Hilton Pocket Park

Design Features
Project Type
Playground, Local Government Initiative

In 2015, the City of Fremantle adopted the Greening Fremantle Strategy 2020, which sets out the key strategic plan and objectives for a greener community. A key objective within this strategy is for every worker and resident to be within walking distance (400 metres) of useable public green space for their enjoyment. Through extensive consultation and research, Hilton was identified as one of the priority suburbs in the strategy, and a section of the suburb was then selected as the site for a pocket park.

A community approach to public open space 

The Hilton pocket park presents several realistic approaches to improve planning for public open space within a small budget. Both the design methodology and community engagement approach represent innovative methods which could be applied to a range of locations and projects.

Walkable catchment mapping and feasibility analysis were used to identify the following site in Hilton
Walkable catchment mapping and feasibility analysis were used to identify the following site in Hilton

In 2014, Council formed a working group comprising elected officials, and community members with relevant professional backgrounds, to direct the project. In developing the strategy and its priorities, mapping analysis was undertaken to identify the gaps in public green space across the city. This site identification involved detailed ‘real’ walkable catchment mapping and analysis with a 10-point assessment/feasibility matrix.

From this process, a section of residential Hilton and commercial/industrial O’Conner was identified.

The selected site was transformed through community direction
The selected site was transformed through community direction

It was noted that planning policy and controls were a barrier to change, as they would not support public open space in these areas. The working group therefore analysed different ways to develop open space for these communities, and it was proposed that an unused section of a cul de sac in Clarke Street, Hilton, if developed as a small pocket park, would benefit the workers and residents in this area.

This idea was tested creatively with the community and proved to be highly supported. The community consultation and engagement for this project was detailed and specific to the locals who would be using it. For example, the process included providing an overview of the implementation and specific details of the project (including its key components) to residents. Furthermore, demographic analysis and talking to the residents showed a high number of families with children, so engagement was also tailored for children (design workshop) as well as a community ‘walk around’ session, online survey and design workshop with planners and landscape architects.

The project concept design was developed from engagement feedback, and the community remained engaged in the coordination of construction drawings, quotes and construction. The park was completed in December 2017 and included a well-attended community planting day.

By combining a creative approach to site identification, and an innovative way of engaging with the community, the neighbourhood will benefit from a new public open space in a walkable catchment from their homes. Without the approach used in this project, currently planning policy would not have delivered this positive outcome.

Project Team 

  • City of Fremantle Strategic Planning, Engagement and Parks and Landscapes teams
  • Josh Byrne and Associates – Landscape Architecture

Project Cost 


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