We love our open spaces in Yarra.

Our City is home to great parks, reserves, urban spaces and waterways that people of all ages and abilities can enjoy. With a growing population and increasing density, it's important that quality open space is within a safe and easy walk.

We've prepared a draft Open Space Strategy to guide how we manage Yarra's open spaces over the next 15 years. The strategy also identifies 26 potential new open spaces to help meet the needs of our growing and diverse community.

What informed the draft strategy

Nearly 2,000 people have told us what they value about open space and how we can make Yarra's open space network available and enjoyable for everybody. We've undertaken surveys, listening posts and have spoken to various community groups and committees.

You told us that:

  • you’d like more open space within walking distance to your home and / or workplace
  • greenery and trees are important to you
  • you use open space to relax, unwind and escape the built environment
  • you value open space for the sense of green and openness it provides.

We've incorporated this feedback along with various technical inputs into a draft strategy for your comment.

Have your say

Take the short survey or come and talk to us at one of our pop-up sessions:

  • Wednesday 5 February 2020, 10 am to 12 noon
    Connie Benn Centre, Fitzroy.
  • Wednesday 12 February 2020, 11.30 am to 1.30 pm
    Peel Street Park, Collingwood.
  • Thursday 20 February 2020, 4 pm to 6 pm
    Edinburgh Gardens, North Fitzroy.
  • Saturday 22 February 2020, 10 am to 12 noon
    Citizens Park, Richmond.

This is your chance to shape the future of Yarra’s open spaces.

Consultation ended on Sunday 15 March 2020. Thank you to everyone who provided feedback.

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Overall directions

There is potential to improve the quality of selected existing open spaces in the City by:

  • increasing the diversity of facilities to appeal to everyone in the community to encourage everyone to exercise, socialise and improve their fitness and health
  • improving maintenance of open spaces, e.g. open grassed areas remain useable all year
  • improving care and maintenance of mature canopy trees
  • identifying opportunities to create multi-use spaces that are shared and adaptable, minimising the provision of single-use facilities
  • activate open spaces that are currently underutilised
  • strengthen the biodiversity and habitat values of open spaces.

As an established inner-urban municipality, the City of Yarra is experiencing significant change and growth. The strategy has identified and prioritised a series of new open spaces, with priority given to locations where higher levels of growth is forecast. Additional open spaces have been identified based on:

  • areas where existing open space is experiencing high levels of use or over-use. This includes providing new open space to take the pressure off existing spaces to meet everyone’s needs
  • gaps in the provision of any open space
  • medium and high-density precincts where substantial change is forecast and the new community will require additional open space
  • where providing green open space in medium and high density precincts will assist to mitigate the urban heat island effect.
  • Where feasible, open space will be well distributed through high-density precincts and feature natural features such as large canopy trees and planted surfaces that absorb moisture. This will offset some impacts of increased urban heat, which is exacerbated by high-density development, particularly multi-level buildings.
  • Future open spaces within high-density precincts will aim to irrigate from sustainable water sources, for example stormwater harvesting and re-use.
  • Existing and future open spaces will be large enough to sustainably grow large broad canopy trees that are effective at evapo-transpiration, which assists urban cooling.
  • Create adaptable open spaces that allow sunlight and warmth during the winter months and excellent shade and cooling in the summer. The cool spaces will provide comfortable, free outdoor spaces for the community to retreat to during periods of extended heat.

Research confirms that a linked and accessible open space network that people can easily walk to improves community health and wellbeing. The community is more likely to visit open space if it is nearby. This offers a range of benefits, including:

  • physical fitness by walking, cycling, jogging, informal ball sports and using fitness equipment
  • physical fitness by participating in organised sport
  • places to exercise dogs on and off-leash.
  • social connectedness and sense of belonging to the community by creating places to meet
  • children are more likely to visit and play in open space independently of their parents if it is located within 150 to 300 metres of where they live. This improves their self-confidence and physical development
  • relax and unwind in green open space. Research demonstrates that nature contributes to our ability to relax.

The United Nationals Sustainable Development Goal 11.7 aims to achieve the following: By 2030, provide universal access to safe, inclusive and accessible green and public spaces, in particular for women and children, older persons and persons with disabilities. The strategy aims to achieve this through:

  • identifying gap areas in which new open space is needed so that everyone can easily access open space
  • including design guidelines that encourage natural features in the design of existing and new open space, particularly in medium and high density precincts
  • including recommendations to achieve good winter sunlight access to open space
  • including design guidelines that promote universal access, diversity and inclusion in the design of upgrades to existing open space and new open space
  • strengthening the natural biodiversity values of open space, including the use of native and indigenous vegetation where appropriate to the local context and cultural heritage values
  • using mature and new large, broad spreading canopy trees for effective evapo-transpiration, shade and habitat
  • promoting the irrigation of open space from sustainable water sources to support natural turf and garden beds where possible.

Opportunities for new open space

Move the slider to see where the strategy suggests opportunities for new open space across Yarra, or visit the precinct pages for more detail on what's proposed in your neighbourhood.

Note: These are indicative only. The final location, size and designs will be determined with the community during implementation.

Existing open space in Yarra Proposed new open spaces in Yarra

Take the draft Open Space Strategy survey

Below is a summary of the overall directions in the draft strategy. Tell us how important each of them are to you and why.
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Provide additional open space so that the majority of people who live and work in the City of Yarra are within easy walking distance of open space (Diagram C in the Strategy).
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Encourage people to be outdoors and to exercise and keep fit by providing a diverse range of facilities in open space.
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Increase opportunities for people of all ages, abilities and cultural backgrounds to access, participate and enjoy open space.
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Maximise opportunities for open space to have large canopy shade trees and natural features including grass and garden beds to keep them cooler in the summer and mitigate urban heat.
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Investigate the provision of additional dog off-leash areas as part of the future review of the Domestic Animal Management Plan.
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Implement an open space contribution rate of up to 10 per cent in the Yarra Planning Scheme that applies to new development. This is so the new population contributes fairly to new open space and improvements to existing open space.
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Continue to deliver sustainable water harvesting and reuse, contributing to increased urban greening in open space, particularly in higher density areas.
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Improve biodiversity values along waterway corridors, including the Yarra River, Merri Creek and Darebin Creek with appropriate revegetation.
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Encourage participation in organised sport by providing adequate open space and upgrading facilities to be more inclusive for everyone.
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Stay informed

If you'd like to be kept up-to-date about the project, please provide your contact details below.

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The personal information requested on this form is being collected by the City of Yarra for the purpose of understanding community views about open space provision in the municipality. The personal information will be used solely by Council for that primary purpose or directly related purposes. View our Privacy Policy.


The survey form is now closed. Thanks for your contributions.