The Liveable Melbourne Study ranking the liveability of Melbourne suburbs has highlighted the changing trends in the suburbs in which Melbournians want to live.  Deloitte Access Economics and Tract Consultants conducted the study based on fifteen indictors, which were assumed to be important to Melbournians.  These indicators included public transport, schools and shops, open space and even telecommunications.  The survey excluded a number of suburbs such as those less than five years old on the fringes of Melbourne or those with a high percentage of holiday homes.  For each indicator, the remaining 321 suburbs were given a relative ranking based on data from ABS, VicRoads and other sources.

The study, the third conducted since 2005, found suburbs usually ranked highly remained roughly the same, whilst dramatic shifts were seen to the order of the remaining suburbs.  Researchers suggested the changes from the previous study confirm a realignment occurring in Melbourne.

This year’s study ranked East Melbourne the most liveable suburb.  Despite the suburbs location, access to public transport and open space, the number one ranking was criticised for its lack of shopping, schools and cafes of its own and the traffic congestion along Hoddle Street.  It was suggested the suburb rather borrows amenities from the surrounding suburbs of Collingwood, Richmond and Fitzroy.  The suburb of Skye (Frankston area), in overall last place, beat East Melbourne in at least one of the indicators, highlighting that the gap between top and bottom is not uniform or significant across all indicators.

The researchers stressed the Liveable Melbourne Study is about the quality of the suburb rather than a personal opinion on the community, housing type or demographics.  Whilst the entire process and study is subjective, it could be said that the quality of a suburb is in the eye of the beholder: a keen surfer for example, may consider living in a suburb near to the coast is the paramount indicator.

In an attempt to address the subjectivity of the study this year, an online calculator was created that allowed people to use the fifteen indicators of the study to rank indicator importance to find their ideal suburb.  An additional feature allowed people to alter their results based on the median house price.  Newsfeed - liveable suburb pic

For now, East Melbourne can claim (under this particular study) that it is the most liveable suburb in the world’s most liveable city but who knows where it will sit in the coming years.