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Melbourne's most creative suburb might surprise you

- 13/07/2018

Look beyond Fitzroy's street art and Collingwood's hidden galleries - Melbourne's most creative suburb is in fact one of its fastest growing and possibly most surprising.

Home to a cluster of some of Australia's most critical and creative arts venues, Southbank has been Melbourne's creative heart since the 1870s when the Arts Centre was established in its early incarnation.

Once perceived as a characterless industrial area and concrete jungle, Southbank has undergone an extensive transformation led by its creative community.

It's a place where the city's future artists brush shoulders with accomplished arts professionals at the Victorian College of the Arts, where you can see the opera one day, ballet the next and then complete the trifecta with a gallery date.

Each day more than 45,000 people come to work here, with most of Southbank's 720 businesses involved in arts and recreation. At any given moment 30,000 people can be seated in the arts precinct for a performance. And let's not forget the 82,000 visitors, many who are immersing themselves in the latest works on show at the National Gallery of Victoria and ACCA.

Southbank stands out for many reasons, including the numerous creative and artistic residents who call this area home.

In most cities, the old refrain goes something like this - creative types move in, make a suburb cool, then get pushed out by rising rents to do it all over again.

But in Southbank the artistically minded have colonised this area, creating a world-class cluster of creative energy.

There are more than 131,000 residents in Southbank and that is expected to double by 2031. Many are attracted to the location on the doorstep to the CBD - in fact, 48 per cent of locals walk to work.

Southbank's growing apartment scene caters for these creative urban professionals, providing an inspired lifestyle akin to New York City.

Melbourne Square is one landmark project that channels creative excellence to deliver a world-class lifestyle. Here, apartments designed by the Carr Design team behind award-winning hotel Jackalope provide an artful hotel-like experience, while a suite of private residential amenity caters for any aspiration to train for the ballet in the world-class gym, or just relax and get the creative juices flowing in the resort-style pool area.

Developer OSK Property is also consulting with the area's leading arts organisations on a public art strategy that it will roll out over the coming years. This will include a range of sculptural features in its extensive public parkland, which will be programmed for creative events and performances.

It's sure to get the people who live, work, study and visit the area excited. These artists, musicians and dancers are the creative lifeblood of Southbank and a dynamic force building a bright future for the area.

Note: All data taken from Melbourne Arts Precinct Blueprint, 2014


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