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The Resilient Melbourne Experiment: mobilising transitions in urban resilience governance and planning?
1  RMIT University


This paper examines the Rockerfeller Foundations 100 Resilient Cities initiative in Melbourne and frames this as an experiment in urban resilience governance and planning. Drawing on sustainability transitions and urban low carbon experimentation literature (Bulkeley et al 2011; Evans et al 2016; Sengers et al 2016), the necessity to foreground the politics of urban transitioning is highlighted (Luque-Ayala et al 2018). This draws attention to questions of: what it means to be low carbon (and resilient); what and who is involved in the transition; how does the transition unfold and how would we recognise a transition when we see it? Melbourne is one of the first wave of 32 cities involved in 100RC and the release of the Resilient Melbourne Strategy (2016) is the first attempt at resilience planning in this city which is seen as “a starting point that brings together individuals and organisations critical to the resilience of Melbourne and its diverse communities ( We examine its role in mobilizing ‘urban resilience transitions’ reflecting on the what, who and how of this as a governance experiment. With no metropolitan mandate and located in the City of Melbourne office, we examine the relationship between the 100RC Melbourne initiative and other key local, metropolitan and state climate change policies and planning strategies. Through this analysis we reveal the extent to which resilience thinking is influencing (and transforming) mainstream planning, how urban resilience has been framed and adapted as the 100RC Melbourne initiative has evolved and the prospects for a more integrated and inclusive mode of urban governance and resilience planning.

Keywords: urban experiments, urban governance, urban resilience planning