The Future Park Design Ideas Competition: New Public Space for Melbourne

Park and Square moving image

In 1837 surveyor Hoddle’s plan laid the foundations for the city of Melbourne, transforming the endemic landscape of wetlands, open grasslands and custodial lands of the Kulin nation into a speculative real estate grid surrounded by colonial parkland. Featuring a botanic garden, a Domain, along with other significant garden squares and parks, this generous layer of open space was integral to the development of ‘Marvellous’ Melbourne – a vibrant late nineteenth century city of international prominence.

Fast forward, and Melbourne’s rapid millennium growth has reshaped the city centre and inner suburbs into a dense urbanism, with apartment towers and medium density housing constructed on former industrial sites and lining major transport corridors. Melbourne is now considered the fourth fastest growing city in the OECD, and is expected by 2050 to eclipse Sydney as Australia’s largest city. This population growth and densification raises questions over the capacity of existing parks to meet the needs of the contemporary city.

This idea competition challenges professional and emerging landscape architects, urban designers, architects and planners to speculate on new park possibilities for a future Melbourne. How can parks shape Melbourne’s urban form? Where should this new public open space be located, how should it be configured and what is its role? Is a new signature park in the spirit of Seoul’s Cheonggyecheon Park (2005) or Moscow Zaryadye Park (2018) appropriate, or instead smaller sequences of parks? Should parks be designed at ground level or are other spatial locations possible?

For more information see the competition website here.