Community voices pave the way for a better Southbank
In the bustling heart of Melbourne, Southbank holds a community keen on carving out a brighter future for their neighbourhood.
Conversations among community members that formed part of the Southbank neighbourhood priorities highlight clear areas of focus. These include the need for more open spaces, enhanced road safety, and improved pedestrian safety.
The longing for more open spaces reflects the community’s collective ideal for a greener, more active Southbank. The idea is to create welcoming parks and recreational spots where residents can unwind and enjoy the outdoors, amid the urban setting. This also reduces the noise pollution, improving the safety and wellbeing of residents and visitors.
Most recently, the City of Melbourne developed a new resource – Greening the City – to support apartment building residents to participate in greening initiatives, and Freshwater Place residential building received a small grant to organise social activities around their community garden.
Importantly, the new Greening Melbourne Permit system was released. This will mean that community-led greening can happen on council-owned footpaths. I know that is something many residents have asked me about.
Finally, Dodds Street Linear Park is progressing on schedule and will mean a brand-new open park addition to Southbank. More open space is still needed so this is an area that requires continued effort.
Road safety has also emerged as a communal concern. The call is for better road infrastructure and traffic management systems that ensure a safer transit for both motorists and cyclists. It’s about creating a peaceful coexistence on the roads that form the arteries of Southbank.
Work has been completed by Major Roads Projects Victoria for protected bike lanes from St Kilda Rd to Southbank Boulevard, and activities around bicycle and e-scooter safety have been ongoing.
This critical area of interest is the topic of the Transport Strategy 2030 and the City Road Master Plan, and their continued implementation through projects is critical and one to keep an eye on.
Pedestrian safety is another facet of the community’s discourse, with a shared vision for safer, well-marked crossings and a culture of respect between motorists and pedestrians. It’s about making the streets of Southbank safe and enjoyable for everyone.
Most recently, pedestrian crossings were installed at Balston St, City Rd, and Kavanagh St. A consultation to identify pedestrian and road safety issues happened earlier in the year as part of the Southbank Pedestrian and Road Safety Study and safety information sessions were held on October 24 and November 1. Five key themes were identified, and this will inform works to improve pedestrian and road safety in Southbank going forward.
Southbank is a truly dynamic neighbourhood, and the collaborative spirit we are seeing is what will propel Southbank forward. As the community continues to engage in these meaningful dialogues, the pathway to a safer, greener, and friendlier Southbank means clearer pathways to actions that deliver for our community.
Keep up to date with the latest on Southbank Neighbourhood portal at participate.melbourne.vic.gov.au/southbank-neighbourhood-portal •