Yarraville Pop up Park

Design Feature
Type of Project

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.

A simple design

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.

Pop Up Park complementing the Sun Theatre.
Pop Up Park complementing the Sun Theatre.

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. 

Pop Up Park Opening Party.
Pop Up Park Opening Party.

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


You might also like