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.
Earlier this year we asked for your feedback on a draft Open Space Strategy, which will guide how we manage Yarra's open spaces for the next 15 years.
A big thanks to everyone who took the time to share their thoughts with us through our survey and pop-up info sessions across Yarra.
The final Open Space Strategy was adopted at a council meeting on Tuesday 1 September 2020. It proposes 28 new potential open spaces across Yarra.
What's changed since the draft?
We made a few changes while finalising the strategy to address your feedback:
- Additional open spaces are proposed in both Collingwood and Central Richmond precincts.
- We've added a new proposed open space near the Former Police Workshop on Wellington Street in Collingwood.
- A new proposed small local open space has been added close to growth areas in in Central Richmond.
- We've added more text in the technical report to acknowledge the high level of support our community has for urban greening.
- We've clarified the difference between 'open space' and 'streetscapes'.
- Information has been added to address the issue of increased density on the use and provision of open space.
- The open space contribution program has been updated to reflect the additional projects.
You can read the final strategy and technical reports via the Document Library.
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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.