City of Melbourne calls for submissions for Birrarung Marr Master Plan

The City of Melbourne, via its Participate Melbourne channel, is calling for community input to inform a new Master Plan to guide the future development, management and use of Birrarung Marr over the next 20 years.

Since its completion in 2002, Birrarung Marr has provided critically needed open space within the central city, linking Federation Square and the city with Melbourne Park's Sports Precinct.

Located along the northern banks of the Yarra River, Birrarung Marr was the first major open space to be built in Melbourne in a century, delivering an urban contemporary landscape that was conceived as a place for people to gather and celebrate public activities and events, attracting more than 2.8m visitors per year.

As such the City of Melbourne is asking for submissions detailing what aspects of Birrarung Marr Melburnians most value in addition to any ideas they may have to help inform its future, providing Council with the basis to then develop a considered Master Plan.

Birrarung Marr has become a key public space for Melbourne. Image: Urban Initiatives

The purpose of the Master Plan will be to outline a vision for the future of Birrarung Marr for the next 20 years, establishing a set of guiding principles and actions to be implemented. 

Developing the Master Plan requires detailed research, planning and a collaborative approach involving key stakeholder and community engagement. The findings from the analysis will then inform the City of Melbourne about community use of the park, landscape character, pedestrian accessibility, horticulture, and other social and environmental values of the park.

In line with its Urban Forest Strategy, The City of Melbourne is investigating opportunities to improve the current layout and infrastructure at Birrarung Marr and to explore how it can be better utilised to provide both a local park experience for residents and workers and continue to support its role as a major city drawcard.

It’s estimated that 4.6 million visitors use Birrarung Marr annually. It’s well utilised by the worker and residential population, and is a key event space for Melbourne’s cultural calendar. It’s also an important meeting place for the Aboriginal community and celebrates their connection to the land and the Yarra River. ‘Birrrarung’ (river of mists) is the Wurrundjeri name for the river and ‘Marr’ relates to ‘side of the river’.

In recent years, population growth and construction projects in and around Birrarung Marr have changed the way that people access and use the park. Some areas of the park are in need of upgrade or repair while others are not being utilised to their full potential. There’s an opportunity to explore how this capital city park can be better managed to provide a local park experience for visitors, residents and workers while continuing its role as a major events space into the future. There’s also an opportunity to celebrate and improve the social, environmental, recreational and cultural functions of the park, and the importance of its connection to Traditional Owners.

- City of Melbourne

For ease of identification and to narrow the focus of submissions, the City of Melbourne has divided the park into seven zones, as illustrated in the map below:

Birrarung Marr has been divided into seven zones for community feedback. Image : City of Melbourne

To get involved:

  • Share your story online here
  • Complete the online survey
  • Upload your photo to Instagram using the hashtag #lovebirrarungmarr

You can also drop in and provide feedback at one of the various pop-ups from 14 March to 3 April 2018.

Lead Image: Taylor Cullity Lethlean

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