Exhibition gives a glimpse of Melbourne’s future landscape

A design for lagoons in Port Phillip Bay
The designs show visions of the future of Melbourne.

Melburnians have the chance to take a peek into utopian imaginations for the future of their city – from lagoon beaches opposite Port Melbourne to floating pods in Port Phillip Bay – at an exhibition opening today at the Melbourne School of Design.

The Future Park International Design Ideas Competition gave professional and emerging landscape architects, urban designers, architects and planners the challenge of designing new park possibilities for a future Melbourne, posing the questions: 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?

For the month of October, the Melbourne School of Design will be exhibiting 31 shortlisted designs from more than 170 domestic and international entries, with selected works exploring conceptual progressions of existing parkland, visionary schemes for water and air based green areas and pioneering park designs subverting politics, convention and culture.

Competition coordinator and senior lecturer in landscape architecture at the University of Melbourne Jillian Walliss said the competition is a platform to raise discussion about what is meant by a public open space and how that definition will be shaped by Melbourne’s rapid growth and densification heading towards 2050.

“The competition aims to provoke a greater ambition for the role of open space and parks in Melbourne. Currently, discussions on Melbourne's future tend to focus on housing and transport with parks falling under general concepts of liveability, sustainability or climate change,” Dr Walliss said.

“The exhibition is particularly interesting as it isn’t 31 design variations for the same site. Instead the ideas range from the highly speculative to more achievable goals and reflect the many ways that parks can contribute to contemporary issues such as health, community building, climate change, new recreational opportunities, sea level rise and biodiversity.”

The free exhibition features multimedia and printed designs of all 31 shortlisted entries.

Held in partnership with the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects, the competition will be judged with winners announced during the 2019 International Festival of Landscape Architecture.

The jury comprises:

Professor Jacky Bowring (Jury Chair)
Jill Garner (Victorian Government Architect)
Professor Julia Czerniak
Mark Skiba
Dr Susan Alberti
Reuben Hore-Waterhouse

Competition coordinator Dr Jillian Walliss is available for interview.

Media enquiries: Stephanie Juleff | 0466 023 039 | sjuleff@unimelb.edu.au ­­