Community puts its future to the test
Southbank Boulevard was transformed into a pop-up garden party on Sunday, November 29, as residents were given a chance to experience life at their future park.
The event was organised by the City of Melbourne as part of a broad public consultation on the proposed linear park along Southbank Boulevard and Dodds St.
Free coffees, food trucks, yoga classes, hula hooping, art displays, live music, kids’ activities and a pop-up dog park were just some of the offerings made available to residents and visitors as part of the public engagement exercise.
The event also featured a range of market stalls, indigenous history and architecture walks, as well as a live radio broadcast with 774 ABC Melbourne presenter Libbi Gorr.
Participate Melbourne consultants ran workshops and engaged with locals throughout the morning, as information was collected for the linear park’s draft master plan.
Speaking with Ms Gorr as part of the live broadcast, the City of Melbourne’s director of city design Rob Adams said it was important that locals be given a chance to sample their future space.
“Something as simple as this where there used to be 30,000 cars a day and now there are 13,000 you just say, well, you need half of the road. Let’s take the other half and make it into a park. It’s simple as that,” he said.
“You come to a space like this in the middle of Melbourne and you would not normally find the sort of family groups that you’ve got gathered like this so this is the beauty of spaces like this. It will actually get families coming out and talking. We can see people sitting down having conversations. There’s coffees. There’s hula-hoops. This is people using the space.”
Following its closure as a route to the CBD with the construction of Queensbridge Square in 2001, Southbank Boulevard no longer carries the volume of traffic for which it was designed.
The City of Melbourne has identified the 2.5-hectare land as a solution to addressing a lack of open space in Southbank, which will connect St Kilda Rd to the Yarra River.
The public can share their ideas via the Participate Melbourne website until December 20: participate.melbourne.vic.gov.au/southbankboulevard