The Committee for Geelong (CfG) released its international
research paper "Winning From Second: What Geelong Can Learn From
International Second Cities" on 23 November 2016. The paper was
compiled with the assistance of the United Nations Global Compact -
Cities Programme and RMIT's Centre for Urban Research, and with
support from the Commonwealth Bank.
The Plan Melbourne Refresh Discussion Paper recommends that
Geelong be formally recognised as Victoria's second city, and that
proposals for accelerated growth be included in the plan. To
support wider Government policy thinking on second cities, the CfG
undertook an international study tour to broaden its research on
'Second Cities' a
nd gain first hand insight into how cities across Europe and
the United States of America have achieved significant change and
transformation following the decline of their previous main
Click the image below to read the full report.
CfG Chief Executive Officer Rebecca Casson says the research
provides Geelong with significant direction to guide the
transformation of the city's economy, and further drive the future
vision and strategic plan.
"Geelong is Victoria's second city and proudly so. But second
does not mean second best or second place; it means Geelong enjoys
all of the benefits of being within arm's reach of Melbourne but
free from the constraints of big city living."
"We visited cities with similar histor
y and fabric as Geelong, meaning non-capital cities that have
had to reinvent themselves following the loss of their prime
economies, in most cases manufacturing."
"We met with the cities' leaders and the communities to better
understand how different groups worked together to form their
city's new identity and facilitate growth, and we believe there are
some key learnings that can be applied to Geelong" said Ms
Michael Nolan, Chair of the United Nations Global Compact -
Cities Programme said, "The overarching recommendation of the
"Winning from Second" report is for Geelong to engage in the
development of a second city policy with the Victorian and Federal
Governments. This research highlights that there are
significant benefits to be gained from a greater policy focus on
these types of cities."
Professor Jago Dodson, Director of the Centre of Urban Research,
RMIT University said, "While focussing on Geelong, this research
demonstrates the need for greater policy and planning attention to
be given to second cities in Australia, which international
experience demonstrates can be leaders in economic
Each city produced valuable
insights, and the research shows a number of recurring themes of
value to Geelong's transformation:
Prioritising industry sectors based on inherent strengths of the
city such as Medicine and Social Insurance through a new #EMSI
cluster; Green and Blue Economic Development through a newly
created 'Turquoise Economy'; Tertiary Education specialisation; and
further international engagement by developing Port and
A co-ordinated approach to economic development and planning
through an overarching "One Geelong" entity;
Branding of Geelong including; differentiating from major
cities, as a place to live and invest; Offering high quality of
life through waterfront developments, food, arts and culture, sport
and revitalised city centres.
Supporting innovation, entrepreneursand existing businesses to
Ms Casson said "Looking at
these 'Second Cities' we have learned that, to move forward,
Geelong needs to further analyse its strongest industry sectors -
such as technology, health and education - and increase its support
to facilitate more growth in those areas."
"Eindhoven in the
Netherlands is an interesting example for this - once a working
class industrial city and home of lightbulb and technology giant
Philips, the city now delivers 19 per cent of the Netherlands'
research and development projects.
"Philips owned a significant
portion of the town's buildings and employed almost half of its
inhabitants. In the 1990s Phillips moved its headquarters to
Amsterdam and outsourced most of its production to China, and
Eindhoven faced an immense challenge to reinvent itself and find
opportunities for more than 35,000 workers who had lost their jobs.
Today, Eindhoven is a high-tech hub with a strong focus on
nanotechnology, robotics, green technology and precision
engineering," she said.
"Richmond, Virginia, was a
great example of how a city had rebranded itself, which is another
recommendation that Geelong can learn from the research - and there
are many more, including attracting more start-ups and
entrepreneurs to Geelong and building an infrastructure that
increases productivity and allows for scale.
"Lifestyle and amenity is
another big point, Geelong needs to continue to showcase itself as
a fantastic place to live, with plenty of entertainment, leisure,
culture and retail attractions, inviting more people to settle in
Geelong" Ms Casson concludes.
Josh Mitchell, Area Manager
- South West Victoria, Commonwealth Bank said "It is very
satisfying to see from this research that Geelong is very much on
track, and it is exciting to take inspiration from other 'Second
Cities' all over the world to continue our city's journey. We
look forward to continuing to work with the CfG as it collaborates
with other members and partners to identify ways to implement some
of the learnings for our city."
The international study tour
included the following cities:
Eindhoven, the Netherlands
USA: Cleveland, Ohio; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Richmond,
England: Sheffield, Liverpool, Bristol;
The 'Second City' research
was supported by the Commonwealth Bank as the Lead Research Partner
of the project, together with other partners including; the
Victorian State Government Department of Environment, Land, Water
and Planning (DELWP), the City of Greater Geelong, Transport
Accident Commission (TAC), Executive Travel Management, Geelong
Port, The Gordon, Lovely Banks Land Owners' Consortium, Victorian
Regional Channels Authority, Tract Consultants and Opteon Property