The Inner Metro Region of Melbourne extends from the Flemington Racecourse and Kensington to the coastline of Port Phillip Bay at Port Melbourne and St Kilda, taking in the inner city suburbs of Collingwood and Richmond. The Inner Metro Region is the urban centre of Melbourne, home to the central business district (CBD), world-class sporting facilities, cultural heritage locations, and dense residential and commercial precincts. The Inner Metro Region is the traditional home of the Wurundjeri and Bunurong people of the Kulin nation.
The tremendous expansion of the Victorian population during the gold rush saw Melbourne boom, with thousands of people arriving daily. Melbourne was transformed from a small port town to a world centre. This was followed by the founding of the University of Melbourne in 1853 and the first trams going into operation in 1884. When Federation occurred in 1901, Greater Melbourne had a population of half a million people, and a momentum that led it to become the federal capital until Canberra assumed the role in 1927.
Today the Inner Metro Region is a relatively compact region consisting of the City of Melbourne, as well as the adjacent local government areas (LGAs) of Yarra and Port Phillip. It has by far the most commercial activity of any of Melbourne’s metropolitan regions. For example, the Port of Melbourne holds the title of Australia’s busiest container port and is a vital economic gateway for much of the state, while the Melbourne CBD is the key nexus for the state’s corporate and public sectors, as well as being a centre of education and learning.
Melbourne’s Inner Metro Region continues to be location of cultural richness. Not only does the area hold key sporting events including the Australian Open at Melbourne Park, the Formula 1 Grand Prix at Albert Park and the Spring Racing Carnival, it also has a vibrant Arts Precinct and the CBD retail hub. Natural assets such as the public gardens and the bay add green space and beauty to the area.
The Inner Metro Region has a population of over 337,000 people (7.6 per cent of Melbourne’s total). Its population is expected to continue to grow at the highest rate of all the metropolitan regions, with population expected to grow by 18 per cent between 2016 and 2021 compared to 10 per cent for all regions.