in reality, it is the incomparable qualities that really make Melbourne what it is.
Each suburb in Melbourne city is as diverse as a mini city within a larger one. Take for example; Richmond vs. Brunswick. Both have great bars, great restaurants, great shopping and great inner city living solutions, however ask anyone who has spent time in either and they will tell you how different they are. The attitudes are different, the styles are different and most importantly the atmosphere is different. In Richmond, you’ll find quirky bar/pubs with modern aesthetics and mates rates. In Brunswick, everything is a little bit rougher. The bands are grungier and the beards are longer, but don’t be alarmed you’ll find a beautiful man bun in both. These suburbs were born at similar times, as twins and now they have grown up into entirely different adolescence. There is no reason these suburbs should feel different, but they do. And that in itself is the beauty of Melbourne.
If you travel anywhere else in Australia, or the world in fact, a Melbournian will always find a Melbournian. There’s a sense of pride that comes with living in Melbourne. We’re as proud of our Queen Victoria market as we are of the buskers down Bourke street. Not only that, but being from Melbourne means you cannot help but insert your opinion when the “what’s the best city to live in?” conversation comes around. This pride that is carried around is another reason why Melbourne continues to win. We respect our city, and we are constantly looking for ways to improve it and keep it safe. New markets, events and festivals curated by the locals are constantly popping up, each week there is something fresh. The city keeps moving and so does the people within it.
Now, most people will tell you that having four seasons in one day is a bad thing, but here’s an argument for the opposite. Imagine waking up to a beautiful sunrise, the mist falling away as the sun heats up the earth beneath. The rest of the morning warms up and continues throughout the day. Out of the corner of your eye, you can see the clouds rolling in slowly in a comforting transition. As you arrive home the rain starts to come down, you feel a slight chill and reach for a blanket and a hot cup of tea as you settle in for the night. If that doesn’t sound picturesque I don’t know what does. The weather impacts everything in Melbourne, from the design of the buildings to the secret umbrella hiding in every woman’s purse. Retractable roofs and movable umbrellas are a signature to the Melbourne skyline, a necessary but charming one.
Normally, this is the part where the men reading fall away, but I promise you it is worth it! Melbourne is of course known for its shopping strips and larger than life shopping centers, but that’s not why the shopping is world class. It’s the Melbourne specific designers that make it special. Taking a stroll down Chapel street or Flinders lane and you will find the franchised shops you expect, but then you’ll see one you’ve never heard of before and something will always compel you to go inside. Majority of these one of boutiques are created by hard working Melbourne based designers who aim to keep production in Melbourne with sustainability and price as the main considerations. This reflects in the work that can literally not be found anywhere else. These pieces are one of a kind, just like Melbourne itself.
Another contributing factor that simply cannot be compared to another city in this world is the main sporting attraction; AFL and AFLW. The Australian football league may say “Australian” but it was originally VFL and those bones show through. Everyone who lives or visits Melbourne has a team, and if you don’t by the end of a drink with some strangers then you will. But it’s not the sport itself that makes it a vital part of the city, but rather how it brings us all together and defeats our differences. Whatever team you call yours does not determine how you are treated, AFL and AFLW fans are brought together by passion and love, and that is what drives the comradery behind it. With the introduction of the women’s professional league, that passion and love has found a new arena to grow. Record crowds turned out for the first match between the two professional women’s teams and have continued to excel in the ratings. The women’s professional league is a direct example of how Melbourne is always on the move, progressing and changing to benefit the people who become a part of this wonderful city.
If Melbourne is not on your bucket list, then it’s time to add it. There’s a charm to Melbourne that is un matched and will not be going anywhere anytime soon. Each time the question arises “what makes Melbourne so good?” a stunned silence normally fills the room, simply because there are too many responses that come to mind. It’s an indescribable personality that oozes out of the laneways and runs through the veins of the people who live here. People who visit Melbourne take a piece of it home with them, the spirit of the streets is what people search for when they travel, and Melbourne has a lot of spirit to share around. You have not visited Australia until you have visited Melbourne and understood exactly why it has once again been voted “most liveable city”.