Smart Seeds took place in Melbourne for the fifth time in 2017!

Congratulations to all participants tackling Melbourne’s complex infrastructure challenges!


Jill Garner
Victorian Government Architect, the Office of the Victorian Government Architect

Adele McCarthy
Director Strategy, Infrastructure Victoria

David Ryan
Managing Director, City West Water

Lachlan Bruce
Executive Director, Economic Projects & Facilitation,
Dept. of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport & Resources

Participating Organisations

CitiPower and Powercor | CBA | Dept. of Education & Training | Dept. of Environment, Land, Water & Planning | Dept. of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport & Resources | GHD | Lendlease | Melbourne Metro Rail Authority | Parks Victoria | Places Victoria |
South East Water | Ventia | Veolia | VicRoads | Yarra Valley Water

Supporting Organisations

Committee for Melbourne | Infrastructure Victoria | Lendlease | Melbourne Water |
the Office of the Victorian Government Architect | RMIT | Victorian Planning Authority


Cohesive Communities

Challenge Authors: Victorian Planning Authority, Office of the Victorian Government Architect

Is Melbourne genuinely inclusive? How well do we address the needs of groups that are marginalised due to income, age or cultural background? While urban areas offer advantages to lower income earners and older residents such as access to jobs, support networks, transport and services, cities can also create feelings of social exclusion and isolation and the inner areas of Melbourne are largely unaffordable for these

Melbourne is set to hit 6 million residents by 2031, meaning more than 700,000 new homes will be required. Outer suburban areas seem likely to accommodate the majority of these new dwellings, further disadvantaging communities due to a lack of access to infrastructure and employment opportunities.

What innovative idea could allow Melbourne to better address the needs of a marginalised group and support them to thrive in their communities?

The City is our Ecosystem

Challenge Authors: Place Victoria, Yarra Valley Water

Our cities must provide us with critical resources including water, energy, food
and mental wellbeing. The systems that provide these are called ecosystem

With Melbourne’s population rapidly growing and the threat of climate change
looming, the need to design a more resilient city that provides the ecosystem
services required is increasing.

What innovative idea might redefine the role of ecosystem services for
future Melbourne?

Attractive NECs

Challenge Authors: Victorian Planning Authority, DELWP

To address growing congestion, accommodate a projected doubling of population and jobs and achieve greater equity between Melbourne’s inner, middle and outer suburbs, Plan Melbourne promotes transition to a more ‘polycentric’ city form, including strengthening the National Employment Clusters (NECs).

We know that the ingredients of successful places are ready access, a stimulating environment, density and diverse activities.

How can we achieve Polycentric Melbourne that’s lively, diverse and attractive for 21st Century jobs investment?

What innovative idea, grand gesture or action would attract workers to one of these NECs, contributing to an attractive, creative, prosperous
and diverse 21st Century jobs hub?

Hack Melbourne

Challenge Authors: Committee for Melbourne

Cities are about people – how they live, work, move, interact. The pace with which technological breakthroughs announce themselves is ever increasing. Over the next two decades more and more crossovers between different technological fields, from nanotechnology to biotech and from IT to civil engineering, will alter the way we live, consume, do business and interact socially.

With new technologies, innovators are equipped to look beyond traditional techniques to plan and design cities and infrastructure. How can Melbourne readily adapt to become future focused?

What innovative idea would allow data and emerging technology to be better utilised to plan and enhance Melbourne’s future?

Students and the City

Challenge Authors: GHD

The State Government has identified International Education as one of eight “industry sectors that have the potential to drive significant jobs growth and attract investment into the future”. Is Melbourne really welcoming and accessible for international and interstate
students? How can we better support students who are in a new place, bombarded by study, removed from social groups and possibly under financial stress?

What innovative idea can enhance Melbourne’s reputation for outstanding student experience?

The Last Mile

Challenge Authors: Victorian Planning Authority, RMIT

Getting ourselves (and our bits & pieces) to and from our homes to public transport and then to our destination is a real challenge. The distances are often too long to walk. Car parking at stations and stops is limited.

At the end of our public transport trip we often need to go to multiple relatively close destinations quickly…and we often need to carry some stuff. There is great potential to improve the ‘last mile’ of our commutes, between public transport stations/stops and our workplaces and homes.

What innovative idea would provide an easier, dynamic, cheaper or more sustainable experience for travelers in the ‘last mile’ of their public transport journey?

Grey Jobs

Challenge Authors: Powercor, GHD

Australia’s population is ageing. Retirement is increasingly happening much later in life, with many people working well into their 70s. There will be more generations in the workplace than ever before. People will want to or need to work for longer.

What innovative idea would support people to be productive and contribute to society as they get older?