Australian Placemaking Practice
Published: August 2015
by Robin Abad Ocubillo
Laneways and Street Parks in Adelaide and Melbourne
SF Pavement to Parks* was invited to participate in the Australian Walking & Cycling Conference in summer 2015, where academic scholars, practitioners, and policymakers met to share research and best practices on urban design. In addition to the conference, the study trip also included site visits with policymakers, urban designers, and placemakers in five municipalities throughout the Adelaide and Melbourne metropolitan areas.
Over the last decade, a thriving laneways (alleyways) culture in downtown Adelaide and Melbourne evolved from landmark shifts in planning and building policies at the local and state levels. The remade policy environment has resulted in a varied network of spaces that is are Cities’ most-touted social, cultural, and economic asset. Besides providing an overview of the planning and urban design controls shaping laneway development, the presentation will depict a typical procession through laneways which blend public and private, historic and contemporary, planned and spontaneous activities.
The presentation also covered three ‘Street Park’ case studies in the Melbourne region, all formed from the closure of roadway. Each project was preceded in its current, final form by various demonstration stages ranging from one-day popup parks to sustained trials of up to a year. Inspired to by public space experimentation here in San Francisco, these recent Australian projects have yielded valuable lessons and insights which can inform our own future work.
* The Pavement to Parks program has merged with Groundplay. Best practices found in this document are still applicable to Groundplay projects.
This presentation gave an overview of placemaking practices in Australia – with an emphasis on laneways (alleyways) and street parks – and their relevance to public space and life in San Francisco.
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