Moonee Ponds Creek urban incubator by McGregor Coxall

Moonee Ponds Creek

In collaboration with Wave consulting, the City of Melbourne and the Victorian Planning Authority, McGregor Coxall led an investigation to reimagine Moonee Ponds Creek as a thriving open space corridor supporting a diversity of life forms, fundamental to the strength, resilience and liveability of the city. By 2040 the City of Melbourne’s population is projected to double.

As urban development accelerates, high performance green and blue infrastructure will be critical in alleviating pressure on the city whilst providing amenity for expanding communities. The Moonee Ponds Creek Strategic Opportunities Plan is a civic minded urban renewal study that advocates environmentally sustainable infrastructure and open space initiatives along Melbourne’s most significant creek corridor. The vision encourages social and ecological interaction with the foreshore through creek naturalisation.

Northwest Melbourne was once characterised by winding wetlands that would swell into fast flowing watercourses during heavy rain. As the city densified the ponds were replaced and disengaged from surrounding communities. Permeating surrounding communities these restored ecological systems will provide a chain of parks and wetlands, transforming the existing dead space that currently separates the creek from the urban fabric of the city.

Integrating design and policy, the opportunities plan seeks to change our relationship and perception of water. As an advocacy document it is the first step in enabling the City of Melbourne and VPA to present a unified strategic vision that can be developed into a business case and deployed over time. Stretching from Brunswick Road to Docklands the study creates an innovative framework to open dialogue with land owners and key stakeholders to guide future development.

The City of Melbourne oversaw the recently concluded public exhibition and consultation period. The next stage in the project will be to develop an implementation plan which is to be led by the Victoria Planning Authority. The VPA will now evaluate costing for high priority areas with recommendations anticipated later in the year.

Aboriginal Nation: Kulin Nation.
Sub consultants: Wave Consulting

Guided by the vision of Moonee Ponds Creek as a thriving creek corridor that supports the liveability and resilience of the city, the strategic opportunities are a manifestation of six key goals:
• Water Management: A resilient creek adapted to extreme weather events
• Open Space: A diverse network to support the growing needs of the city
• Biodiversity: A healthy waterway and thriving ecosystem
• Movement: A highly accessible and connected creek corridor
• History & Culture: A celebrated past and shared vision for the future
• Collaborative Governance: Advocacy for transformational change

Project Director, Christian Borchert: “As an integrated water design and management plan, the vision seeks to change our relationship and perception of water. The plan looks at how we accept inherent challenges such as flooding, to transform the creek into a more resilient and sustainable corridor through alternative land use, catchment-wide collaborative governance and dynamic design solutions.” City of Melbourne Councillor Cathy Oke, Chair of the Environment portfolio:

‘The lower reaches of Moonee Ponds Creek are set to become some of the most intensely developed parts of Greater Melbourne. We’re considering this plan as an advocacy tool to reconnect the community to this vital waterway. The plan outlines ideas for increased biodiversity, mitigating the impacts of flooding, creating new bike paths and more space for recreation. Moonee Ponds Creek has been negatively impacted over many years by industry and infrastructure. This plan sets a vision to rehabilitate the creek and advocate for the delivery of a series of projects to increase its ecological, economic and recreational value.’ Source and images Courtesy of McGregor Coxall.

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