Nine new parks set to be created around Melbourne’s CBD: ‘Transform our city from grey to green’

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Nine new parks set to be created around Melbourne’s CBD: ‘Transform our city from grey to green’

Words by Staff Writer

The City of Melbourne will convert concrete areas into new parks and public squares for its growing population, under new budget plans.

Council will open or progress work on nine new parks and open spaces across the municipality, through a proposed $29.5 million investment in open space in the draft Budget 2024–25.

Normanby Road Reserve in Southbank will see up to 1.2 hectares added, under a proposed expansion to be considered at Tuesday night’s Council meeting.

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If endorsed, the $22.5 million project will deliver significant and multi-use amenities to the area – including spaces for play and lawns for recreation, picnics and community gatherings. The park will also feature extensive plantings and integrated water management features.

Southbank is the city’s most densely populated residential neighbourhood. Council will progress key projects delivering more open space including the Australian Centre of Contemporary Art forecourt and Miles and Dodds Street Reserve.

Melburnians will soon be able to have their say on Council’s City Road Masterplan as community consultation begins on plans for the Northern Undercroft – which would convert a 5,000 m2 area into multi-function spaces, gardens and public plazas.

This is in addition to the new Southbank Boulevard Reserves adding a further 4,000 m2 of new open space in Southbank.

The North Melbourne community will be able to enjoy a larger, more beautiful and functional park when the Bedford Street Pocket Park opens next year – featuring a new play area, a barbeque and picnic area and more recreation space for friends and families to come together.

As part of Council’s draft Budget, our parks and gardens will be protected and maintained through a $30 million investment, and a further $1.7 million will aim to plant another 3,000 trees across the municipality.

Major construction will begin later this month on the City of Melbourne’s Greenline Project, which will deliver 4 km of interconnected promenades, parks, open spaces, plants and more to life between Birrarung Marr and the Bolte Bridge.

Council is well on track to achieve its goal of 40 per cent canopy cover by 2040 through the Urban Forest Strategy – planting more than 33,000 trees since 2012.

Even more areas of the city will be transformed from grey to green with $3.9 million to support greening projects including the Swanston Street Triangle, Chapman Street Reserve, Roden Street and MacKenzie Street.

A further $300,000 will encourage the private sector to contribute more towards greening our city, through Council’s match-funding Urban Forest Fund.

The City of Melbourne will continue building toward its zero-carbon target through a $281,000 investment in Retrofit Melbourne – to advance the city’s plan to support commercial building retrofits for a healthier, more sustainable city.

The draft Budget 2024–25 will be announced on Tuesday 14 May, with public consultation to follow until 5pm Monday 3 June.

“This draft Budget will be about doing what counts and delivering on our promises to the community – continuing to transform our city from grey to green in neighbourhoods that need it most, like Southbank,” Lord Mayor Sally Capp said.

“As more and more people choose to make the City of Melbourne their home – we want to ensure all our residents have access to green, open space.”

“Increasing greening and canopy cover further improves environmental biodiversity and helps to mitigate climate change effects, future-proofing the health of our city.”

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