The festive season officially starts in New York when the 80 foot Norway Spruce Christmas tree is lit up at Rockefeller Centre. In Australia, we have no such legends. Melbourne has had quite a colourful and sharp plastic monolith on the corner of Collins and Swanston Streets, but it's far from breath taking. The council is looking to change that, though, and they're opening it up to the people.

The City of Melbourne is running a competition of sorts for Victorian designers to create a "unique, one-off artwork" Christmas tree that personifies Melbourne and will bring people to the city.

“There are lots of great designers out there and we are keen to hear their ideas,” the Lord Mayor Robert Doyle said.

“We want something new and typically Melbourne for our central Christmas decoration. It has to feel like Christmas, but at the same time it must also reflect the style and sophistication that Melbourne is known for. Christmas is a time for families and loved ones, so we want this tree to bring people into the city to celebrate the festive season.

A maximum of six individual designers or teams will be short listed to develop their concept in greater detail, with the winning concept to be chosen by Councillors later this year.

What do you think? Is this sort of crowdsourcing a cheap alternative to putting a project like this out to agency pitch? A Christmas tree in a city square is a big ego boost for a designer, do you think this enough to ensure the best designers contribute? Drop a comment below.