Planning new public spaces
Southbank is Melbourne’s most densely populated suburb with a population of 20,000 residents and 45,000 workers. The residential population is forecast to rise by 175 per cent in the next 15 years.
The area has the least amount of public open space per person in Melbourne at just 2.5 square metres per person – Melbourne’s open space target is 21 square metres per person. This continues to decrease with each new development. With over 96 per cent of Southbank’s population living in apartments with little access to outdoor space, creating new and accessible public open space is crucial.
The creation of new public open space through Southbank Boulevard, is a joint State Government and City of Melbourne initiative as outlined in the Southbank Structure Plan (2010), the Melbourne Arts Precinct Blueprint (2011) and Council’s Open Space Strategy (2012). It is possible because traffic on Southbank Boulevard fell from 40,000 – 50,000 vehicles a day to 13,000 vehicles a day when Queensbridge Square was opened in 2001.
Over the last two years, we have undertaken extensive site analysis to determine where new public space could be created. This includes:
- traffic modelling
- traffic engineering
- flood and soil analysis
- solar access mapping
- extensive discussions with property owners and key stakeholders.
We’ve have also used ideas and feedback from community consultation to create the Southbank Boulevard and Dodds Street Draft Concept Plan.