Princess Street Transformation
Victoria | Urban
By providing a convenient, safe and attractive environment in which to access local destinations, Meadowlink Linear Park promotes active transport, behaviour change and healthy lifestyles.
Meadowlink was initially identified in Vision: Broadmeadows 2032, a design, research and visioning project produced by the Victorian Eco Innovation Lab (University of Melbourne). Further planning involved the development of an urban design masterplan and business case, inclusion in strategic plans such as the Broadmeadows Framework Plan as well as community engagement and concept design investigations.
Critically, three properties that had been historically sold to adjacent landowners were acquired to assemble a continuous land corridor.
After securing grant funding of $2 million from the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, detail design commenced, followed by tendering and construction.
Meadowlink Linear Park was opened to the public in July 2019, providing a recreational path for walking, running and cycling. The open space corridor connects local destinations across Broadmeadows, including the town centre, railway station and bus interchange, local and subregional parks, Broadmeadows Primary School and Hume Secondary College. The final development has made an additional 4.3 hectares of public open space available for community use.
The project had a long timeframe from planning to delivery, with several insights gained. Council acknowledged the importance understanding the planning directions for the surrounding areas to ascertain the value in delivering the project. For example, it was noted that the park would have a positive impact on the delivery of several ongoing infill development in Broadmeadows, among other projects. The strategic timing of the project established the park as a catalyst for future developments, boosting confidence for potential developers. Furthermore, Council identified the need to ensure the scope of the project was understood by all project partners, and the larger plan had discrete components ‘shovel ready’ for delivery.
In terms of delivery, strong community and council advocates were critically important, particularly because of the extended project timeframe. Although a long-term project, it was important to understand the risks of damage in the short term that needed to be accounted for, and ultimately budgeted for.
Lastly, Council ensured a robust evaluation process was established from the beginning of the project, to track improvements to deliverables over time. Council continues to assess the project and its deliverables to the Broadmeadows Community using the Healthy Active by Design checklists. The tool has helped the project team understand the impact of the delivery of this project and it will continue to guide later stages of the Meadowlink corridor until completion.