Cities in lists of most liveable, as in quality of life, and as centers for literature, as in library use, variety of publishers, news reporting and having literary festivals, will include Melbourne.
Currently, for example, on the top of the list, ahead of Vienna and Vancouver, Melbourne was judged in 2011 the world's metropolitan city as most ideal for living (see note at end).
And for centers for literature, also, determined to be one of four in the world: the others being Edinburgh, Dublin and Iowa City, (so far) by UNESCO.
Having lived here for ten years, I am only now realizing the City – if examined in a systematic way – is likely to rank high for its public art.
On a recent chilly winter Sunday evening, I visited a street, described -- reflectively -- in an arts magazine, in a “...a grungy, neglected inner suburb,” the article by Kate Warren telling how the street is now, “transformed into a sought-after precinct of galleries, designer boutiques...and high-end restaurants.” The street: Gertrude.
Interestingly, a not-for-profit association of projection artists has 'adopted' Gertrude Street for an annual Festival of their creations-- a festival celebrating community and art. In the company of family and friends, I strolled the street taking photos and observing the public's awe at inventiveness.
To many, the outstanding attraction is a 20 plus story public residential building witnessed from blocks around as abstract images morph one into another. Yet, thirty or so images (some mysterious, some for children) are everywhere: windows, walls, side-walks, shop interiors, and parts of whole buildings, some interactive, all free.
Along with the graffito, wall art, and sculpturing, it appears ephemeral art brightly illuminates Melbourne's future.
: Mercer, Incorporated, and the magazine, The Economist
, rank Melbourne Australia as most liveable.