The City of Melbourne is committed to developing green space and new play opportunities in North Melbourne, so we can sustainably meet the recreation and environmental needs of our growing population.
The new design has increased the existing park by 47%. The layout will provide additional play spaces, refurbished equipment and seating, as well as another picnic area.
The long term ecological sustainability of the neighbourhood will also be enhanced through:
- planting of 89 new trees
- a diverse mix of native shrubs
- the introduction of water-sensitive garden beds.
Construction began in August 2018, with the park closing to visitors temporarily. The new playground has been open for the public to enjoy since February, with the full 2931 m of the park open since April 2019.
- What type of new trees will be planted?
The selection of tree species for the surrounding streets and park is guided by the Urban Forest Strategy and will complement the existing mature trees. New species will include both native and exotic deciduous species. The biodiversity planting in Dryburgh Street will be local native species of ground covers and shrubs.
- Will there be a loss of parking?
While initial plans suggested a net loss of five parking spots, the introduction of offset parking on Macaulay Road frontage is now not proceeding. Current modelling indicates that 19 spots on the western side of Dryburgh Street will be repurposed as part of the park expansion.
- Will there be public toilets installed in the park?
Public toilets are not being considered at Gardiner Reserve as our Open Space Strategy classifies this reserve as “local open space”, which is designed for local use and short stays. The installation of new toilets today is reserved for larger regional parks with high usage.
- Why has Gardiner Reserve been chosen for expansion and upgrade?
The City of Melbourne’s Open Space Strategy (2012) highlighted a current shortfall of open space in North Melbourne to adequately support its growing population. The existing amenities at Gardiner Reserve were due for refinishing and repairs, and community consultation suggested a need for additional group meeting spaces.
Close to $2million is being invested in upgrade works at Gardiner Reserve to provide a greener neighbourhood,with greater opportunities for outdoor recreation.
- What is the Open Space Strategy?
The Open Space Strategy plans for the future development of open space across the municipality now and into the future. It states that there is currently a lack of adequate open space in North Melbourne. Furthermore this suburb is experiencing significant population growth and needs additional open space to cater for this growth.
Feedback from the community survey outlined in the Strategy includes the following comments:
- Gardiner Reserve is already highly valued
- Open space is important in an urban setting, particularly as densities increase
- More open space is required in North Melbourne
- Additional trees are required
- The high level of maintenance of open space is valued.
The Strategy lists the reasons to visit Gardiner Reserve, including playground and equipment, proximity to home, dog walking, barbecues and picnics. Suggested improvements include additional play items for a broader age range of children, and more shade required.
- What is the Urban Forest Strategy?
The vision from the Urban Forest Strategy (2012) for North Melbourne’s urban forest is that it will be alive with colour, diversity and interest. Its shady, layered and connected canopy will provide a retreat for people and wildlife. The varied character of the precinct will be reflected in the character of plantings.
The wide road reserves are a unique feature of North Melbourne and these have facilitated the establishment of significant street trees that contribute to the natural landscape character of the precinct.
The Strategy aims to create a resilient, healthy and diverse urban forest which contributes to the health and wellbeing of the community and the creation of a liveable city. One of the key targets within the Strategy is to increase the canopy cover of Melbourne’s public realm to 40% by 2040. This will also help us to cope with climate change.
- How will you increase the size of Gardiner Reserve?
The upgrade works will expand the parkland into the western side of Dryburgh Street across to the centre median, significantly increasing the size of the park area by 47%. The new design minimises traffic disruption by continuing to allow for two-way traffic on the eastern side of Dryburgh Street. The tight turning point at the western end of O’Shanassy Street when turning right into Dryburgh Street will be removed to greatly improve the functionality and safety of this intersection.
- When will construction take place?
Construction commenced in August 2018 and will continue through until approximately March 2019, with tree planting to follow in April-May.
- Will there be much disruption during construction?
Gardiner Reserve has been closed for construction since August 2018. The playground will partially re-open on 1 February and the remainder of the park will re-open next year in approximately March 2019.
Two way traffic has been maintained on Dryburgh St with traffic control during construction and drivers are requested to proceed with caution during this time.
- Is the park heritage listed?
Gardiner Reserve is in the Heritage Overlay (HO3) North and West Melbourne Precinct. There is a picturesque gabled red brick Melbourne Electricity Supply substation on the Dryburgh Street frontage which is listed. The Reserve and the mature Plane and Pepper trees are also significant historically and aesthetically to North Melbourne.
Interestingly, there have been previous historic park expansions to Gardiner Reserve during the last century, including expansion into Haines Street and O’Shanassy Street.
- Will there be an opportunity to speak to someone about the proposed plans?
City of Melbourne sent letters to 2000 households near Gardiner Reserve to inform them of the proposed park upgrade and invite them to speak with park planners in the park on 9 September 2017. Residents were encouraged to access detailed information and submit their thoughts via this online portal or in-person. Overall, 71 community members provided input through the design phase.
If you would like more information about the plans please call 9658 9658 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Timeline item 1
Concept plan work and research
May 2017 to August 2017
Timeline item 2
Community engagement period
Friday 1 September to Friday 29 September 2017
Timeline item 3
Review Feedback and finalise concept plan
Timeline item 4
Prepare tender documentation and finalise permits
October to December 2017
Timeline item 5
Call, review and award tenders
January to June 2018
Timeline item 6
August 2018 to early 2019
Timeline item 7
Park open to visitors
Timeline item 8
Continued tree planting
Timeline item 9
Celebratory relaunch event
2 June 2019