Brisbane, Queensland, Australia is transforming an 18-hole urban golf course into a nature-and-culture-based public park

In the state of Queensland, Australia, the capital city of Brisbane is busy transforming and ecologically restoring an 18-hole golf course into revitalizing new green space.

The Brisbane City Council says it is “changing Victoria Park into an iconic public parkland with something for everybody.

This means more opportunities to enjoy Brisbane’s beautiful climate and connect with family and friends in the places that make our city great. Victoria Park will become a natural retreat, an urban park for adventure, discovery and reconnection,” the Council added.

This prime inner-city location will include a community garden, giving visitors more to see and do. It will be culturally authentic, celebrating the many layers of human contact with the landscape and the site’s significance to Aboriginal people.

Cultural Hub

A new Cultural Hub will be the park’s standout attraction. Three constructed ecosystems will transport visitors to South East Queensland’s subtropical rainforest, coastal communities or other distinct landscapes to explore our cultural connections to place. This attraction will become a “must do” for visitors seeking a uniquely Brisbane experience.

The Cultural Hub will celebrate Brisbane’s heritage and natural environment. The park will feature native bushland pockets and waterholes where visitors can enjoy kayaking and swimming lagoons. Architecture will mimic the landscape with suspended canopy walks and a tree house so visitors can connect with nature, day and night.

Lake Barrambin

Visitors will find many ways to interact with water. Boardwalks and trails will meander through wetlands, while small, intimate spaces and more generous multipurpose areas for gathering, events and art installations will line the water’s edge. Lake Barrambin will become a venue for kayaking.

Nature and Water Play Gully

Revegetated forests, native bushland pockets and waterholes will speak of the site’s original landscapes. The kids will love splashing about in Nature and Water Play Gully, which will be a series of naturalised constructed waterholes in addition to the new water play park at Centenary Pool. Some activities will be available early, while others must wait for new vegetation plantings to mature before they can be established.

Canopy Walk and Tree house

Sculptural buildings will offer a modern interpretation of traditional architecture, mimicking the form of the landscape and the patterning of Indigenous gunyahs (shelters). This grid-like structural element will repeat in the twisting form of the Tree House and its skirt that floats across the landscape. Lit at night, the Tree House will stand out as a beacon in the landscape, while the building forms grow from the earth.

Farm Gate and Community Garden

A gentle slope on the park’s southern side offers an ideal spot for community gardens or a small urban farm, with a northern aspect for maximum sunshine and good access to surrounding neighbourhoods. A farm gate selling produce from the local producers as well as potential beekeeping or composting facilities will give residents and visitors more to see and do. Find out more.

Victoria Park Vision – Strategies

Eight strategies articulate how the vision will be achieved. They consider the park’s unique history, the needs of the city and surrounding communities, environmental imperatives and opportunities offered by the site’s natural feature and location.

  1. Unique experiences
    Peaceful, natural spaces in the park’s centre will be a striking counterpoint to its lively edge, where community life is played out.
  2. Connected habitats
    Revitalized ecosystems and restored habitats will draw wildlife back to the city and enrich our connection with nature.
  3. Room for water
    Lagoons, wetlands and a lake will bring water back to the site and restore natural cooling, cleaning and flood management systems.
  4. Connections
    Going green will be the easiest way to get to the park, with walking, cycling, bus and train the modes of choice. Every journey in the park itself will be an experience.
  5. Health and recreation
    Outdoor adventures will challenge people of all ages and abilities, inspire active lifestyles, offer a natural experience in the city and support reconnection with the natural world for mental health.
  6. Relationships
    Well-located links and thoughtfully designed facilities will invite neighbours to move through and explore the park, and adopt its spaces and places as their own.
  7. Creative expression
    World-class architecture forms and unique public spaces will enable cultural expression, facilitate community gatherings and make the park a showcase for visitors from around the globe.
  8. Cultural landscape
    The park will inspire sharing, the telling of stories and learning in the landscape, with opportunities to understand and engage with Brisbane’s cultural heritage.

All images courtesy of Brisbane City Council.

See the draft vision for Victoria Park (PDF).

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