When the first inaugural Global Doughnut Day was announced, Regen Melbourne was deep in the development of our Greater Melbourne City Portrait. Setting our launch date was the easiest design decision we made - clearly we needed to go live on 13 November!
The Greater Melbourne City Portrait is the culmination of three years of collaborative visioning, data collection and storytelling. It is an Australian first, creating a new compass for progress for our city. The City Portrait is an interactive online platform that gives all citizens a practical and holistic way of measuring how well Melbourne is supporting people and planet to thrive. Alongside the data-driven Doughnut, it includes a series of Stories that highlight regeneration in action, the exciting work emerging on the ground to bring us closer to the Safe and Just Space.
The Melbourne Doughnut first launched in April 2021, accompanying a keynote from Kate Raworth introducing hundreds of people in Melbourne to Doughnut Economics. The community-based research behind the Melbourne Doughnut also led to the establishment of Regen Melbourne, a not-for-profit organisation designed as a platform for collaboration in service of our city.
From that moment, we knew that a robust and data-driven City Portrait was a critical step for maturing the Melbourne Doughnut as a guide for our regenerative work on the ground. In late 2022, we began to develop the structure for the Greater Melbourne City Portrait, based on principles of deep collaboration and a grounding in the extensive knowledge that exists across sectors in our city.
In the end, the City Portrait’s development was nothing short of epic. To develop the dimensions of the Social Foundation, we brought together a wide range of experts from across academia, industry and government to define each dimension’s role in Greater Melbourne and point us towards the most suitable metrics for measurement. The Ecological Ceiling was developed through a partnership with Open Corridor and research support from the University of Melbourne, applying a Planetary Accounting approach.
Along the way, a range of partners contributed to various aspects of the City Portrait’s narrative, grounding in deeper research and calls to action. Most notably, we partnered with Dr Michael Dunbar from RMIT University to develop the web platform for the City Portrait. Miek’s creativity and expertise in data visualisation brought the Melbourne Doughnut to life as an easy (and fun!) to navigate tool. The detailed methodology for the City Portrait’s development is available on the platform - and we’re happy to share more about it!
On Global Doughnut Day, we launched the City Portrait with a crowd of over 300 people at the iconic State Library of Victoria. Many people who joined us have been part of Regen Melbourne’s journey since the beginning, but we also made new connections that evening. In addition to presentations introducing the City Portrait and its purpose, we were joined by Warwick Smith, an expert in wellbeing economics in Australia and globally from the Centre for Policy Development, Catherine Brown, the CEO of the Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation (a key funder of the City Portrait and Regen Melbourne) and Kate Raworth - who beamed in to again celebrate the Melbourne Doughnut, a more grown-up version than what launched two years ago.
And now what? We are rolling up our sleeves, kicking off a ‘roadshow’ with the City Portrait to ground its messages in action and policy across the city. The platform will continue to evolve, but the strong reception we have had makes it clear that this is a big and exciting step towards a regenerative future for Melbourne. Or, as Kate put it, “this is an irresistible invitation to a future vision.”
Get inspired, connect with others and become part of the movement. No matter how big or small your contribution is, you’re welcome to join!