Sunday, May 26, 2024

$29.5m parks investment proposed for Melbourne

The City of Melbourne Council has announced it will convert concrete areas into new parks and public squares for its growing population as part of a proposed $29.5 million investment in open space.

“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,” said Lord Mayor, Sally Capp.

“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.”

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

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.

In the city’s most densely populated residential neighbourhood of Southbank, Council says it 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,” Council says.

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

An additional $1.7 million will be budgeted to plant another 3,000 trees across the municipality, the Council confirmed.

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

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

“Our parks and gardens are a key part of what makes Melbourne the most liveable city in Australia – that’s why we’re making sure we continue to preserve and create even more green spaces,” said Environment portfolio lead Councillor, Rohan Leppert.

“Our significant investment will ensure nature in our city flourishes – improving the wellbeing of our community and creating a more resilient city in the face of climate change.”   

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

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