Melbourne City Centre (sometimes referred to as “Central City”, and colloquially known as simply “The City”) is an area of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. It is not to be confused with the larger local government area of the City of Melbourne. It is the area in which Melbourne was established in 1835, and its boundaries are defined by the Government of Victoria’s Melbourne Planning Scheme. Today, it comprises the two oldest areas of Melbourne; the Hoddle Grid and Queen Victoria Market, as well as sections of the redeveloped areas of Southbank and South Wharf.
It is the core of the central activities district (CAD) of Melbourne’s inner suburbs, and encompasses a number of places of significance, which include: Crown Casino, Federation Square, Flinders Street Station, Melbourne Aquarium, Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, Melbourne Town Hall, National Gallery of Victoria, State Arts Centre of Victoria, State Library of Victoria, State Parliament of Victoria, Supreme Court of Victoria and the Australian Centre for the Moving Image. Bordering its north-east perimeter is the World Heritage-listed Royal Exhibition Building and Carlton Gardens as well as the Melbourne Museum. It is also the main terminus for the Melbourne metropolitan and Victorian regional passenger rail networks – being Flinders Street and Southern Cross stations respectively, as well as the most dense section of the Melbourne tram network.
It is the major central business district (CBD) of Greater Melbourne’s metropolitan area, and a major financial centre in Australia and the Asia-Pacific region. The City is home to the corporate headquarters of the World’s two largest mining companies: BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto Group; as well as two of Australia’s “big four” banks: ANZ and NAB, two largest gaming companies: Crown and Tabcorp, largest telecommunications company Telstra, two largest transport management companies: Toll and Transurban as well as the iconic brewing company Foster’s Group. It also serves as the main administrative centre for the City of Melbourne and the Government of Victoria – the latter with the suburb of East Melbourne. Two universities have major campuses in the area: Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT City campus) and University of Melbourne (Victorian College of the Arts).
It has hosted a number of events of significance, which include: the 1901 inauguration of the Government of Australia, 1956 Summer Olympic Games, 1981 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, 1995 World Police and Fire Games, 2000 World Economic Forum, 2006 Commonwealth Games and G20 Ministerial Meeting. It is also recognised for the substantial number of cultural and sports events and festivals it holds annually – many being the largest in Australia and the World. The Hoddle Grid is home to Melbourne’s famed alleyways and arcades and is renowned for its distinct blend of contemporary and Victorian architecture as well as expansive parks and gardens which adjoin it edges. It is also the literary centre of Australia, and has more bookshops and publishing companies per capita than any other city in Australia, and includes the headquarters of the World’s largest travel guidebook publisher Lonely Planet. In 2008, it was designated a “City of Literature” by UNESCO in its Creative Cities Network.