Draft designs for four Melbourne CBD laneways that are to be transformed as part of the $1.3 million Green Your Laneway pilot program have been released.
The City of Melbourne is investing $1.3 million to convert Meyers Place, Katherine Place, Guildford Lane and Coromandel Place into green and sustainable places.
Mapping techniques have been used to identify which laneways could go green based on the amount of sunlight they receive, their exposure to the wind and their physical and functional characteristics.
The council has also worked with the owners, residents and workers to consider which type of greening would suit each laneway.
“The residents and business owners in Coromandel Place want a laneway that invites the passer-by to come in and explore, with a range of seats, planter boxes, green walls and artistic installations,” says Lord Mayor Robert Doyle.
A high-tech ‘green wall’ installation is planned to transform a blank brick wall into a ‘green billboard’, and will sit among other green walls and raised planters.
Guildford Lane will include climbing plants and pots that will complement the laneway’s brick warehouses. “They’re also considering a community garden for residents and a series of innovative ‘drain-gardens’ to capture rainwater and reduce flooding,” Doyle says.
Window boxes situated on first floor balconies are aimed at providing cascading greenery into Meyers Place. The recessed entry of a substation in the laneway is planned as an ‘exhibition’ spot for a rotating program of more creative greening ideas, adding an element of surprise to a normally dark and quiet location. In keeping with the laneway feel, a planter box will be made from a dumpster, adding movable and temporary greenery to the lane.
“Katherine Place near Southern Cross Station could be transformed into a tree-lined miniature boulevard with an ivy-covered archway,” Doyle says. Subject to underground services, the roadway can be narrowed and a number of trees can be added to the space. Supported by understorey planting, this will add to the ‘layered’ look of the lane and will enhance biodiversity.
Sample greening concepts and the draft designs will be on display in ‘pop-up’ form in Meyers Place from November 3-14. On Saturday, November 12 from 2pm, Meyers Place will also feature gardening workshops, food and live music. Following the community consultation process, the City of Melbourne will finalise the final laneway designs in early 2017.
This was first published on Australian Design Review.