Seven reasons why Melbourne is the smartest city

For seven years in a row, Melbourne has officially been awarded the world’s most liveable city.

We’re a city that thrives on innovative thinking and new ideas – explore these clever events and organisations that contribute to an even better city of the future.


Melbourne Knowledge Week

Did you know Melbourne has a whole week dedicated to the future? Running from 7 to 13 May, Melbourne Knowledge Week will explore issues affecting the Melbourne of tomorrow: from sustainability and innovation to technology and health. The extensive program will bring people together through games, workshops, performances, urban expeditions, conversations, maker spaces and parties.

Grimshaw Architects will transform the Meat Market arts space into The Hub, where many key events will take place. Like the Melbourne City DNA exhibition, which brings data alive through augmented reality, virtual reality, 3D visualisation and interactive maps. The Future of What We Wear is an exploration of fashion’s future including wearable technology, sensors, smart materials and artificial intelligence. And Indigenous Perspectives in City Planning presents a discussion inspired by thousands of years of Aboriginal knowledge and culture.


From the Ground Up

In Melbourne, even the food is smart! From the Ground Up: An Exploration of Food, Hospitality and Technology is a tasty Melbourne Knowledge Week program strand. Visit the Food Innovation Hub exhibition, which considers food waste, urban agriculture and how to connect with farmers. Be amazed by Australian herbs, spices and fruits at the Indigenous Foods Dinner, and the Zero Waste Banquet’s creativity. There’s lots of food for thought – and your tummy!


Laneway Learning

Want to learn interesting stuff without the lengthy commitment and high costs of formal lessons? Laneway Learning is a not-for-profit organisation that facilitates relaxed, inexpensive (usually under $20) one-off evening classes led by passionate people. Venues include Embiggen Books, Madame Brussels and Little Mule Cafe. Upcoming sessions include practical classes in chutney-making, wine appreciation and the art of brewing tea. There’s also brain food, like classes in emotional intelligence and self-empowerment, and an ‘Ideology Smackdown.

The Wheeler Centre

Did you know Melbourne is a UNESCO City of Literature? Key to this prestigious designation is The Wheeler Centre, a hub for books, writing and ideas, which hosts hundreds of public events every year. Take your brain out for a spin at Mayhem, a festival of conversations with lots of international writers, including Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Junot Díaz and prolific New York writer Jenny Zhang.


The School of Life

It used to be an abstract concept, but since 2008 The School of Life has been a real place. Their Melbourne ‘campus’ is designed for conversations that help lead to more fulfilled lives and a better world. Buy a book, a decision dice, or a 15-minute timer to help you set aside some me-time. Find out about upcoming classes, workshops, retreats, intensives, secular sermons and therapies inspired by the humanities, from philosophy to visual art.



Australia’s national museum of film, television, video games and digital culture isn’t just about blockbuster exhibitions, like the current Wonderland. There’s always a packed program of screenings, talks, performances, workshops and school holiday fun at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image. Like Screen Worlds, a free, permanent exhibition exploring historical and cutting-edge moving image forms, and the monthly Experimenta Social, a series of talks, discussions and demos exploring the nexus of art, technology, science, culture and design.


Library at The Dock

Libraries are not what they used to be – some are now way better! Like Library at The Dock, a cool 21st century building that offers much more than books. There’s a recording studio, creative editing suites, community meeting spaces, study areas, a performance venue and gallery space. Their public programs include Virtual Reality (VR) and Digital Design Tools workshops, kids coding sessions and their MakersHangout, a regular induction for using the library’s 3D printers, electronics and robotic kits.