This Tuesday the City of Melbourne's Councillors will consider a plan for a new 5,000 sqm urban park for Southbank - the municipality’s most densely populated suburb - which has the least amount of public open space per person in the City of Melbourne.
The $3.5m Boyd Park Concept Plan aims to "create a backyard" for Southbank residents and to provide flexible and playful spaces that support a range of activities. The concept plan builds on Boyd’s former use as a school and current function as a vibrant community hub.
A draft concept plan for the park was presented to the community from 23 November to 22 December 2017, with a community workshop held on 7 December 2017 followed by presentations to key stakeholders and the creation of a summer pop-up.
As part of the plan, a future development site at 132 Kavanagh Street will be tendered with the development footprint being reduced in size from 2,356 to 1,834 sqm to improve park access, with an additional condition that any new development should not interfere with the new park.
An off-lead dog area was also high on the community’s wish list for Southbank and CoM are looking at an adjoining area that may be appropriate for this use.
In 2007, the City of Melbourne acquired the site of the former Boyd School located on City Road near Kings Way and has continued working towards the goal of creating a vibrant community hub.
As the city grows rapidly, we know that more than 80 per cent of residents live in apartments so open space will continue to be absolutely critical to maintain liveability.
This plan is a clear case of Southbank residents and businesses asking for community facilities and the City of Melbourne getting on to deliver it. The new park will include an interactive, age-appropriate playground with facilities for young families, a communal garden and leafy grassed places for people to relax alongside improved pedestrian and cycle connections.
For active sports such as basketball, we’re exploring options to further expand the size of the park by utilising the nearby Kings Way under-croft: an innovative and exciting idea that we are looking forward to speaking with the community about.
This urban park will be a much-needed backyard for Southbank residents. It has been a long time in the making and will add an important recreational focal point for the local community.
Southbank’s 22,000 strong residential population and its 50,000 daily workforce are expected to double in the next decade, placing even more pressure on the area’s limited open spaces.
These requirements will ensure that the design for the adjoining development is undertaken in a manner that adds value to the urban park and overcomes many of the challenges experienced by the community who have outgrown the existing facilities.
- Arron Wood, Acting Lord Mayor
The City of Melbourne is preparing documents for the public tender of the private development site at 132 Kavanagh Street. Strict conditions will require the successful bidder to deliver additional community facilities for the Boyd Hub, as well as the inclusion of affordable housing and a high green star rating in their development.
Demolition of the old classroom building to the rear of Boyd Hub will commence in May with construction on the new park expected to commence in August this year.