The City of Melbourne is investing $1.3 million to convert Meyers Place, Katherine Place, Guildford Lane and Coromandel Place into appealing, green and sustainable places.
Lord Mayor Robert Doyle said the draft concepts show how we can invigorate the laneways using a mixture of planter boxes, vertical gardens, climbing plants and trees.
“Melbourne’s laneways are internationally renowned for their quirky and eclectic culture and feel,” the Lord Mayor said.
”We can add another layer to their attraction by enhancing the sustainability of our laneways and making them ‘green’ and therefore more efficient at cooling the city, intercepting and cleaning stormwater and improving air quality and ambience.
“There are more than 200 lanes in our central city but only a small number of these feature greenery.”
The City of Melbourne has used a world-first mapping technique to identify which laneways could go green based on the amount of sunlight they receive, their exposure to wind and their physical and functional characteristics.
We selected the four laneways based on more than 800 public nominations and expert advice from a panel of engineers, sustainability professionals, place-makers and landscape architects. The City of Melbourne has worked closely with the owners, residents and workers to consider which type of greening would suit each laneway.
“A coalition of businesses and building owners in one of Melbourne’s oldest laneways, Meyers Place, would like to create lush greening around their cocktail bars and restaurants,” the Lord Mayor said.
“Guildford Lane’s residential community would like to create a leafy refuge from the city, with climbing plants and pots to complement the laneway’s beautiful brick warehouses. They’re also considering a community garden for residents and a series of innovative ‘drain-gardens’ to capture rainwater and reduce flooding.”
“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.”
“Katherine Place near Southern Cross Station could be transformed into a tree-lined miniature boulevard with an ivy-covered archway.”
Sample greening concepts and the draft designs will be on display in ‘pop-up’ form in Meyers Place from 3 November until 14 November. On Saturday 12 November from 2pm, Meyers Place will also feature gardening workshops, delicious food and live music.
Proprietor of The Waiters Restaurant in Meyers Place, Denis Sabbadini, said the temporary closure of the laneway will allow community members to experience the potential of urban greening.
“Meyers Place set the precedent for Melbourne’s now internationally renowned laneway culture. The Italian Waiters Club (now Waiters Restaurant) was the only venue in this once run-down laneway. From the late 1950’s it catered, initially, to migrants of Southern Europe wanting somewhere to eat and drink; as they had known back home. Of course the general public discovered us and the clientele expanded,” Mr Sabbadini said.
“With the changes in liquor licensing, Meyers Place Bar opened beneath us and the laneway began to evolve into a place where people across Melbourne knew they could enjoy good food, wine and company.
"This project is a way for the laneway to continue evolving while retaining its unique character. More greenery and extra seating would encourage people to feel even more at home in the laneway with their family and friends.”
Following the community consultation process, the City of Melbourne will finalise the final laneway designs in early 2017.
You can explore the possibilities for the lanes, and share your feedback at Participate Melbourne - Green Your Laneway.