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Future Victoria 2021

A PwC CityPulse analysis

Download our CityPulse 2021 report

New CityPulse insights show skyrocketing liveability for more Greater Melbourne suburbs

COVID-19 has rewritten the entrenched habits and norms of the way Victorians live, work and play. We've seen years of disruption and digitisation accelerate as the pandemic forced individuals, families, businesses and governments to adjust to a vastly different world. For our state to thrive in a post-pandemic world, our cities and regions must continue to provide new opportunity, infrastructure and services as it acknowledges the changing needs of its citizens.

That's why CityPulse 2021 examines Victorians shifting priorities and changing values, as COVID-19 drives permanent change and new habits in the way we live and work.

Our analysis assesses the liveability of Melbourne's suburbs, considering those who can or will continue to work from home (Live - Staying Local ) and those who can't or won't (Live - Commuting ). We've also taken an individual approach to the working habits of suburbs, using census data to determine the types of jobs people have and the flexibility they are afforded to do those jobs - where they want - and when they want.

In CityPulse 2021, we have sought to understand the shifts in the way Victorians live and work ignited by the pandemic and how we address the challenges and the opportunities that lie ahead for Victoria.


CityPulse 2021 unearths the rise of the family-friendly, middle ring suburbs

New CityPulse analysis shows that the Live scores of our suburbs is growing in Melbourne’s family-friendly inner ring. Whereas once upon a time higher live scores were predominantly the domain of suburbs on the cusp of the CBD, changes to the way we live mean that suburbs offering more open space, larger homes, and easy access to key essentials are, in many cases, valued as much as those close to the city.

While high liveability is transcending further afield across greater Melbourne, our fastest-growing outer suburbs remain challenges that we need to address. With these outer corridors continuing to grow at steady knots, infrastructure and service delivery capacity will need to keep up - and so too will suburban transport options.

Rising up the ranks: Heidelberg, Wantirna and Montmorency

Melbourne’s CBD will weather the storm of COVID-19

Despite the realities of COVID-19, staying connected to the business heart of a city remains a priority for many people, demonstrated by Melbourne’s CBD securing the top Live - Commuting score for 2021. The result gives rise to our view that reports of the death of our CBDs are grossly exaggerated. In fact, the CBD will retain its place as the heart of our city, and a hub of commerce, creativity and leisure.

So, what’s next for Melbourne’s CBD - How will the focal point of our economy transition and thrive again in a post-COVID world?

  • Northcote

    Top Live - Staying Local Score

  • Melbourne CBD

    Top Live - Commuting Score

  • South Yarra

    Most walkable suburb


What does this mean for Victorians?

As we embrace the other side of the pandemic, we have a rare opportunity to stop and consider what makes Melbourne great - and where we have work to do to ensure everyone shares the benefits of calling this world-class city home.

CityPulse 2021 identifies that while no business, industry or community has been immune from the impacts of the global pandemic, the burden has been felt by some communities more than others, particularly in Melbourne’s outer growth corridors - so what does this mean for Victoria?

Download the 2021 CityPulse Report

Discover the suburbs of Melbourne that are best suited for the way you live and work

CityPulse taps into a national dataset that looks at our cities, and the communities these are made of, across our key liveability indices. 

CityPulse 2021 recognises the way our working habits have changed due to COVID-19, and our lives have become more localised. This year's scores offer a perspective on what makes a suburb truly liveable for those who are able to or chooses to work from home (Live - Staying Local) and those who cannot work from home, or choose to return to the office (Live - Commuting). These scores measure things like the availability of the services we need, and the other facilities we like to use. It focuses on general access and availability with measures based on 15-minute walking distance and 30-minute drive or public transport to secondary amenities from each suburban destination.

This year, we’ve also added our Walkability metric, so Melburnians can see how walkable their suburb is based on key amenities within a 15-minute walk.

Learn more about the CityPulse methodology in our report here.


Your budget for housing:
Above Average Below Average Low population


Which best describes you?
How do you usually get around?

Outside work



What kinds of amenities do you like to access in your spare time?
Rarely Sometimes Often
Open space inc. national parks
Culture and attractions
Rarely Sometimes Often
Bars and dining
Sports and fitness facilities

PwC's CityPulse assesses how each area performs against each of the metrics and is based on a range of data sources. The reliability, accuracy or completeness of this information has not been independently verified. CityPulse focuses on general access and availability and does not currently take into account the demographics or preferences of local residents.

© 2021 PricewaterhouseCoopers. All rights reserved. PwC refers to the Australian member firm, and may sometimes refer to the PwC network. Each member firm is a separate legal entity.. Please see for further details.

This content is for general information purposes only, and should not be used as a substitute for decision making or as a substitute for consultation with professional advisors. Liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation

Contact us

Peter Konidaris

Managing Partner Melbourne, PwC Australia

Tel: +61 (3) 8603 1168

Kate de Fegely

Victorian State Marketing Manager, PwC Australia

Tel: +61 433 237 371

Patrick Lane

Media Relations Manager, PwC Australia

Tel: +61 437 884 010

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