Earlier this year, the Melbourne city council announced a proposal to pursue a city-shaping Greenline project to transform the north bank of the Yarra River into a green, ‘High Line’-style development. After consulting with the local community, the council has now released a full vision for this plan for councillors to consider at a committee meeting on December 7.
The main aim of the project is to deliver an uninterrupted journey from Birrarung Marr to the Bolte Bridge and to develop a green area that can serve as a premier destination for workers, tourists and residents to enjoy. The plan is set to inject more than $1 billion in economic activity into the area and create up to 1,000 jobs over the life of the project.
“Just as Southbank and Federation Square energised Melbourne at the turn of the century, Greenline will usher in a new era for our city at a time we need it most,” says lord mayor Sally Capp, who adds that she expects the project to reignite the CBD.
The Greenline, which the Melbourne city council describes as being "distinctly Melbourne" in a press release, will involve significant upgrades along the river. These upgrades include expanding the promenade along the Birrarung Marr precinct; improving connections from Swanston Street to the river and to Flinders Street Station; upgrading the historic Banana Alley vaults and the lower promenade in the Yarro Yarro precinct; and a continuous riverside link to Docklands.
On top of these upgrades and expansions, the Greenline plan also outlines a new park at the end of the Salt Water Wharf district and improvements to biodiversity, ecology and tree canopy cover to attract wildlife along the north bank and river edge.
As outlined in the original proposal, the heart of the project remains to celebrate the Aboriginal heritage of the river.
“We’re proud to work closely with the Aboriginal community to develop this plan, and now we want to work together to build it and bring it to life,” says Aboriginal Melbourne portfolio deputy lead councillor Dr Olivia Ball.
While much of the Greenline initiative is still in the planning stage and will require approval, some early aspects of the project have already been completed. An upgrade to Enterprize Park is underway, with the addition of an extra 1,000 square metres of green lawn.