Melbourne is going green, and we're all about it. Earlier this year, the City of Melbourne announced the launch of a $1.2 million green facelift, called the Urban Forest Fund, which will see hundreds of new trees and rooftop gardens popping up across the city. Yesterday, they unveiled our first 'green laneway', filled with sprawling vines, planter boxes and murals.
Now, it's Southbank's turn. The inner-city suburb south of the Yarra is the most densely populated suburb in Melbourne, with 20,000 residents and 50,000 office workers. With the number of residents expected to grow by 175 per cent over the next 15 years, keeping the suburb open and liveable is a priority for the City of Melbourne.
The solution? Lots of new public open space – 2.5 hectares of it, to be exact – on Southbank Boulevard and Dodds Street, plus the potential for new bike lanes, upgraded tram stops with 'green' tram tracks, parks and plenty more trees. "In Melbourne and in other cities around the world, governments are looking to turn underutilised roads and car parks into important green space," said Lord Mayor Robert Doyle.
Today, the City of Melbourne released a series of artist's impressions of what Southbank could look like by 2020. These propositions are all being considered by the Future Melbourne Committee.
"Dodds Street will be remade into a public space that can cater for everything from street performances to farmers markets and medium-scale music festivals at the doorstep of the Victorian College of the Arts," said Doyle.
Here's Dodd's Street with a glimpse of the new Conservatorium of Music, currently in construction:
Fern-lined boardwalks will be a far cry from Southbank's current narrow footpaths:
People working in the area will have pleasant spots to spend their lunch breaks:
Here's the view outside Southbank Theatre and Melbourne Recital Centre:
"The new public space planned for the front of the ABC alone would be roughly the same size as the City Square," said Doyle.
We'll provide more updates on the changing face of Melbourne as they come.