Here is Why Melbourne is Australia’s Coolest City

New research from Monash University says Melbourne is Australia’s coolest city – and it has nothing to do with footy at the ‘G or its vibrant coffee scene.

Dr Andrea Baker, Senior Lecturer in the School of Media, Film and Journalism says Melbourne’s combination of musical branding, innovative government policies and flourishing arts scene have culturally elevated the city.

Dr Baker explores ‘great music cities’ of the world, in her new book ‘The Great Music City: Exploring Music, Space and Identity’ (Palgrave Macmillan). It examines how cities become musical hubs through the lens of journalism, urban sociology and musicology.

She used Melbourne, Austin and Berlin as case studies and interviewed more than 50 journalists, policy makers and music industry experts. The book was a finalist in Education/Academic category of the 2019 International Book Awards at the American Book Festival.

“Melbourne is the true music capital of Australia. It has been the cultural capital of Australia since the days of the Gold Rush, which imported European influences,” Dr Baker said.

“It’s a city with a synergy of music, literature, visual arts, film and community radio.”

While Adelaide was recognised as a UNESCO city of music in 2015, Dr Baker says it’s vital to consider the broader context of a city’s emotional, cultural and social life when assessing musicality.

Melbourne is a world leader in progressive music policies and has branded itself as a musical hub by creating Melbourne Music Week in 2010.

“Melbourne had the first agent of change principle to resolve disputes between live music venues and residential buildings. New buildings near live music venues must be sound proofed,” Dr Baker said.

“It also introduced loading zones outside live music venues, so musicians could easily unload their equipment.”

However, Dr Baker says there is room for improvement.

“We still need to work on Melbourne’s music start up community and innovation,” Dr Baker said.

‘The Great Music City: Exploring Music, Space and Identity’ (Palgrave Macmillan) will be launched internationally at the annual International Association of Media and Communications Research (IAMCR) conference at the University of Madrid on Monday 8 July 2019 in the ‘Journalism Research and Education’ section.

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