The Future Park & Beyond

This new e-book features the shortlisted entries from the 2019 International Ideas Competition for ‘The Future Park.’

Future Park logo
View the e-book here
Developed by the University of Melbourne, in partnership with the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects (AILA), this competition challenged professional and emerging landscape architects, urban designers, architects and planners to speculate on new park possibilities for a future Melbourne.

The brief was unusual in that it did not nominate a site. Instead, entrants were required to first 'make the space.' Restricted to a 10 km radius of Melbourne's city centre, designers were asked to present a rationale (speculative or other) for the location and configuration of their proposed public open space/s. They were then required to ‘design the place’ - to present the aesthetic, civic and ecological attributes of their scheme, and highlight how these attributes responded to the challenges facing Melbourne in the mid twenty-first century.

Edited by Wendy Walls and Jillian Walliss, the e-book features the 31 short listed entries, along with the jury report by Jacky Bowring and critical reflections from Kirsten Bauer and Julia Czerniak. The documented designs provide an array of innovative and inspiring solutions for addressing the challenges of climate change, Reconciliation and resilience.

However, none of the entrants predicted the influence of the COVID pandemic which was lurking around the corner. While focused on the Future Park competition, this publication extends ‘The Future Park’ discussion through the inclusion of design work and writing emerging from the Melbourne School of Design during the 2020 COVID impacted academic year. This work rethinks the role and form of open space as part of wider pandemic related questions of urban density, social isolation, health and work/home relationships.

“Whereas The Future Park entries placed emphasis on ecological and climatic futures, the experience of COVID and Melbourne’s subsequent lockdowns shifted attention to the importance of having high quality of open space close to where people live” explains Walliss.

The Future Park competition formed part of the 2019 Australian Institute of Landscape Architect’s International Festival of Landscape Architecture ‘The Square and The Park’ which was curated by Cassandra Chilton, Kirsten Bauer and Jillian Walliss.

The competition was supported by Office of the Victorian Government Architect and RMIT University.