Planning has begun for the biggest new park in Brisbane in half a century. It is centred upon Victoria Park. By comparison with other such Brisbane spaces only the Mount Cootha Botanic Gardens exceeds it in size. At 45 hectares the proposed new park will be considerably larger in area than the Brisbane Botanic Gardens of 20 hectares, the Southbank Parklands (17 hectares) the Roma Street Parklands (16 hectares) and New Farm Park (15 hectares).

Five creative concepts have been submitted by design experts according to Brisbane’s Lord Mayor, while architects and the public have responded to invitations to suggest what might be accomplished. More than 1000 Brisbane residents have shared ideas. So far 830 people have completed an on-line survey and 250 submissions have been sent in. The creative concepts suggested by leading designers such as Place Design Group, Lat 27, Tract and Urbis and Conrad Gargett are likely to generate further public response. An artist’s impression of a concept called “nature that Nurtures” by Conrad Gargett, for example, is indicative of the eye-catching potential of some of the proposed possibilities.

Architectural design submissions for Victoria Park Redevelopment

Victoria Park is a huge area, equivalent to about 45 football fields. As such it offers great possibilities to be transformed into uniquely Brisbane parkland. Reforesting the park is one major suggestion. Others include creating water play elements including rock pools, designing a space which fosters appreciation of our rich cultural and wildlife heritage and an easily accessible pedestrian-oriented park which brings people together. It is hoped such possibilities will further stimulate residents to submit new ideas. Already notions like creating a Disney-style Animal Kingdom with dense vegetation, and a space such as attracts visitors to Rome’s Trevi Fountain area have come forth.

The vision is a park for not only all Brisbane residents but the many visitors this bourgeoning New World city is likely to attract both internationally and from inter-state. The existing park will be doubled in size and transformed into a stunning, large public space which is certain to enhance Brisbane as a place to live, to work and to spend holiday time in. Currently, Victoria Park has a function centre, a wedding venue, a putt-putt facility and a driving range. These will remain. The plan is to transform the golf course into parkland in 2021.

In all, the prospects for establishing a new Victoria Park are exciting and constitute a further indication of the rapid advance of a stunning new Brisbane in the years to come.

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