It’s estimated that 4.6 million visitors use Birrarung Marr annually. It’s well utilised by the worker and residential population, and is a key event space for Melbourne’s cultural calendar. It’s also an important meeting place for the Aboriginal community and celebrates their connection to the land and the Yarra River. ‘Birrrarung’ (river of mists) is the Wurrundjeri name for the river and ‘Marr’ relates to ‘side of the river’.
In recent years, population growth and construction projects in and around Birrarung Marr have changed the way that people access and use the park. Some areas of the park are in need of upgrade or repair while others are not being utilised to their full potential. There’s an opportunity to explore how this capital city park can be better managed to provide a local park experience for visitors, residents and workers while continuing its role as a major events space into the future. There’s also an opportunity to celebrate and improve the social, environmental, recreational and cultural functions of the park, and the importance of its connection to Traditional Owners.
A master plan outlines a vision for the future of a the Birrarung Marr parkland and establishes the principles and actions that will guide management of the park over the next 20 years.
Developing the master plan requires a combination of research, planning and key stakeholder and community engagement. This resulting analysis will tell us about community use of the park, landscape character, pedestrian accessibility, horticulture, and other social and environmental values of the park.
In 2002, Birrarung Marr was the first major open space to be built in Melbourne in a century. It was a well-designed urban contemporary landscape and a key capital city park designed to support events and passive park use. It is well-utilised by visitors, city workers and residents.
The park is also an important event space for Melbourne’s cultural calendar. Birrarung Marr attracts more than 2.8m visitors per year (without considering event attenders), which is the equivalent to 28 full-capacity events at the MCG. The park was created as a place for people – a shared space that creates a community and celebrates public activity.
The City of Melbourne is committed to improve the quality of green spaces in our city and acknowledges that there are lot of opportunities to improve the current layout and infrastructure at Birrarung Marr. Similarly, there is a need to explore how this capital city park can be better used and managed to provide both a local park experience for residents and workers and continue to support its role as a major city drawcard.
We want to ensure its ongoing role in providing both passive and active recreation as well as events opportunities within the central city, whilst also ensuring that the importance of its connection to Traditional Owners is further enhanced and celebrated.
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Please note that the City of Melbourne is subject to the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (Vic) legislation. The Freedom of Information Act 1982 gives individuals and corporations a general right of access to documents held by Council. This includes documents created by Council, documents held by contracted service providers and documents supplied to Council by external organisations or individuals.
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Updated August 2019
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