Design to begin on Melbourne’s Greenline Project

Symal Infrastructure has been awarded the contract to complete the first site of the Birrarung-Marr precinct of the Greenline Project, which will see the delivery of a four-kilometre riverfront promenade along the Yarra (Birrarung) River, designed by Aspect Studios and TCL.

The City of Melbourne is well into its program transform the north bank of the Yarra River – Birrarung.

Greenline will introduce:

* Opportunities to acknowledge and celebrate Aboriginal culture and knowledge on and along the Yarra River Birrarung to foster an understanding of the precincts’ Aboriginal cultural values, telling stories of Melbourne’s histories while re-introducing diverse ecologies to the central city
* Improved connection between public spaces to support access and seamless movement of pedestrians and cyclists, providing opportunities for varied experiences with the Birrarung
* Enhancement and reimagining of the north bank’s heritage assets through adaptive reuse, supporting an invigorated, lively river front precinct
* Immersive experiences and creative landscapes to invite public participation, play, education, and wonder in the central city, transforming the north bank into a truly iconic Melbourne waterfront with a global reputation.

The Yarra River – Birrarung Strategy provides direction for the protection and enhancement of the river and surrounding environment, and is a key guiding document for the Greenline.

The City of Melbourne does not own or independently manage the waterways or banks of the Yarra River – Birrarung, so the transformation of this area will be a collective responsibility of all Victorian Government partners and adjoining landowners.

Five interconnected precincts will be established between Birrarung Marr and the Bolte Bridge, providing access to riverfront spaces for events and community gatherings.

Site one will form part of the Birrarung Marr Precinct, which will be the gateway to the Greenline. “Boldly celebrating Aboriginal culture and the river’s unique ecology,” the precinct will span from Batman Avenue to the eastern edge of Federation Square, featuring 450 metres of new boardwalks, viewpoints and green spaces for outdoor recreation.

Three contemporary spaces will be created during the initial stage of Birrarung Marr works: the River Edge, the Lookout and the Fig Tree Boardwalk.

The River Edge will feature walkways, new habitat for wildlife and green areas for play, the Lookout will face the river, providing an important destination for Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung cultural celebrations with First Nations design details and seating areas, while the Fig Tree Boardwalk will offer a shaded space for art, storytelling and observing of nature with a suspended tree-lined platform and seating.

Following that, two additional sites will complete the Birrarung Marr Precinct.

In the ensuing stages of the project, the Falls Precinct will be established to celebrate the site’s cultural significance to the Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung and the broader Eastern Kulin nation as the location of a former waterfall and river crossing, the River Park Precinct will involve the creation of an open space next to the river, the Maritime Precinct will be a place that reflects on Melbourne’s seafaring history, and the Saltwater Wharf Precinct will provide a new public park at the end of North Wharf.

In early 2023, City of Melbourne released a series of design ideas for the Greenline project, which had been inspired by international waterfront projects such as Brooklyn Bridge in New York, Parc des Docks in Paris, the Seattle waterfront in the United States and the Auckland waterfront in New Zealand.

Major construction on the project is expected to begin in 2024.

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