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GLAS landscape architect’s concept designs have taken the masterplan from vision to achievable reality highlighting the
importance of open space investment even in COVID times. The designs integrate a green systems approach to creating a
small open space network using the wider streets as a part of the green systems ecosystem, considering the whole
neighbourhood as part of the network. The designs aim to connect a transitioning demographic by using the open spaces to
encourage the population out into the public realm, providing a diverse range of spaces and amenities and by connecting
these places to foster a sense of community. The designs aim to be fun, providing colour and materiality inspired by the local
neighbourhood and history. The concept designs have provided accessible imagery that have allowed the project to progress
to the implementation stage.
The ‘Pocket Swamps’ concept proposes the integration of Water Sensitive Urban Design throughout the precinct using the
pocket parks as overfow points to capture and filter runoff from the surrounding streets whilst reducing flooding. Prahran
was originally swamp land, drained to allow rapid development in the 1840s. The concept of ‘Pocket swamps’ was used to
provide a network of water retention features such as rain gardens to improve the water quality of local creeks, the Yarra and
Bay whilst also providing a connection to the original ecology of the area. The water catchment for the rain gardens will
include the entire surrounding street network providing more water for the parks and allowing the introduction of
indigenous ‘swamp’ planting palettes that would have once dominated the identity of this area.
The key successes of the Mount Street Pocket Parks and Shared streets concepts include:
• Research led strategic design – Using the historical flooding issues of the site and turning this into a positive to create a
WSUD strategy that considers the whole precinct as a catchment and the parks as the filter.
• Collaborative design – working with WSUD experts DesignFlow to develop a drainage strategy for the streets and open
spaces that is acceptable to Council’s road engineers;
• Collaborative design – working with Traffic Planners Salt3 to ensure the traffic circulation can be repositioned to prioritise
the pedestrian and slow down the vehicles;
• Communication using a combination of Graphics, video and online presentation techniques to communicate the project to
the community to enable engagement and development of the project with the community’s input;
• Local response – Working with Council to create a design that responds to the history, materiality (and availability of
materials in the Council depot) that integrates recycled materials into the design in locations where it can be durable and add
to the patina of the place.