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Boyd a step in the right direction

17 Jul 2012

Boyd a step in the right direction Image

By Sean Rogasch

As reported on page 1 and 6 the Boyd library and community centre was opened by the City of Melbourne last month.

The council ought to be congratulated on the fantastic community facility. It has both respected the historical nature of the building, and provided a modern and practical space for the community to use.

It is the first piece of public space Southbank has been desperate for, ever since the population started to spike.

The important thing for the council now is to ensure they use this positive momentum and continue to develop public spaces. It has surely been encouraged by the response to Boyd, and should be trying to harness the positive vibes.

It can, and should, do so by continuing the development of these precious community spaces. Leaving aside the obvious and much talked about need for a primary school (a State Government responsibility), the council has outlined its plans to create more than just Boyd.

The 2010 Southbank structure plan outlined the construction of the Boyd space, but also included two other “hearts” of the community, and it is those the council must now turn its attention to.

The three community “hearts” are planned to become the meeting points and public spaces for the ever-growing Southbank community of locals, workers and visitors.

The next two planned spaces are an open activity node over the top of the Burnley Tunnel entrance and an Arts precinct site.

The CityLink deck should be the next focus of the Southbank community. In the structure plan, a timeline of one to five years is given for the site, which should remain the goal.

The site is planned to become a meeting space. It will have green space, but also include retail, restaurants and bars to ensure a vibrant and commercially viable space.

While other precincts within the City of Melbourne are either half finished or well-established, Southbank’s time is now. This district craves public space, as shown by the response to the Boyd opening and in its uptake since.

The job was done well at the Boyd site, but is now complete. It’s important the council, governments and the community do not rest on their laurels and ensure community-meeting spaces continue to be created as our residential and commercial population grows.

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