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Melbourne laneways go green in bid to cool city centre

Melbourne laneways go green in bid to cool city centre
February 28, 2018

The City of Melbourne has advised that four laneways in the centre of the city have undergone a green makeover as part of the $1.8 million Green Your Laneway pilot program.

The pilot laneways include Coromandel Place, Guildford Lane, Meyers Place and Katherine Place, which have been transformed using a mixture of planter boxes, vertical gardens, climbing plants, trees and street art.

City of Melbourne Environment Portfolio Chair, Cathy Oke, said the upgraded green spaces show how laneways can be transformed with plants and trees to help cool the city, improve air quality and clean stormwater.

Councillor Oke advised “by harnessing the enthusiasm of local residents and businesses, we’ve converted these laneways from a place for garbage trucks to move through to green community spaces.

“A lot of work has been completed underground, creating innovative infrastructure to capture and clean rainwater that will sustain the laneways’ plants and trees as they grow and create green coverage, provide shade and improve air quality.

“Melbourne is famous for its laneways - we have over 200 of them - and this project shows how we can utilise the space to make our city greener, more sustainable and take action to cool the city.”

This summer has seen a number of Heat Health Alerts issued by the Victorian Government’s Chief Health Officer, a stark reminder of the importance of cooling our climate and preventing extreme heat events.

Councillor Oke added “we've got a target to cool the city's summertime temperatures by four degrees and through our award winning Urban Forest Strategy and projects like Green Your Laneway we’ve made great progress.

“But we can’t do it alone; we need everyone's input to help Melbourne become a city of sustainability.”

The laneways were selected based on more than 800 public nominations and expert advice from a panel of engineers, sustainability professionals, place-makers and landscape architects.

The City of Melbourne worked closely with the business owners, residents and workers to consider which type of greening would suit each laneway and three of the four laneways have been partially closed to vehicles or have been made one-way to improve amenity for pedestrians.

Coromandel Place
The laneway has been transformed with 14 planter boxes featuring Boston Ivy and Creeping Fig which are expected will cover the walls with greenery within around five years. Important work in the laneway has been completed underground; the bluestone kerbing and asphalt was dug out by hand and replaced with new soil and irrigation systems to allow the new plants to thrive. Where greening was not possible due to underground services and traffic requirements, murals have been incorporated to beautify the laneway. The works in Coromandel Place include a two-story mural by Ghostpatrol and a separate mural by Al Stark on the walls of the Uniting Church. A Native Frangipani tree in a specially built tree planter will also feature artwork by Ghostpastrol to match to the two-storey mural.

Guildford Lane 
Climbing plants, 70 pots and window boxes, and a compact green roof installed above a small garage now adorn Guildford Lane’s brick warehouses. A community garden has been installed featuring eight innovative drain gardens to capture rainwater and reduce flooding. These drain gardens are believed to be the first installed in Melbourne’s CBD and utilise stainless steel grates to intercept down pipe water to filter out pollution that has settled on the roof. Water captured from the drain gardens will nourish the Gum Vines, Chinese Star Jasmine and other hardy species planted in the laneway. 

Meyers Place
Four Weeping Figs and four Native Frangipani have been planted to create greenery around Meyers Place cocktail bars and restaurants. Creeping Fig has been planted on the seven storey carpark and a 20 kilolitre rain tank will capture rainwater from the carpark roof to prevent flooding and provide irrigation for laneway plants. A large jungle themed mural by street artist Mike Makatron has been completed at the Bourke Street end of the lane and a partial road closure carried out in December 2017 has created a new 180 metre² pedestrian space.

Katherine Place 
Seven Firewheel Trees have been planted in advanced tree pits designed to intercept stormwater and remove nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus, from stormwater before they pollute our waterways. Ten Creeping figs have been planted in steel planters and within a few years these are expected to have covered the bare archways. Food businesses along the lane have been given pots and window boxes to bring colour and greenery to the streetscape.

Main image: The green laneway at Coromandel Place.

17th December 2017 - CITY OF MELBOURNE OPENS POP-UP PARK FOR SUMMER

9th November 2017 - CITY OF MELBOURNE TO CREATE POP-UP PARK AT CBD INTERSECTION 

4th October 2017 - NEW MPAVILION OPENS IN MELBOURNE’S QUEEN VICTORIA GARDENS 

16th August 2017 - MELBOURNE RETAINS WORLD’S ‘MOST LIVEABLE CITY’ STATUS 

19th July 2017 - CITY OF MELBOURNE UNVEILS FIRST GREEN LANEWAY

13th July 2017 - PLAN REVEALED TO CONVERT ROAD LANE TO PARK ON MELBOURNE’S SOUTHBANK

10th July 2017 - MELBOURNE TO HOST POP-UP REPLICA OF SHAKESPEARE’S GLOBE THEATRE 

31st May 2017 - $1.2 MILLION CITY OF MELBOURNE BACKING FOR URBAN FOREST FUND 

19th November 2016 - CENTRAL MELBOURNE’S TREES NEED TO ADAPT TO CLIMATE CHANGE

17th October 2016 - RISING TEMPERATURES SET TO DEVASTATE PLANT LIFE


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The news we publish at www.ausleisure.com.au is independent, credible (we hope) and free for you to access, with no pay walls and no annoying pop-up ads.

However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.

Published bi-monthly since 1997, the printed Australasian Leisure Management differs from this website in that it publishes longer, in-depth and analytical features covering aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues management.

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