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Marie Luise

Melbourne’s latest riverside park – a key Greenline Project link

16 Apr 2024

Construction has begun at Seafarers Rest Park, on Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung Country in Melbourne, to create 3,500 square metres of new public green open space, a key link in the city-shaping Greenline Project, along the banks of the Birrarung (Yarra River).

Designed by OCULUS, in close collaboration with Riverlee, the City of Melbourne and the broader project team, the new park includes spacious green lawns, a riverside promenade, children’s play area, and multi-use open spaces. The design draws on the area’s maritime legacy – embracing the city’s industrial roots while also acknowledging Melbourne’s significant Indigenous cultural heritage.

Birrarung is a place of great importance and connection and it carries a lifetime of stories. Since beginning our work on the precinct, we’ve welcomed The Yarra River Protection (Wilip-gin Birrarung murron) Act 2017, which outlines principles for protecting Birrarung – Wilip-gin Birrarung murron’ means ‘keep the Birrarung alive’ in the Woi-wurrung language. Many of these principles of maintaining and enhancing environmental, social, recreational, and cultural benefits are at the heart of our design, including:

  • Improving public health and wellbeing through strengthened and new walking and cycling connections.
  • Considering the potential impacts of climate change with increased ground permeability and tree canopy coverage.
  • Maintaining and enhancing biodiversity and ecological integrity by retaining large established trees and introducing native woody meadows.
  • Protecting and enhancing amenity for the benefit of the whole community by increasing access to the Birrarung.
  • Providing recreational access, use, and enjoyment with the creation of formal and informal gathering places.
  • Acknowledging, reflecting, and promoting Aboriginal cultural values, heritage and knowledge of Yarra River land through the re-introduction of plant species found on-site pre-colonisation.
  • Recognising the cultural diversity and heritage of post-European settlement to the identity, amenity, and use of Yarra River land through the relocation of the heritage crane, remediation of the wharf, incorporation of maritime artefacts, and readdressing the building to the river.

Seafarers Rest Park is being delivered in partnership between the City of Melbourne and property developer Riverlee – as part of their $600 million Seafarers Rest Precinct development. Riverlee Development Director David Lee says, “Seafarers Rest and the broader precinct marks a transformative milestone in the rejuvenation of Melbourne's Northbank.” Upon completion, Seafarers Rest Park will be transferred to the City of Melbourne to form part of the Greenline.

The Greenline Project will revitalise the north bank of the Birrarung, creating a 4-kilometre promenade of parks, open spaces and cultural activations between Birrarung Marr and the Bolte Bridge. The masterplan splits the project into five inter-connected precincts. Seafarers Rest Park will form part of the Maritime precinct – alongside Birrarung Marr, The Falls, River Park, and Saltwater Wharf. 

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