Last year, the City of Melbourne announced a $1.8 million Green Your Laneway project, which would see four of Melbourne's 200 laneways be transformed into verdant urban oases. Hundreds of public nominations and trucks of soil later, the first of these green laneways has finally be unveiled to the public: Coromandel Place.
Coromandel – which juts off Little Collins Street between Russell and Exhibition streets – has been revamped with 14 planter boxes of Boston Ivy and Creeping Fig, trees, pot plants and street murals by local artists Ghostpatrol and Al Stark. And this isn't just a surface makeover: the bluestone kerbing and asphalt was excavated so that new soil and irrigation systems could be installed to support the plants. Over time, these plants are expected to creep along the walls of laneway, so that in five years' time, Coromandel will be completely green.
The next laneway up for a green transformation is Guildford Place. Street art-lovers will be excited to hear that it will feature a mural of an overgrown factory by Melbourne artist Mike Makatron. You can get to know the ins and outs of the Guildford Place project on the Green Laneways website, where a fun interactive concept design reveals all the additions to the laneway when you click on those blue buttons:
Spoiler: it will have a communal garden for locals to grow their favourite plants!
Lord Mayor Robert Doyle has big plans for Melbourne's laneways, which attract huge numbers of tourists per year. "There are more than 200 lanes in our central city and they offer great opportunity for renewal," he said. "We can transform these laneways with plants and trees to help cool the city, improve air quality and clean stormwater."