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Open space ideas hub - join the conversation

Artist impression

New public space and parkland

The Level Crossing Removal Authority is removing nine dangerous and congested level crossings between Caulfield and Dandenong by elevating the rail line in three sections. As well as making the community safer and less congested, this will also create 22.5 hectares of new community open space. This open space will transform a narrow corridor into Melbourne’s newest urban parkland.

Key features include a linear parkland, a 17 kilometre walking/cycling path which will extend from Monash University’s Caulfield Campus to the East Link Trail and seven new recreational areas for the community to enjoy. Additionally, we will installing more than 400 brand new car parks and planting more than 30,000 new trees and shrubs.

Community Open Space Expert Panel

A Community Open Space Expert Panel (COSEP) was established to oversee plans for the new public open space. For information on the panel visit Community Open Space Expert Panel. COSEP's key feedback, ideas and recommendations are summarised in the Community Open Space Expert Panel Report.

Open Space Ideas Hub

This Open Space Ideas Hub was launched in December 2016 - we wanted to hear your thoughts on some of the ideas the Community Open Space Expert Panel generated - as well as your own creative ideas of how we can transform the rail corridor into an attractive and safe environment for Melburnians to enjoy! This Open Space Ideas Hub closed on 30 June 2017.

The feedback and ideas received via the Open Space Ideas Hub are summarised in the Open Space Consultation Report. Thank you to everyone who provided feedback.

Open space design

On 13 November 2017 we released the final designs for the new open space. Refer to the documents and images on the right hand side of this page for further information.


Landscaping

The new urban park will be complete in late 2018. Works will kick off once the current rail line has been moved onto the elevated structure and the old tracks are removed. Vegetation and tree planting will be last, to minimise damage to trees and plants during construction works.

New public space and parkland

The Level Crossing Removal Authority is removing nine dangerous and congested level crossings between Caulfield and Dandenong by elevating the rail line in three sections. As well as making the community safer and less congested, this will also create 22.5 hectares of new community open space. This open space will transform a narrow corridor into Melbourne’s newest urban parkland.

Key features include a linear parkland, a 17 kilometre walking/cycling path which will extend from Monash University’s Caulfield Campus to the East Link Trail and seven new recreational areas for the community to enjoy. Additionally, we will installing more than 400 brand new car parks and planting more than 30,000 new trees and shrubs.

Community Open Space Expert Panel

A Community Open Space Expert Panel (COSEP) was established to oversee plans for the new public open space. For information on the panel visit Community Open Space Expert Panel. COSEP's key feedback, ideas and recommendations are summarised in the Community Open Space Expert Panel Report.

Open Space Ideas Hub

This Open Space Ideas Hub was launched in December 2016 - we wanted to hear your thoughts on some of the ideas the Community Open Space Expert Panel generated - as well as your own creative ideas of how we can transform the rail corridor into an attractive and safe environment for Melburnians to enjoy! This Open Space Ideas Hub closed on 30 June 2017.

The feedback and ideas received via the Open Space Ideas Hub are summarised in the Open Space Consultation Report. Thank you to everyone who provided feedback.

Open space design

On 13 November 2017 we released the final designs for the new open space. Refer to the documents and images on the right hand side of this page for further information.


Landscaping

The new urban park will be complete in late 2018. Works will kick off once the current rail line has been moved onto the elevated structure and the old tracks are removed. Vegetation and tree planting will be last, to minimise damage to trees and plants during construction works.

  • New open space in Glen Eira

    7 months ago

    Glen Eira City Council see the creation of a new linear park as having potential to positively shape the way its community lives, moves and recreates.

    The linear park will connect suburbs to north and south of the linear park. Places that have traditionally ‘had their back’ to the rail corridor, will see new connections that link local footpaths, bicycle paths and existing open spaces. This will make it easier to get to places by walking or riding — meaning that walking to the shops or cafes can be a pleasant, traffic-free experience.... Continue reading

    Glen Eira City Council see the creation of a new linear park as having potential to positively shape the way its community lives, moves and recreates.

    The linear park will connect suburbs to north and south of the linear park. Places that have traditionally ‘had their back’ to the rail corridor, will see new connections that link local footpaths, bicycle paths and existing open spaces. This will make it easier to get to places by walking or riding — meaning that walking to the shops or cafes can be a pleasant, traffic-free experience.

    Glen Eira has the lowest amount of public open space of any metropolitan municipality — combine this with residential growth along the rail corridor, means that finding useful open space is near impossible. The project is an opportunity to address many of these historical open space deficiencies and explore creative approaches to activating new open spaces along the corridor.

    The new public space in Carnegie will provide a range of active, social and flexible spaces able to be used for a range of community events. Council is continuing to advocate for, and explore ways, to introduce further green spaces at Carnegie and Murrumbeena station precincts.

    Throughout the COSEP process, I have been keen to encourage additional open space opportunities beyond those identified by the Level Crossing Removal Authority. For example, how the linear park links with Boyd Park’s shared path and very unique native landscape character, or how the shared path links into Monash University and Caulfield Station.

    One of the valuable aspects of the COSEP process has been leveraging a combination of leading designers, creative minds and local knowledge. This has allowed me to raise, advocate and explore a range of ideas and issues, but with the benefit of a wide range of knowledge and expertise — all of which I hope results in a linear park that really adds to the local communities and provides unique new local landscapes.

    Matthew Barbetta - Glen Eira City Council

    Community Open Space Expert Panel member

  • New Public Space and Parkland in Noble Park

    8 months ago

    Greater Dandenong Council is excited about the new public open space and recreation opportunities that the Caulfield to Dandenong Linear Park will provide for the Noble Park community. As a member of the Community Open Space Expert Panel (COSEP), part of my role is to ensure Council’s views and local knowledge, as well as the community’s voice, is represented and reflected in the design of this space.

    Noble Park is an incredibly diverse community, with 60 per cent of its residents born overseas and speaking a language other than English. Aside from its cultural diversity, the number of young families... Continue reading

    Greater Dandenong Council is excited about the new public open space and recreation opportunities that the Caulfield to Dandenong Linear Park will provide for the Noble Park community. As a member of the Community Open Space Expert Panel (COSEP), part of my role is to ensure Council’s views and local knowledge, as well as the community’s voice, is represented and reflected in the design of this space.

    Noble Park is an incredibly diverse community, with 60 per cent of its residents born overseas and speaking a language other than English. Aside from its cultural diversity, the number of young families and children is forecast to significantly increase by more than 66 per cent in Noble Park by 2024. The best open space design for Noble Park will be one where the diverse needs of the community are met. My role is to ensure that these new public open spaces not only maintain Noble Park’s identity but also enrich the social and cultural aspects of the community. Innovative, vibrant and inclusive high quality design will assist in evoking a high level of civic pride.

    One of the benefits of the linear park trail is that the shared bicycle and pedestrian path will link new parkland at Ross Reserve to Noble Park Train Station and the shopping precinct. With a high proportion of residents already walking to Ross Reserve, the shops or the station, the new shared path will make it quicker and easier for people to access all the local facilities.

    Within Ross Reserve there is a potential opportunity to create an urban woodland where people can walk or sit under the shade of trees, enjoy the local birdlife, watch the passing cyclists on the shared path, or take a stroll through the local area. This area of parkland is quite large, so there are benefits to planting larger trees, such as eucalypts in some areas and smaller trees in other areas. Noble Park’s vegetation history is reflected in its remnant stands of River Red Gums. In some sections of the new park there may be an opportunity to utilise some of the salvaged River Redgum timber to create new park seating and landscape elements.

    The City of Greater Dandenong expects that the new shared path will attract fitness enthusiasts. Enhancing this attraction, the possibility of installing an additional path at Ross Reserve, similar to The Tan in the city, as well as circuit exercise equipment and drinking fountains will be investigated.

    Many Noble Park residents enjoy walking their dogs and socialising with their friends, so there may be the opportunity to provide an enclosed dog off leash area with shade trees and seating.

    Ross Reserve’s world class skate park is unique among all other skate parks within south eastern Melbourne. We are keen to ensure that the new activation space on Heatherton Road builds upon the existing vibrant park precinct. Introducing new types of play such as table tennis and fitness equipment that caters for a range of age groups are great opportunities. We anticipate that this new open space will continue to grow in popularity both during the day and evening, to complement the existing skatepark. We want to ensure this space is visually interesting and inviting.

    Finally, the new elevated Noble Park Train Station, connecting road and landscaped station plaza will provide an exciting and dynamic new heart to the shopping area.

    We want to encourage the community to embrace this new green space as an inviting gathering place with shade trees, a large lawn area and a variety of seating, tables and bike facilities. For those wanting to access Ross Reserve from the train station or explore further along the linear park network towards Dandenong or Springvale, the new shared path will make it easier to walk or cycle.

    These public space outcomes are a once in a life time opportunity for the Noble Park community.

    Tell us what you think or what you would like to see in your local community. This is your chance to guide the area’s future and have a say in the new open spaces being created for you.

    Jane Brodie, Coordinator Strategic, Design and Sustainability Planning, Greater Dandenong Council

    Community Open Space Expert Panel Member


  • Community Open Space Expert Panel

    8 months ago

    Being appointed as a community member of the Community Open Space Expert Panel (COSEP), I felt an inherent responsibility to represent my community to my greatest ability. To me, this meant acknowledging and avoiding my own unconscious bias and ensuring that I had equal regard for all members of the community in my feedback to COSEP. I wanted to be the voice of not just a town planner living in Carnegie but also the elderly man on his daily walk, the young family and their two energetic dogs, the teenagers, the university students and everyone else in between. I also... Continue reading

    Being appointed as a community member of the Community Open Space Expert Panel (COSEP), I felt an inherent responsibility to represent my community to my greatest ability. To me, this meant acknowledging and avoiding my own unconscious bias and ensuring that I had equal regard for all members of the community in my feedback to COSEP. I wanted to be the voice of not just a town planner living in Carnegie but also the elderly man on his daily walk, the young family and their two energetic dogs, the teenagers, the university students and everyone else in between. I also wanted to make sure those households and local business abutting the train line were properly considered. This was my objective for initially volunteering for COSEP and my ongoing aim at every meeting.

    The elevation of the rail will notably change these suburbs and it is critical that we get the planning right. The discussions within COSEP have exposed our strong professional and often emotional investment in the project and our collective desire to create exceptional spaces. We have spent many months debating and deliberating different options. We have covered topics such as the design and location of car parking and have struggled over the push and pull of providing car parking versus open space. We’ve plotted the location for a new shared pedestrian and bicycle path; a path that will be equally convenient and attractive. We’ve fought hard for the re-planting of trees that are compatible with the local ecology, and that are hardy and long-lasting. We’ve analysed ways to design soft landscaping that will contribute to the amenity and particular character of the different areas. We have discussed measures to activate the spaces, through both passive and active recreational opportunities for all ages and abilities to enjoy. An undercurrent to all our discussions has been the necessity to make these places safe, durable and reflective of the character of these individual communities.

    Through our meetings we have tackled challenges head on and scrutinised the draft designs I urge you as a fellow community member to get involved, to review and have your say on the Open Space Ideas Hub. It is with this involvement that we can ensure that we are creating the best spaces possible.

    Amy - Community Open Space Expert Panel member
  • Linear open space

    9 months ago

    The opportunity for linear open space as a community connector or artery is rarely properly understood and its parameters for success are often too narrow. In the case of the Cranbourne Pakenham Line project the open space connection can be much deeper than simply connecting places as a movement corridor and activated space at the ground level. The significant and more subtle potential for connection lies with the natural systems that, as a result of city-making, are normally disconnected, broken or removed. The proposed linear park/elevated rail offers opportunity for reconnection at new levels. If we can understand... Continue reading

    The opportunity for linear open space as a community connector or artery is rarely properly understood and its parameters for success are often too narrow. In the case of the Cranbourne Pakenham Line project the open space connection can be much deeper than simply connecting places as a movement corridor and activated space at the ground level. The significant and more subtle potential for connection lies with the natural systems that, as a result of city-making, are normally disconnected, broken or removed. The proposed linear park/elevated rail offers opportunity for reconnection at new levels. If we can understand this linear park as an opportunity for reconnecting nature we can begin to imagine a biodiverse corridor that conveys birds for its length. Kookaburras laughing or Whipbirds performing their duets can be imagined as part of the linear park system if there is a connective thread. Simple determination to see birds moving the length of the park highlights the need for trees in particular a joined up canopy of native trees so that birds are able to move and feed. A simple single idea can lead to a consistent approach in tree selection and draw attention to the significance of trees. This is an opportunity for further and meaningful connection as part of the open space system.

    Jon Shinkfield - Realm Studios

    Community Open Space Expert Panel Member

  • Bicycle and pedestrian path

    10 months ago

    It might be another year or so until the path is complete , but the new 17 km trail along the Caulfield to Dandenong Linear Park is so vivid in my mind that I can ride it right now in the virtual reality of my imagination.

    For the families along this 22.5 hectare stretch of open space, the new trail is going to be a source of exploration, discovery and adventure.

    It will be your new backyard—a very long backyard—where mum, dad, the kids and friends can bike, scoot, run and walk to their heart’s content, taking play, freedom and... Continue reading

    It might be another year or so until the path is complete , but the new 17 km trail along the Caulfield to Dandenong Linear Park is so vivid in my mind that I can ride it right now in the virtual reality of my imagination.

    For the families along this 22.5 hectare stretch of open space, the new trail is going to be a source of exploration, discovery and adventure.

    It will be your new backyard—a very long backyard—where mum, dad, the kids and friends can bike, scoot, run and walk to their heart’s content, taking play, freedom and fun to a whole new level—right below the elevated rail

    You will just jump on your bikes and within minutes find new neighbourhoods to explore. And there will be much to do along the way with so many attractions to access near the rail corridor.

    At the same time as you are expanding your horizons, everything will begin to feel closer because places will be so easy to get to. You won’t just have a bigger neighbourhood, it will be more familiar and you will discover new, places for shopping and socialising.

    And there will be practical advantages too. Getting to the railway stations for the daily commute will be so much easier by bike, and you will have secure bike parking to keep your bike safe.

    Great facilities like the linear trail being planned now just don’t appear by themselves. This is why Bicycle Network is so proud to be on the Community Open Space Expert Panel, helping the architects, urban designers, landscapers, community members and engineers bring this vision to reality.

    There is an art to designing great bike riding facilities and Bicycle Network has asked for this trail to be constructed to contemporary standards so that it is safe and attractive for a whole range of users, from children to grandparents.

    That means a three-metre wide concrete surface, with good sight-lines, and plenty of clearance from obstacles and hazards. It also means clear directional signage so that people can find their way around.

    The trail will intersect with station precincts, car parks and bus routes, and these potential conflict points need careful consideration. And where the trail crosses roads, those intersections must be safe, without bikes having to wait an eternity to get the green light to cross.

    Just as important is how this trail links up to other bike routes, ensuring that trips onto the trail and to the stations are direct and quick so that as many people as possible are able to take advantage of the facility. It is important that the links to major attractions such as the Monash university and hospital precincts, and Chadstone Shopping Centre, are planned for.

    Riders need access to water, and seats in shady spots when they feel like a rest. It’s really important that the whole experience along the trail is attractive and relaxing.

    We have discussed these considerations in Community Open Space Expert Panel meetings and the Level Crossing Removal Authority is taking these considerations on board.

    I encourage you to take time to complete the linear park survey and provide your feedback on the linear park and the 17km continuous bicycle and pedestrian path.

    Garry Brennan - Bicycle Network

    Community Open Space Expert Panel Member

  • Universal design

    10 months ago

    Hi my name is Michael Walker l am the Universal Design facilitator for the Victorian Government and l sit on the Community Open Space Expert panel (COSEP).

    I believe that universal design takes the Caulfield to Dandenong Level Crossing Removal project a step further. When incorporated, universal design increases the usability of the redevelopment for the broader population—younger, older, tall, short, male, female, people with and without disabilities. All people benefit from universal design.

    The redevelopment and expansion needs to be flexible, impartial, safe and simple for all to use no matter their ... Continue reading

    Hi my name is Michael Walker l am the Universal Design facilitator for the Victorian Government and l sit on the Community Open Space Expert panel (COSEP).

    I believe that universal design takes the Caulfield to Dandenong Level Crossing Removal project a step further. When incorporated, universal design increases the usability of the redevelopment for the broader population—younger, older, tall, short, male, female, people with and without disabilities. All people benefit from universal design.

    The redevelopment and expansion needs to be flexible, impartial, safe and simple for all to use no matter their ability level.

    My role on the panel is to, through the principles of universal design to put well-designed public realm at the heart of sustainable communities. Well-designed public realm can create connected physical, social and transport networks that promote real alternatives to car journeys, namely walking, cycling or public transport.

    I see the project improving accessibility by providing easy, safe and convenient access to a choice of opportunities for participating in sport and physical activity and active travel for the whole community. Also the enhancing amenity and promoting environmental quality in the design and layout of new sports and passive recreational facilities, their links and relationship to other buildings and the wider public realm.

    One of the strongest points is increasing awareness and raising the prominence and legibility of passive recreational facilities and opportunities for physical activity through the design and layout of development.

    In my opinion is that neighborhoods, facilities and open spaces should be accessible to all users and should support sport and passive physical activity across all ages.

    This advocates design approaches that ensure people feel their presence in the streetscape not to be of ancillary concern, but rather provides them the space and support to be mobile, to understand their environment, and to access and use street-based amenities.

    From these observations, it is clear that different types of users can have conflicting needs, yet they seek similar levels of provision, but for diverse reasons. This highlights the importance of seeking design partners, (users of various ages, sizes, abilities and disabilities) who can work directly with designers and with each other to provide the optimum design solution.

    It is important to recognise and adopt the principles of Universal Design when making decisions about the potentially conflicting needs of different groups, as not all activities may be complementary and careful consideration of the requirements for different groups using the same space is required to avoid conflicts. Enabling those who want to be active, whilst encouraging those who are inactive to become active.

    Michael Walker - Universal Design Facilitator

    Community Open Space Expert Panel member

  • Planting for the future

    11 months ago

    Back in May last year, when I accepted the role of chairing the Community Open Space Expert Panel, I was excited about stepping outside the fence of the Royal Botanic Gardens and helping to plan 22.5 hectares of new open space for Melbourne.

    Don’t get me wrong, I love the tranquillity and beauty of the two botanic gardens I look after – one in South Yarra, the other in Cranbourne – and we remind all visitors that ‘life is sustained and enriched by plants’. But here was a chance to talk to more people, to lead... Continue reading

    Back in May last year, when I accepted the role of chairing the Community Open Space Expert Panel, I was excited about stepping outside the fence of the Royal Botanic Gardens and helping to plan 22.5 hectares of new open space for Melbourne.

    Don’t get me wrong, I love the tranquillity and beauty of the two botanic gardens I look after – one in South Yarra, the other in Cranbourne – and we remind all visitors that ‘life is sustained and enriched by plants’. But here was a chance to talk to more people, to lead and influence better outcomes for our city, and to makes sure more plants become part of our lives. There aren’t a lot of new parks and public spaces of this size created, and too few opportunities for the community to be as involved in their planning. I definitely wanted in.

    Of course it hasn’t been all about plants and green spaces of course. There are playgrounds, running and cycling paths, car parks and all kinds of other activities to consider. Right now though we want your thoughts on the kind of trees and other plants we might include in the open spaces created by the Level Crossing Removal Project from Caulfield to Dandenong.

    Not just a tree or two. We expect there to be hundreds of thousands of plants in the final design. Some will be grasses and smaller plantings, but there is definitely room for some impressive trees.

    We’ll need to include a mix of species, depending on the local landscape and local need, but in some places at least we should have plants to attract and provide habitat for local fauna. Let’s get more birds, and even bees (particularly the native kind), into our suburbs.

    We should also plan for the effects of climate change. At the botanic gardens where I work, our plantings now take into account the predicted climate in Melbourne for 2090. Think Dubbo - that’s the kind of climate we expect to have here by the end of this century. So what should we plant along this corridor to make sure it can tough out a drier and hotter Melbourne and surrounds?

    In some places we can do more than create a pretty nook or neighbourhood garden. In Noble Park, for example, we have the chance to create an urban woodland, with all the benefits that a larger area of vegetation can bring. In fact you should view all trees and plants in a city as part of a broader ‘urban forest’, where birds fly from one tree to another and the benefits to air quality, water management, cooling and general well-being are spread across the suburbs.

    Now for your help. What do you think of my thoughts above? What do you think of the key species we’ve suggested, including robust eucalypts and other natives, but also pretty exotics such as maples, elms and crepe myrtles?

    Have your say by completing this survey: https://your.levelcrossings.vic.gov.au/public-open-space/survey_tools/survey-2-trees-and-vegetation

    Professor Tim Entwisle, Chair, Community Open Space Panel and Director and Chief Executive, Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria