The Future Park Design Ideas Competition: New Public Space for Melbourne

University of Melbourne, in partnership with Australian Institute of Landscape Architects (AILA)
Type: Open, international, ideas
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Eligibility: This competition seeks to enhance the role of landscape architecture and the public realm in Australian cities. However, the competition does not restrict entry to registered landscape architects or those studying within landscape architecture programs. Instead the competition aims to inspire an open and dynamic dialogue between built environment disciplines, the broader community, government and the private sector.
This single stage competition is open to established and emerging designers (tertiary students) of the built and natural environment disciplines (i.e. landscape architecture, architecture, urban design, environmental planning and ecology, environmental engineering).
Victorian high school students studying art, design, environmental studies and associated subjects are also encouraged to submit proposals within the student category.
Awards (categories will likely include):
Professional and tertiary (international) – Up to AUD$20,000 to be allocated as prizes
High school (open to Victorian students only) – Work experience at a landscape architecture office (tbc)
22 March 2019 – Official Competition Launch  (Melbourne Design Week, Melbourne School of Design, University of Melbourne)
31 May, 2019 – Entries open
1 August,2019 – Submission Deadline
September 2019 – Shortlisting
Design Challenge:
In 1837 surveyor Hoddle’s plan laid the foundations for the city of Melbourne, transforming the endemic landscape of wetlands, open grasslands and custodial lands of the Kulin nation into a speculative real estate grid surrounded by colonial parkland. Featuring a botanic garden, a Domain, along with other significant garden squares and parks, this generous layer of open space was integral to the development of ‘Marvellous’ Melbourne – a vibrant late nineteenth century city of international prominence.
Fast forward, and Melbourne’s rapid millennium growth has reshaped the city centre and inner suburbs into a dense urbanism, with apartment towers and medium density housing constructed on former industrial sites and lining major transport corridors. Melbourne is now considered the fourth fastest growing city in the OECD, and is expected by 2050 to eclipse Sydney as Australia’s largest city. This population growth and densification raises questions over the capacity of existing parks to meet the needs of the contemporary city.
This idea competition challenges professional and emerging landscape architects, urban designers, architects and planners to speculate on new park possibilities for a future Melbourne. How can parks shape Melbourne’s urban form? Where should this new public open space be located, how should it be configured and what is its role? Is a new signature park in the spirit of Seoul’s Cheonggyecheon Park (2005) or Moscow Zaryadye Park (2018) appropriate, or instead smaller sequences of parks? Should parks be designed at ground level or are other spatial locations possible?
Proposals are asked to address these questions in two ways.

1. Make the Space: Restricted to a 10 km radius of Melbourne’s city centre, designers must present a rationale (speculative or other) for the location and configuration of their proposed public open space/s. Strategies for procuring land such as amalgamation, demolition, repurposing, redefining and re zoning should be considered.
2.Design the Place: What is the role of the park in 2050? Designers must present the aesthetic, civic and ecological attributes of their scheme, and highlight how these attributes respond to the challenges facing Melbourne in the mid twenty first century. Key considerations include climate change, shifting demographics and density of the city, Reconciliation, biodiversity and evolving concepts of publicness and community.

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