Redefining Docklands’ neighbourhood
29 May 2012
By Andrew Yeung
The City of Melbourne wants to create quality public space including multi-purpose parks and main streets extension, according to its recently-released Docklands Public Realm Plan (DPRP).
The plan will ensure much more space for recreational and sporting facilities and events in Docklands.
A new “Western Park” will contain a potential football oval that can accommodate major events for up to 15,000 people.
The park will have facilities for barbecues, picnics, rock-climbing, ball sports and play space for children over four years old.
The council plans to upgrade the Moonee Ponds Creek corridor with a new cycle path from Footscray Rd to Western Park on Docklands Drive.
Collins St will extend from Merchant St to an intersection with Bourke St then to the end of North Wharf, the plan says.
The Collins and Bourke streets junction will become a civic square providing access to library, boating hub and, potentially, a swimming pool.
Bourke St will extend to the river’s edge and end as a transport hub with the Collins St tram terminus and access to water transport.
Dock Square will be one of the medium-sized event venues alongside Harbour Esplanade and NewQuay Central Park after the proposed upgrade.
The Collins St extension will lead to a new maritime park for visitors to learn about the former Australian Wharf. The park will be called Sir John Coode Park.
Yarra’s Edge promenade will extend to the Bolte Bridge with a small new park opposite North Wharf.
The council says there is potential for a pedestrian footbridge across Victoria Harbour and the Yarra River via the three waterfront parks.
The council plans to upgrade the Dudley St railway underpass and further integrate Dudley St and Docklands Drive.
Other main street upgrades include building independent cycle lanes on LaTrobe St and achieving at least 40 per cent tree canopy cover in all new streets.
The council says there is chance to build a pedestrian connection between the stadium concourse and Lonsdale St over the rail infrastructure. The council is currently investigating the potential of this idea.
Harbour Esplanade will remain the main civic focus for events, water-based activity and outdoor dining with improved vehicle access.
Victoria Green will undergo a minor expansion to create play space for children under six and to accommodate small-scale events. Seafarers Rest and Point Park will be upgraded to provide room for play and small events.
The Lord Mayor Robert Doyle said the release of the plan was an important next step in planning for Docklands in the second decade that will result in a more integrated public realm.
“Over the next 10 years we are determined to deliver community infrastructure of the highest quality, such as a new library and community hub,” he said.
“The plan will ensure the public places in our newest precinct are cohesive, community-friendly and diverse.”
Public consultation on the plan will be held at the Docklands Hub on Wednesday, June 13 between 5.30pm and 6.30pm and Saturday, June 16 between 11am and 12pm.
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