Why we love Kensington

10 October 2022

Kensington is a uniquely charming suburb with a village-like feel, only 4 km north-west of the central city.

Locals describe the strong sense of community, heritage character and many parks and green spaces as key strengths of the neighbourhood.

The area that Kensington sits on has rich Aboriginal heritage and continuing cultural significance, especially the two waterways that flank the neighbourhood, the Maribyrnong River and Moonee Ponds Creek.

Did you know this chain of ponds once flowed into a vast saltwater lake on the edge of the city? Explore the area with fresh eyes at Mapping Aboriginal Melbourne.

There is a diverse housing mix, from heritage cottages to public housing, townhouses and apartments.

Fast facts

  • Almost 11,000 people live in Kensington.
  • Family households make up 54 per cent of dwellings – one of the highest proportions of family dwellings in our municipality.
  • Nearly a third of residents live in a flat or apartment.
  • Almost half the residents are renting.
  • People aged between 25 and 39 years make up the largest age demographic.
  • Almost a quarter of people speak a language other than English at home: Chinese, Vietnamese, Spanish, Somali and Italian are the top five community languages.
An old railway station and a towering gum tree


Good for business

About 390 businesses generate more than 4000 jobs in Kensington (Census of Land Use and Employment 2020).

To attract people to iconic shopping strips in Kensington, our Business Precinct Program provides up to $90,000 in annual funding for the Kensington Business Association.

Brick factories and industrial units reflect the varied history of the area. There are many industrial and commercal buildings in the south-east part of the neighbourhood.

A colourful restaurant

La Tortilleria in Kensington

Grand plans for renewal

Over the coming decades, we have grand plans for urban renewal in Macaulay, which includes a wedge of Kensington between the Moonee Ponds Creek and the train line.

Macaulay will transform into a mixed-use, mid-rise precinct that will create great streets and increase walkability, and add developments that celebrate the area’s history, cultural values and character.

Artist's impression of a path beside a creek

Artist’s impression: Macaulay Terrace

Feel connected to community

Kensington is a hive of community activity. The area is home to more than 20 service providers and community groups. Since 2020, we’ve funded 21 community projects in Kensington.

People in Kensington feel higher levels of connection to community in comparison to other parts of the municipality, according to recent findings from neighbourhood consultation.

Look out for many community-led initiatives and projects including community gardens, community compost hubs, a repair cafe for jewellery, textiles and more, as well as the first Good Karma Network, a newly established bike repair hub pilot, Reconciliation Action Group and more.

The Kensington Neighbourhood Network – convened by the Kensington Neighbourhood House with Unison Housing – regularly collaborates on local projects. We provide about $100,000 a year for community support activities at the neighbourhood house.

We’ve recently consulted with the community to identify 27 local priorities for the Kensington neighbourhood. We received almost 900 pieces of feedback. Check out the priorities on the new Kensington Neighbourhood Portal.

A place for older and younger alike

Older people can access a broad range of events at the Kensington Neighbourhood Centre in Anthony Street. A sensory garden is open to all visitors, and was designed for people living with dementia and their families.

To support children’s health and development from birth until school age, we run the Kensington Maternal and Child Health Centre.

Services include maternal and child health, immunisation, family and parenting support, playgroups and counselling. Next door, there’s a 140-place early-years education and childcare centre and kindergarten.

Nearby is The Venny Adventure Playground – run on behalf of the City of Melbourne. It’s a free community backyard and play space, and offers programs to support children and their families.

We manage and maintain more than 30 public spaces and 10 playgrounds across Kensington, including JJ Holland Park, Kensington Stock Route, Women’s Peace Garden, Newmarket Reserve, Riverside Park and more, as well as a bowls club and tennis courts.

A colourful playground

Playground in JJ Holland Park, Kensington

Investing in the community

We’re redeveloping the Kensington Community Aquatic and Recreation Centre.

Having served the community since 1976, the centre needs to be replaced to meet the diverse community’s needs, while making sure it is affordable and accessible for all users.

When complete, the new centre will feature a 25-metre eight-lane pool, learn-to-swim pool and water play area, a three-court stadium, three multipurpose program rooms, change rooms and a cafe.

Artist's impression of a big public indoor swimming pool

Artist’s impression of the new eight-lane pool

Brilliant basics

Major new infrastructure investment in Kensington in the 2022–23 financial year included $4 million for pump station upgrades in Stubbs Street, new cycle infrastructure, reduced speed limits and green space, infrastructure and cultural projects.

We’re investing about $2.2 million on renewal works for roadways and footpaths, and some $570,000 on maintenance for community facilities.

We have plans to grow the local urban forest and explore opportunities to revitalise the Moonee Ponds Creek. We’re also looking how we use the Maribyrnong waterfront. And building neighbourhood resilience to prepare the community for climate change and disasters.

A neighbourhood Future Melbourne Committee meeting will be held in Kensington on Tuesday 24 October 2023. Get to know the area with the Kensington Neighbourhood Portal

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