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Melbourne - World's third most livable city

2009-11-09 11:25 BJT

Australian cities hold three of the top 10 spots in the Economist Intelligence Unit's liveability poll, with Melbourne ranking the highest in the country, and the third in the world. From today on, we'll present you with a short series on the city of Melbourne - its business, its environment and its people. We'll start with an overall introduction to the city.

A vibrant cosmopolitan city, located on the magnificent Port Phillip Bay, Melbourne is the state capital and cultural centre of Victoria.

By 1851, with the Gold Rush, the city was born, and named after Quess Victoria's Prime Minister Lord Melbourne. It was the first political centre until Canberra was established in 1927.

There were only 1.1 million people in 1940, but immigration at the end of the World War Two transformed Melbourne into a thriving melting pot, totaling over 3 million people. Sizable Italian, Greek and Chinese communities, and among 200 ethnic groups, each formed their own districts. They invested in different sectors of the city's infrastructure, making Melbourne what is today - a city of tolerance.

Melbourne dominates the economic life of Victoria. Apart from the fact that many large Australian companies are based here, the city

develops around its retail core - a major asset for Melbourne, which is fed by the growing number of residents attracted into the city.

Melbourne joined the Business Partner City network in 1999, which counts 13 Asian cities including China's Hong Kong, Shanghai and Tianjin. The membership largely promotes and builds Melbourne's business links with Asia.

The advantageous geological location makes tourism a major contributor to Melbourne's economy. The city government therefore has been investing big money in visitor infrastructure and tourism services.