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Southbank is getting a $35 million green transformation

Rose Johnstone
Written by
Rose Johnstone
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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. 

Dodds Street looking north from Grant Street
Dodds Street looking north from Grant Street

Here's Dodd's Street with a glimpse of the new Conservatorium of Music, currently in construction:

Dodds Street interface with new Melbourne Conservatorium of Music linear park
Dodds Street interface with new Melbourne Conservatorium of Music linear park

 Fern-lined boardwalks will be a far cry from Southbank's current narrow footpaths:

Fawkner Street to City Road rainforest
Fawkner Street to City Road rainforest

People working in the area will have pleasant spots to spend their lunch breaks:   

Moore Street to Kavanagh Street with new neighbourhood park
Moore Street to Kavanagh Street with new neighbourhood park

 Here's the view outside Southbank Theatre and Melbourne Recital Centre: 

New public open space and trees from Sturt Street to St Kilda Road
New public open space and trees from Sturt Street to St Kilda Road

"The new public space planned for the front of the ABC alone would be roughly the same size as the City Square," said Doyle.

Open space in front of the ABC Southbank Centre
Open space in front of the ABC Southbank Centre

We'll provide more updates on the changing face of Melbourne as they come.

Read about the unveiling of Melbourne's first 'green laneway'.

Speaking of new developments, have you heard that Shakespeare's Globe is popping up in Melbourne later this year?

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