Transforming our Yarra into an inspiring world waterfront
What a rollercoaster ride it has been for business and looks like being on for some time yet, while lockdown is the preferred mechanism until we have achieved sufficient vaccination rates.
This latest lockdown occurred almost simultaneously with us distributing the Resident 3006 booklet of winter special offers.
I hope you have kept it because its offers are valid until the end of August.
We are very grateful to the City of Melbourne for funding to be able to run this winter campaign and, of course, also to those businesses who have reached out to you with their special deals for locals.
Please support them whenever you can because we want the precinct to be as vibrant as possible for you in the months and years ahead.
Despite the economic gloom and uncertainty, it’s encouraging that we have been given the vision of “Greenline” to look forward to, as a pathway to improving the amenity of, and access to, the Yarra’s north bank.
It’s a 10- to 20-year project and its ultimate success will depend upon the council’s ability to get the various state government departments and agencies to share the vision and put aside their territorial instincts.
The highly fragmented nature of management of the Yarra waterway and its banks is the biggest hurdle to achieving a thoroughly world-class precinct.
As a business association, we hope to be working very closely with the council on Greenline and already we are scouring the world (online) for examples of where waterfronts have really lifted the amenity and liveability of capital cities.
The Vancouver waterfront springs to mind, as does Chicago’s inner-city riverfront. The Little Island arts and gardens precinct on the edge of the Hudson River in Lower Manhattan is also providing inspiration.
If you have been inspired by some waterfronts on your world travels, we’d really like to know about them.
You can send details and photos to us at [email protected] We will be sure to share them with the council’s urban planners and designers.
The great work done in recent years by the Yarra Pools community group and their associated architects is also very creative and, hopefully, will also be considered by the council.
More immediately, we are promised that work on the first stage of the Southbank Promenade redevelopment will begin in the second half of 2021.
Early work will concentrate on the section in front of Hamer Hall to Southgate.
We have been assured by the council that its major projects team has learnt from the painful financial lessons of Southbank Boulevard, and that the promenade works have been fully costed and will be rolled-out in a timely way, with minimal disruption.
It might be the depths of winter, but I encourage you to rug-up and get out to see the masterpieces in the two impressionist exhibitions at the NGV.
From early September we also have The LUME to look forward to at the Exhibition Centre.
Before you know it, we’ll be sitting in the sun again on the promenades enjoying coffee and wine! •