Melbourne is introduced in the Brave New World expansion pack.
Musical Theme: ?
Located on Port Phillip Bay, on the southeast coast of Australia, Melbourne became a permanent settlement in 1835 AD when Englishman John Batman negotiated a treaty with local Aborigines to purchase 500,000 acres there. It is distinguished from other Australian cities in that it is the only one founded by private enterprise rather than the crown. Melbourne was incorporated as a city in 1847, but its main growth came in the 1850s following discovery of gold at nearby Bendigo and Ballarat. The town served as the principle port and supply hub for the ensuing gold rush, and its population increased from 25 to 40 thousand in a few months.
The economic boom peaked in the 1880s, by which time Melbourne was considered the richest city in the world and the largest in the British Empire after London. As a result of the boom, commercial buildings and banks, terrace apartments and palatial mansions sprang up across the city. But the gold boom ended in 1891 AD, bringing bankruptcy to many businesses and economic depression; the financial crisis in Melbourne contributed to the Australian banking panic of 1893.
The city's banking and industry recovered and Melbourne grew slowly through the early part of the 20th Century. At the time of federation, creating the Commonwealth of Australia in 1901 AD, Melbourne was important enough to become the seat of government (until transferred to the new capital at Canberra in 1927). In the aftermath of World War II, the city's economic influence was strengthened even more by the influx of immigrants, primarily from southern Europe, bringing new businesses and industries. Major transportation and housing projects marked the 1970s through 1990s; recent substantial international investment has given the city a diversified economy particularly strong in banking and finance, manufacturing, shipping, research, information technology and tourism.