12 October 2018
Grey to Green City of Melbourne. Photo: Andrew Curtis and City of Melbourne
The City of Melbourne’s Grey to Green project is a sustainable example of repurposing the city to meet rapid population growth by converting more than 80 hectares of underutilised asphalt and infrastructure into public open space, over a 30-year period. By identifying and reconfiguring existing Council-owned infrastructure into better public space, the City has been able to add extra greening, activity, vibrancy and social transaction to our public realm without having to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on central city land acquisitions.
Grey to Green also enables more soft surfaces in the city, which can act as a catchment for stormwater and allow for additional greening, resulting in increased biodiversity and a reduction in the urban heat island effect.
This design-led program ensured that new spaces blended with the existing surrounds, thereby reinforcing Melbourne’s local character. The great success of Grey to Green is that it can take place on a small or large scale and it involves local communities in making our cities better places for people.