Strategy 10 Open Space


Complete the regional open space network


See reports on this Strategy

Parks, gardens and waterways are a defining feature of the Inner Melbourne Region. They are vital in contributing to the sense of openness and provide a natural relief from built-up areas.

Much of the open space in Inner Melbourne is part of a connected network. This extensive network of open space, including the corridors of the Yarra and Maribyrnong Rivers and their tributaries, and Port Phillip Bay and its beaches, is increasingly important on a local and regional level, as well as for social, recreational and environmental reasons. In recent years this network has also come to include urban squares or plazas.

However, there are gaps in this network that have arisen from historic decisions or changing needs. These include:
  • Important open space links that have never been established,
  • Existing open space areas that have been severed by road or rail projects, and
  • Potential links between open space areas that have never been properly established.

It is important that actions to fill these gaps are region-wide to ensure open space is preserved, and that identified gaps in this network are addressed.

Map 6: Open space framework.pdf (1.31 MB) shows the regional open space network and recommended links and areas for improvement.

The Inner Melbourne Region has a relatively extensive system of walkways and shared paths located primarily along its waterways but also has other linear parks such as old railway reserves, and the new park in the Docklands. Similar high quality walking environments can be created through new open space links.

What implementation tools are needed?

Local governments in the Inner Melbourne Region will need to fund the completion of the regional open Space network because demands for open space in other parts of Melbourne are expected to have a higher metropolitan priority in future years. Agreement is also necessary on:
  • The detailed role and function of open space in the network;
  • On the balance between local and regional use; and
  • Balance between managing spaces for recreational or ecological values.

Action 10.1 Regional open space and trail network

Map the regional open space and trail network identifying ownership, management responsibility, agreed function and gaps in open space and trails, and develop an implementation program for the development and extension of the network. The program would detail location, cost, funding source and timeframe of works.

Status: Closed. View Reports on this Action.

Action 10.2 Regional physical infrastructure needs and contributions fund

Introduce a developer contribution scheme for open space network improvement.

Action 10.3 Open space links

Construct new links for pedestrians and cyclists.

Action 10.4 Riparian open space project

Identify and secure access (where possible) to protect land along the Yarra River and its tributaries to ensure continuous public access without compromising the ecological sustainability of remnant vegetation or habitat.

Action 10.5 Wild life link

Create a wildlife link along the Inner Circle rail reserve and Merri Creek (from Royal Park to Yarra Bend Park).

Action 10.6 Foreshore open space

Revitalise the open space areas of the foreshore from Elwood through St Kilda to Port Melbourne (consistent with urban design frameworks).

Action 10.7 Waterways planning and management mechanism

Develop a coordinated planning and management mechanism for Docklands, including the Yarra and Maribyrnong Rivers and creeks and tributaries that: supports regulatory arrangements; integrates waterways and water edges; improves water quality; and protects site specific environmental values.




The 2019-20 IMAP Annual Report is now available - click here.

A copy of the approved Plan is available on this website. Follow this link for further information.