A green facelift for Southern Cross Station concourses

A green facelift for Southern Cross Station concourses
Sean Car

The Department of Transport and Planning (DTP) has received matched funding from the City of Melbourne to create green infrastructure along the public concourses of Southern Cross Station.

The council has recently pledged $500,000 towards the project as part of the fifth round of its Urban Forest Funds program, which provides support to new greening projects on private property, such as green spaces, tree plantings, vertical greening, or green roofs.

This funding will be matched by DTP, which is understood to be planning new trees, plants, and open spaces for its ground-level concourse to help cool the station, reduce pollution, support biodiversity, boost the economy and improve health and wellbeing.

“With millions of passengers passing through Southern Cross annually, we approached City of Melbourne through their Urban Forest Fund to improve the environment at Victoria’s busiest public precinct and transport interchange,” a DTP spokesperson told Docklands News.

While more detailed project plans are expected to be revealed soon, the DTP said it supported the inclusion of green infrastructure, where practicable, on the transport network, and that any design concepts for greening Southern Cross Station were at a preliminary stage of development.

The project was one of four to receive funding under round five of the council’s Urban Forest program, which also included $400,000 towards the expansion of Melbourne SkyFarm Stage 2 located on a carpark at Siddeley St in Docklands.

The council will also contribute $500,000 towards the greening of Melbourne General Cemetery known as Project Cultivate, as well as $423,098 for a new rooftop space at its Make Room housing project in the CBD in partnership with Unison Housing.

The council’s environment portfolio lead Cr Rohan Leppert said such greening projects were a positive contributor to climate and biodiversity, beautifying the city, creating spaces for people to come together.  

“The Urban Forest Fund grant program has created jobs for Melburnians and generated almost five times the economic return on investment – providing a boost for city businesses,” Cr Leppert said.

 

We know Melburnians want to see more green spaces in their neighbourhoods, and we look forward to working with our latest grant recipients to transform even more areas of the city from grey to green.

 

According to the council, around 75 per cent of land within the municipality is not owned or managed by the City of Melbourne, creating significant potential for other landholders to contribute more towards greening our city.

The Urban Forest Fund aims to accelerate greening across the city’s private sector by providing matched funding grants, and the council prioritises greening projects which are publicly accessible and provide broad benefits to the public. 

Since 2017, the Urban Forest Fund has provided more than $1.7 million for greening projects valued at more than $10 million. The Urban Forest Fund has supported projects such as Melbourne Skyfarm, Meyers Place Green Wall, Printmakers Lane and Victoria Point’s garden along the Marvel Stadium concourse in Docklands.

The fund also aims to build partnerships between government and the private sector to deliver additional greening above and beyond the council’s existing capital works investment.

Urban Forest Fund applications are assessed by urban greening experts and community representatives to ensure projects deliver the best value for money and public benefit.

The council said it was working with successful round five grant recipients to finalise partnership agreements and project plans. More project information will be available in the coming months. •

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May 29th, 2024 - Docklands News
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