2018 World Urban Parks Legacy Award

The new Legacy Award of World Urban Parks recognises past leaders who impacted parks and park management.

City of Melbourne

The City of Melbourne is a leading capital city local government authority. Our vision is to be a bold, inspirational and sustainable city. A key component of this vision is to ensure our city can adapt, grow and thrive sustainably in a changing environment.
The City of Melbourne recognises the vital role green spaces play in the liveability of today’s city and the health and well-being of the community. It is thanks to the vision and long term planning of our forebears that we are blessed with extensive magnificent open spaces and boulevards. We recognise that our current vision and long term planning for the vital green infrastructure of the city is equally as if not more important as we face significant challenges. The legacy we leave will hopefully set our city up for the next 150 years.
The City of Melbourne has a long and rich history of greening the city. In 1842 the recently inaugurated Melbourne Town Council took up the call for the reservation of parkland. This was expressed in a petition to Superintendent La Trobe:
"it is of vital importance to the health of the inhabitants that there should be parks within a distance of the town where they could conveniently take recreation therein after their daily labour... "

In Melbourne the then Superintendent of the Port Phillip District Charles La Trobe set aside from sale large areas as being for ‘the public advantage and recreation’. Melbourne’s present parks and gardens derive from this withheld land. It was this legacy that gave us a ring of parks through the east of the central city from Albert Park through to Royal Park and Flemington Racecourse, of peerless romantic settings such as the Royal Botanic Gardens and the Carlton Gardens, and simple, gracious landscapes such as that of Fawkner Park. In addition to the park reserves, the second type of ‘garden’ or ‘square’ was created and fully developed as part of the expanding city. Argyle Square, Macarthur Square, Darling Square were defined within the street patterns as new urban spaces. 

New Spaces for a Modern City - Innovating

The city has made significant investment into the greening of Melbourne, it has has seen the creation of new park spaces including Birrarung Marr, Batman Park and Enterprize Park, Queensbridge Square, Riverside Park, City Square, Argyle Square. In addition we have seen the creation of 80 hectares of public realm by converting underutilised central city asphalt and other infrastructure into public open space. 
The City of Melbourne has demonstrated extraordinary leadership in the stewardship of the parks, gardens, squares and boulevards and the urban trees for many years. In particular the recent transformative work in responding to the major challenges that impact cities around the world will leave a lasting and thriving legacy for this and other cities.
It has recognised the value of the green spaces from past legacy decisions and put in place strategies and programs to protect and enhance, and to identify and realise the powerful contribution these spaces make to the modern city. The development of science based strategies that engage meaningfully with the community has taken our green assets from being simply of heritage and amenity value to one of vital and integral infrastructure of the city that provides a powerful climate adaptation force that protects and enhances liveability and community health and wellbeing.
The cities has partnered meaningfully with the community to develop and implement strategies and programs. It has partnered with local governments, state and federal government, with agencies and key stakeholders to implement greening in many forms in the city to advocate, incentivise and by example provide leadership locally, nationally and internationally.
It has sought successfully to challenge the traditional siloed and jurisdictional thinking and governance to transform the city to be able to respond to non-jurisdictional challenges and harness the potential of nature to create a regenerative place.
The City of Melbourne partners with numerous cities and municipalities around Australia and internationally to share knowledge and advocate for city greening everywhere.
This approach of the city for advocacy, scalability and transferability of the work as it progresses to a future city that celebrates nature, it’s green spaces and places and to leave a legacy for future generations has influenced modern park managers around the world.