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An idea for a park of significance in the heart of Brunswick

Preamble

In 1998 a study 'Upfield railway line habitat landscape concept' was prepared by 'Collie Landscape and Design' with 'Iain Shears Horticulture' for Bayside Trains, Hume City Council, Melbourne City Council and Moreland City Council. It was well presented and won an award for 'Environmental and Ecological Masterplanning'.

This new proposal targets the part of the study area from Park Street, Brunswick to Moreland Road - about 2 kilometres - and including Jewell, Brunswick, Anstey and Moreland Stations.

Except for work around Brunswick Station this area is substantially unchanged from its condition in 1998.

The east side of the area is bounded by the cycle track, with low grade paving and shabby fencing. The west has unkempt weed areas and untidy car parks.

The outer boundaries of the area are mostly industrial walls and fences, aging residential side fences and an increasing number of residential buildings.

There is a poorly maintained park adjoining the Jewel station, a few trees and small grassed areas at Brunswick and Anstey stations and a better maintained but an uninspiring park at Moreland station.

Along the strip there are places and objects of local and railway historical interest slowly rotting away, and many areas of apparently abandoned land that can be rehabilitated. Much of the railway easement is unused.

The 1998 study has had no effect here.

The idea

This proposal is that Moreland City and railway authorities cooperate in a plan to link the station precincts with the connecting railway easement into an attractive linear park that will benefit both organisations and the populations they serve.

Imagine this strip given a thorough design work-over by creative people. All relevant bits incorporated into a park with aesthetically pleasing paving, fencing, lighting, planting and historical signage so that it becomes a coherent “whole”. An emphasis is placed on increased pedestrian traffic with separation from cycle traffic where possible, and toddler-proof fencing between all used areas and the rail tracks.

Appearance and access to the stations will be improved; commuters, cyclists and pedestrians will all travel though a more pleasant route; even the wildlife and the atmosphere will benefit by the presence of thousands of additional plants.

Aiming high will result in a park of national significance showing how an unattractive industrial and transport strip can become an enjoyable community asset.

Progress depends on a partnership with the railway authorities that will lead to workable boundaries between the operational needs of the rail system and the part of the area accessible to the public and park workers.