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Urban Innovation District


Our places and spaces are designed and used to their best advantage for collaboration across the whole RMIT community and with partners and industry. We take full advantage of our existing places and spaces in all of our locations and increase their use over time.Ending Quote

Ready for Life and Work, RMIT’s Strategic Plan to 2020

A key priority within RMIT’s Strategy to 2020 is to ensure the best use of our places and spaces to work, learn and socialise together as a university.

With the goal of driving impactful public engagement through to 2020, the Urban Innovation District is a new project in partnership with the City of Melbourne and Melbourne University to redevelop the district in the CBD North area, immediately north of Melbourne’s city centre.

This district will connect and develop infrastructure for innovation and collaboration, linking together several precincts containing world class research, market, cultural and educational facilities, to create new opportunities for public architecture and urban facilities, encouraging talented students, workers and visitors to the area and developing new enterprises, services and technology collaborations.

The innovation focus of the CBD North innovation district is ‘urban futures’, and will include a range of ‘smart city’ projects, urban design and planning, social innovation for developing future social services, public transport, start-up and enterprise acceleration, and educational collaboration.

The partnership between RMIT, the City of Melbourne and the University of Melbourne is integral to the development of the Urban Innovation District. A letter of intent signed in August 2016 outlined a commitment from each organisation to work together on this important project.

Our combined organisational capacity, the skills and capabilities of our communities, and our ability to mobilise present an opportunity to work in partnership with our communities, to co-design and co-develop together.

RMIT is also working to develop collaborations with the University’s network of international partners to develop ‘urban innovation’ partnerships in Barcelona, Hanoi, Hong Kong, Singapore and Tianjin.

In 2017, there will be a focus on studio projects, practice-based prototyping, and engaging students and staff members through public dialogue and performance. Throughout the project there will be a strong emphasis on enterprise activation, social innovation, and institutional design.

Key Objectives

  • Shaping the fabric and character of an under-utilised area of Melbourne
  • Developing landmark destinations for ‘urban experience’, which stimulate and support design and sharing of innovations for ‘Next Generation Melbourne’.
  • Facilitating job-creation, stimulate enterprise and increase the flow of entrepreneurial talent into the Victorian economy.
  • Creating a more connected city with vibrant ideas, business, and dedicated individuals.
  • Leveraging the existing institutions, streetscape and student-driven demographic diversity, without relying on expensive, high profile capital developments.
  • Creating a global return flow of talent, experience, collaboration and possible investment.

As the project develops, updates will be shared to engage the RMIT Community in the exciting development of the ‘Urban Innovation District’, immediately north of Melbourne’s CBD.