“People definitely see their local suburb as the centre of what they would previously go to the city for,” she said.
“It is changing what the role of the city is – it is a political seat, a place where businesses are visible and for people to come and mix. We have to think of the city as an experiential space.”
“We are not just going home to relax from work, we are doing work.”
Dr Alexia Maddox, RMIT
Those surveyed indicated that work was still the most prominent driver for engaging with the city, with an average of 9.8 hours being spent in the CBD working on a typical week for employed people.
This increased to 16.8 hours a week for the 45.9 per cent who indicated that the CBD was their primary workplace.
The most recent foot traffic data from the City of Melbourne recorded a week-day average of pedestrian activity near the Town Hall sensor at 77.2 per cent of the pre-COVID benchmark.
However a Property Council survey for July found Melbourne’s office occupancy continued to go backwards, dropping from 49 to 38 per cent.
The report calls for all Victorians to be provided with affordable and reliable access to digital infrastructure to reflect the changing role of the CBD.
Maddox said she personally spent around nine hours a week at work in the city but as a “knowledge worker” her work had always been very mobile.
“The city for me is a place I go for professional practice and to experience creative inspiration,” she said.
“I love going to connect with people and as a central hub but my practice of health, wellbeing and place of work is all in the suburbs.”
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