The Victoria Park Vision is one of those once in a generation, exciting and far-reaching public projects whose time has come. It’s a great achievement for our community, a beacon for our subtropical ‘living outside’ culture and an excellent example of how visionary political leadership can deliver powerful, intergenerational outcomes.
Revitalising the existing park at Spring Hill and converting the Victoria Park Golf Course to parkland protects and enhances significant public open space for future generations and enables greater community use of this important inner-city greenspace. Brisbane’s biggest new park will have something for everybody and give residents and visitors more to see and do in a clean and green Brisbane.
The benefits of multi-functional urban open spaces for community wellbeing, leisure and city health are now well researched, understood and globally appreciated. Brisbane City Council have identified this large inner-urban site as a significant city-building opportunity to meet the evolving aspirations of Brisbane’s community.
The site holds a spiritual significance to the aboriginal people originally living on and with this landscape. More recent history has seen it progressively occupied by temporary camps, private housing, schools, hospitals and the Brisbane Showgrounds significantly reducing the accessible open space. In the late 1920s golf links were laid across 45 hectares, further limiting public use of the parkland, although use as a golf course undoubtedly prevented further permanent & intensive land-use encroachment. A steady reduction in patronage of the golf links has been the key driver for council commencing a visioning and master planning process.
“Victoria Park will be a natural retreat, an urban park for adventure, discovery & reconnection. It will be culturally authentic, celebrating the many layers of human contact with the landscape and the site’s significance to Aboriginal people.”
– VICTORIA PARK VISION, BRISBANE CITY COUNCIL
The Victoria Park Vision will begin the design process for the site’s evolution over the next 50 years. It will be used as a basis for technical studies that will inform a comprehensive master plan and contribute to reshaping the city around a deeper understanding of history, culture and nature.
The vision has been developed by Lat27 in partnership with, and under the leadership of BCC’s City Planning & Sustainability Major Projects team. Key collaborations included Wilkinson Eyre Architects, an international team of supporting consultants, and in particular, technical teams and specialist leaders within Council.
Community consultation and ideas generation was undertaken by Council over various events and pop-up displays, and through an extensive program of online public feedback conducted over several months. Council also engaged with representatives from surrounding schools, hospitals and other institutions, as well as local Indigenous groups.
The design framework for the new park is shaped by eight strategies that articulate how the vision will be achieved. Strategies consider the park’s unique history, the needs of the city and surrounding communities, environmental imperatives, and opportunities offered by the site’s natural features and location.
Three themes are common across all strategies —
• Recognition: Creating a place to respectfully celebrate the connection between culture and nature across past, present and future generations.
• Restoration: Celebrating our unique interwoven landscape and ecosystems.
• Reconnection: Making transformational connections that stitch the parkland back into the city.
The Vision will respond to the needs of surrounding stakeholders with this improved amenity, from improving employee retention through to the macro benefits of being reconnected with nature. Victoria Park aims to become a global destination showcasing all that is great about our City and helping extend the length of time that visitors can enjoy Brisbane.
Victoria Park Vision
Client: Brisbane City Council
Lat27 (Lead, Landscape Architecture, Planning & Design)
Aurecon (Engineering & Environment)
Project for Public Spaces
Catherine Brouwer Heritage Landscape Architect (Heritage Landscape Architecture)
CoDesign Studio (Place Making & Activation)
CDM Smith (Economics)
Steele Wrobel (Quantity Surveyor)
Photography Credits: Lat27
Text Credit: Lat27