Yarraville Pop Up Park

  • Pop Up Park Opening Party
    Pop Up Park Opening Party
  • Pop Up Park Opening day
    Pop Up Park Opening day
  • Pop Up Park prior to opening
    Pop Up Park prior to opening
  • Ballarat Street Park next to Sun Theatre
    Ballarat Street Park next to Sun Theatre
  • Feature shade structures prior to opening
    Feature shade structures prior to opening
  • Pop Up Park complementing the Sun Theatre
    Pop Up Park complementing the Sun Theatre
Introduction

The Yarraville Pop Up Park is an initiative that facilitates public open space in the context of an entertainment district. The project design emerged from findings of the Yarraville Urban Design and Traffic Study (2006), which recommended a transformation of the northern end of Ballarat Street into an entertainment precinct; a proposition reinforced by the existing presence of restaurants and the Sun Theatre. This, in conjunction with insights from a City Design staff member, who drew inspiration from public spaces sighted on a visit to New York City, were catalysts for the model development and subsequent implementation of the successful project.

Description of project

The Pop Up Park was introduced in 2012, as a temporary three-month summer event. The Council was therefore exempt from undertaking a formal road closure (as required by the Local Government Act). The Council did undertake a traffic assessment which modelled existing and proposed conditions, identifying that there would be no discernible impact on traffic associated with the temporary closure. Furthermore, adjacent traders were consulted to garner support and a subsequent report was presented to the Council, detailing consultation outcomes, project costs and timing. The Pop Up Park design was delivered in-house, with works tendered and installation undertaken by contracted labourers. The design was simple; ample greening, tree planting and potted planting were integrated to create an appealing and flexible space. The inclusion of temporary furniture including coffee tables and chairs, lounge chairs and umbrellas was initiated through the involvement of adjacent traders. Each trader was allocated management of specific furniture, allowing for efficient project implementation. Due to the large numbers of people using the public open space, cleaning and removal of litter were critical to sustaining an appealing sense of place. Maintenance and cleaning of the venue were therefore conducted five days a week by contracted staff. The positive community response to the Park trial prompted the Council to implement the program a second year, with the third year arranged by the traders. Although there was opposition from several traders who felt that the dining public gravitated to the precinct, there was significant support amongst majority of traders and residents for the Pop Up Park to become permanent due to the success of the trials and the attraction it provided to Yarraville. To confirm a permanent installation, a survey of residents and traders was conducted, highlighting strong public support. A report was presented to the Council seeking endorsement of the permanent installation and was subsequently adopted. A formal road closure was conducted and the park was installed in 2014. It remains as a successful public park open all hours, every day of the year.

Project team
  • City of Maribyrnong
  • City Design Unit
  • Big Fish
Project cost

$460,000

Health value

The project offers health value via the facilitation of a community-oriented public open space that supports relaxation, social interaction and engagement with the outdoors. The destination provides a focal point for residents, encouraging engagement in physical activity. The project additionally accommodates passive surveillance, boosting a sense of community safety.

Economic value

Traders abutting the space continue to experience increased patronage as a direct result of the project. Food and beverage premises in the surrounding area additionally benefit from the sale of take-away foods that are enjoyed as a lunch or dinner in the Pop Up Park. During the trial stages of the project, restaurateurs outside the immediate area felt there was a downturn in trade. These outcomes were noted from conversations and surveys during the trials. Since the permanent installation two years ago, there have been no reports of adverse economic outcomes.

Environmental value

The project generates environmental value through the provision of plants and trees that create a green space for the community. The implementation of the project additionally limited the use of cars in the area, subsequently reducing carbon emissions and the environmental footprint of residents.

Social value

The project offers significant social value via the creation of a community meeting space for residents and the wider community. The project encourages collaboration and cooperation between traders, and has estThe project offers significant social value via the creation of a community meeting space for residents and the wider community. The project encourages collaboration and cooperation between traders, and has established a high-profile destination for people to meet and interact. The Pop Up Park additionally serves as a venue for public events, further promoting community engagement.

Use value

The public open space is a destination that facilitates community engagement and generates a sense of place in the neighbourhood. In addition to casual public use, the space holds value as a venue for public events.

Type of project
Local Government Initiative, Main Street, Public Open Space
Scale of project
Local Area
Location
Urban