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New look Boulevard revealed

10 Aug 2017

New look Boulevard revealed Image

By Chelsea Cucinotta

The City of Melbourne has released new renders of Southbank Boulevard. The $35 million project will see Southbank Boulevard and Dodds St transformed into 2.5 hectares of public open space in 2020.

The new space planned for the front of the ABC alone will be roughly the same size as City Square, while Dodds St will be remade into a public space that can host everything from street performances, farmers markets, and even music festivals in Southbank’s very own Arts Precinct.

“In Melbourne and in other cities around the world, governments are looking to turn underutilised roads and car parks into important green space,” Lord Mayor Robert Doyle said.

“The new public open space and neighbourhood parks we’re creating in Southbank will improve public amenity for the 20,000 residents and 50,000 office workers in the city’s most densely populated suburb.”

Key aspects of the public open space include 1.05km of dedicated bicycle lanes, upgraded public transport stops including ‘green’ tram tracks, a commitment to improving biodiversity through planting diverse trees with seasonal variation, and a neighbourhood space for Southbank residents and visitors alike.

According to the chair of the City of Melbourne’s Environment Portfolio, Cr Cathy Oke, the Southbank Boulevard project was part of an ongoing urban design program, which has seen over 80 hectares of underutilised asphalt and infrastructure made into public open space in the last 30 years.

“Converting grey to green supports the City of Melbourne’s strategies for managing the urban forest, climate change, water, biodiversity and wellbeing,” Cr Oke said.

“Green spaces reduce stormwater volumes, reduce the impact of development on ecosystems, increase biodiversity, provide habitats for wildlife, keep our soil moist and reduce the urban heat island effect.”

The new space will continue to cater for current traffic volumes in Southbank Boulevard. In 1988, Southbank Boulevard carried 40,000 to 50,000 vehicles a day. This number has since reduced to 13,000 vehicles per day after the construction of Queensbridge Square in 2001 meant direct access to the CBD was closed.

The new public space has been designed with the increased residential population of Southbank in mind, with the population forecast to rise by 175 per cent over the next 15 years.

To view the full selection of renders visit participate.melbourne.vic.gov.au

 

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