is the capital and most populous city in the state of Victoria, and the second most populous city in Australia. The name "Melbourne" refers to an urban agglomeration area (and census statistical division) spanning 9,900 km2(3,857.2 sq mi) that comprises the greater metropolis – as well as being a common name for its metropolitan hub, the Melbourne City Centre. It is a leading financial centre in Australia, as well as the Asia-Pacific region, and has been ranked the world's most livable city since 2011 (and among the top three since 2002), according the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU). In 2013 the EIU also ranked Melbourne the fourth most expensive city in the world, tying with Oslo, Norway. Melbourne is rated highly in the areas of education, entertainment, healthcare, research and development, tourism and sports.
It is located on the large natural bay of Port Phillip, with its City Centre situated at the northernmost point of the bay – near to the estuary of theYarra River. The metropolitan area extends south from the City Centre, along the eastern and western shorelines of Port Phillip, and expands into the hinterlands – toward the Dandenong and Macedonmountain ranges, Mornington Peninsula and Yarra Valley. The City Centre is located in the municipality known as the City of Melbourne, and the metropolis consists of a further 30 municipalities. Melbourne has a population of 4.35 million ..Inhabitants of the city are called Melburnians.
(From top left to bottom right) Melbourne city centre, Flinders Street Station, Shrine of Remembrance, Federation Square, Melbourne Cricket Ground, Royal Exhibition Building
Before the arrival of European settlers, the area was occupied for an estimated 31,000 to 40,000 years. At the time of European settlement, it was inhabited by under 20,000 hunter-gatherers from three indigenous regional tribes: the Wurundjeri, Boonwurrung and Wathaurong. The area was an important meeting place for the clans of the Kulin nation alliance and a vital source of food and water.
The first European settlement in Victoria was established by Colonel David Collins in October 1803, at Sullivan Bay, near present-day Sorrento, but this settlement was relocated to what is now Hobart, Tasmania, in February 1804, due to a perceived lack of resources. It would be 30 years before another settlement was attempted.
The discovery of gold in Victoria in 1851 led to the Victorian gold rush, and Melbourne, which served as the major port and provided most services for the region, experienced rapid growth. Within months, the city's population had increased by nearly three-quarters, from 25,000 to 40,000 inhabitants. Thereafter, growth was exponential and by 1865, Melbourne had overtaken Sydney as Australia's most populous city.
An influx of interstate and overseas migrants, particularly Irish, German and Chinese, saw the development of slums including a temporary "tent city" established on the southern banks of the Yarra. Chinese migrants founded a Chinatown in 1851, which remains the longest continuous Chinese settlement in the Western World. In the aftermath of the Eureka Rebellion, mass public support for the plight of the miners in Melbourne resulted in major political changes to the colony. The various nationalities involved in the Eureka revolt and Burke and Wills expedition gave an indication of immigration flows in the second half of the nineteenth century.
The economic boom of the Victorian gold rush peaked during the 1880s, by which time Melbourne had become the richest city in the world, and the largest after London in the British Empire. Melbourne hosted two international exhibitions at the large purpose-built Exhibition Building between 1880 and 1890, spurring the construction of several prestigious hotels including the Menzies, Federal and the Grand (Windsor).
In 1855 the Melbourne Cricket Club secured possession of its now famous ground, theMCG. Members of the Melbourne Football Club codified Australian football in 1859, and Yarra rowing clubs and "regattas" became popular about the same time. In 1861 the Melbourne Cupwas first run. In 1864 Melbourne acquired its first public monument—the Burke and Wills statue. In 1880 a telephone exchange was established and in the same year the foundations of St. Paul's Cathedral were laid; in 1881 electric light was installed in the Eastern Market building, and in the following year a generating station capable of supplying 2,000 incandescent lamps was in operation. In 1885 the first cable tram in Melbourne was built. Cable tramways were in general use until the 1920s, when they were superseded by electric motors. Electric trams were introduced into the suburbs in 1906.
During a visit in 1885 English journalist George Augustus Henry Sala coined the phrase "Marvellous Melbourne", which stuck long into the twentieth century and is still used today by Melburnians. Growing building activity culminated in a "land boom" which, in 1888, reached a peak of speculative development fuelled by consumer confidence and escalating land value. As a result of the boom, large commercial buildings, coffee palaces, terrace housing and palatial mansions proliferated in the city. The establishment of a hydraulic facility in 1887 allowed for the local manufacture of elevators, resulting in the first construction of high-rise buildings; most notably 1889's APA (The Australian) Building, the world's tallest office building upon completion and Melbourne's tallest for over half a century. This period also saw the expansion of a major radial rail-based transport network.
A brash boosterism that had typified Melbourne during this time ended in 1891 with a severe depression of the city's economy, sending the local finance and property industries into a period of chaos during which 16 small banks and building societies collapsed and 133 limited companies went into liquidation. The Melbourne financial crisis was a contributing factor in the Australian economic depression of the 1890s and the Australian banking crisis of 1893. The effects of the depression on the city were profound, although it recovered enough to grow slowly during the early twentieth century.
At the time of Australia's federation on 1 January 1901, Melbourne became the seat of government of the federation. The first federal parliament was convened on 9 May 1901 in the Royal Exhibition Building, subsequently moving to the Victorian Parliament House where it was located until 1927, when it was moved to Canberra. The Governor-General of Australia resided at Government House in Melbourne until 1930 and many major national institutions remained in Melbourne well into the twentieth century.
From 2006, the growth of the city extended into "green wedges" and beyond the city's urban growth boundary. Predictions of the city's population reaching 5 million people pushed the state government to review the growth boundary in 2008 as part of its Melbourne @ Five Million strategy. In 2009, Melbourne was less affected by the Late-2000s financial crisis in comparison to other Australian cities. At this time, more new jobs were created in Melbourne than any other Australian city—almost as many as the next two fastest growing cities, Brisbane and Perth, combined and Melbourne's property market remained strong, resulting in historically high property prices and widespread rent increases.
Melbourne has a moderate oceanic climate (Köppen climate classificationCfb) and is well known for its changeable weather conditions. This is mainly due to Melbourne's location situated on the boundary of the very hot inland areas and the cool southern ocean. This temperature differential is most pronounced in the spring and summer months and can cause very strong cold fronts to form. These cold fronts can be responsible for all sorts of severe weather from gales to severe thunderstorms and hail, large temperature drops, and heavy rain.
The Hoddle Grid (dimensions of 1 by 0.5 miles (1.61 by 0.80 km)) forms the centre of Melbourne's central business district. The grid's southern edge fronts onto the Yarra River. Office, commercial and public developments in the adjoining districts of Southbank and Docklands have made these redeveloped areas into extensions of the CBD in all but name. The city centre has a reputation for its historic and prominent lanes and arcades (most notably Block Place and Royal Arcade) which contain a variety of shops and cafés and are a byproduct of the city's layout.
Melbourne has minimal public housing and high demand for increasingly unaffordable rental housing. Public housing is usually provided by the Housing Commission of Victoria, and operates within the framework of the Commonwealth-State Housing Agreement, by which federal and state governments provide housing funding.
Melbourne is experiencing high population growth, generating high demand for housing. This housing boom has increased house prices and rents, as well as the availability of all types of housing. Subdivision regularly occurs in the outer areas of Melbourne, with numerous developers offering house and land packages. However, after 10 years of planning policies to encourage medium-density and high-density development in existing areas with greater access to public transport and other services, Melbourne's middle and outer-ring suburbs have seen significant brownfields redevelopment.
In 2010, Melbourne was named by International Business Times as one of the best cities in the world for viewing street art; and in 2008, its street art and lanes were voted by Lonely Planet readers as Australia's most popular cultural attraction.
The city is recognised for its mix of modern architecture which intersects with an extensive range of nineteenth and early twentieth century buildings. Some of the most architecturally noteworthy historic buildings include the World Heritage Site-listed Royal Exhibition Building, constructed over a two-year period for the Melbourne International Exhibition in 1880, A.C. Goode House, a Neo Gothic building located on Collins Street designed by Wright, Reed & Beaver (1891), William Pitt's Venetian Gothic style Old Stock Exchange (1888), William Wardell's Gothic Bank (1883) which features some of Melbourne's finest interiors, the incomplete Parliament House, St Paul's Cathedral (1891) and Flinders Street Station (1909), which was the busiest commuter railway station in the world in the mid-1920s.
The city also features the Shrine of Remembrance, which was built as a memorial to the men and women of Victoria who served in World War I and is now a memorial to all Australians who have served in war. The now demolished Queen Anne style APA Australian Building (1889), the world's 3rd tallest building at the time of completion is said to have anticipated the skyscraper race in New York City and Chicago.