The Centennial Park Master Plan 2040 is a blueprint to guide the future of Australia's most historically significant public park.
Centennial Park was created in 1888 as a gift to the community to mark 100 years of European settlement, and was later chosen as the site for the inauguration of the Federation of Australia - making it the birthplace of modern Australia.
In its 125th anniversary year, Centennial Park now has its first master plan - a document that was developed and delivered in consultation with those who live near, visit and love this great space.
What the Master Plan delivers
The Master Plan:
- provides a long term design vision to guide changes to Centennial Park’s physical environment
- identifies opportunities for improving financial sustainability
- provides an over arching document to guide future iterations of Centennial Park’s various subordinate operational plans
- understands the Park’s natural and cultural values and how they can be best preserved and enhanced
- responds to the changing and diverse recreational requirements of visitors to the Park
- ensures the Park is placed to support an increasing visitor population
- reviews the existing Tree Master Plan and make recommendations about future tree management within the Park
- reviews the existing Transport, Access and Parking Plan and make recommendations about the future access and traffic management within the Park
Key principles of the Master Plan
All proposed interventions have been guided by the six key principles, and fall into the following broad categories:
- Enhancing the Park as a peaceful oasis
- Improving safety and amenity for all Park visitors
- Increasing recreational opportunity
- Maintaining the current area of built fabric within the Park
- Enhancing the landscape experience
- Moving toward commercial sustainability.
Community consultation - we heard you
The Centennial Park Master Plan 2040 was developed in consultation with a wide range of stakeholders and community input. Over a three stage consultation process we received around 3,000 submissions from over 1,000 individuals and organisations.
Consultation includes online and physical exhibition, intercept surveys, stakeholder interviews and community group briefings.
We certainly heard what you liked, did not like and thought was missing from Centennial Park. This feedback was critical to shaping and influencing the outcomes of many recommendations. For example:
- You told us you valued the peaceful and serene character of the Park - we have developed a master plan that continues to provide this opportunity for the community
- You told us you loved the treescape - we will deliver on a promise that through tree succession planting there will be no net loss of trees in Centennial Park
- You told us park amenities needed upgrading - we have developed an approach to gradually improving our facilities as funds become available, making them modern and clean
- You told us you wanted more food and beverage opportunities in the Park - we will create opportunities to co-locate new services within existing hubs of activity within the Park
- You told us you wanted the dog on-leash and off-leash zones kept as they are - we have committed to this
- You told us you wanted more formalised path surfaces to improve accessibility - we have developed a network of locationally-sympathetic and porous pathways to improve pedestrian access, as well as improved surfaces for wheelchair and pram access
- You told us you didn't want increasing commercialisation - we have developed a plan that balances the financial sustainability of the Park without impacting upon the heritage and nature of the Park. Commercial activities in the Park come in many forms, including cafes/kiosks, cycle hire, activities and events. Many of these are the lifeblood of the park, that provide the services to cater for established needs enjoyed by park visitors every day.
- You told us you wanted to see more emphasis on environmental management in the Plan - we have created a framework from which we will now develop an Environmental Management Plan that will guide our management of the flora, fauna, ponds and waterways of the Park.
The Master Plan outlines many more issues that you considered important and relevant to the future of Centennial Park.
It is important to note that many of the projects outlined as recommendations in the Master Plan will be subject to their own consultation and implementation process, so you will have further opportunity over time to help us implement the master plan.
Additional to matters that were to be addressed at a strategic master plan level, you also told us a range of more operational issues that you wanted improved or provided for. While many of these matters beyond the scope of a master plan, you have provided us with an invaluable list of issues and concerns that we will now take on board operationally (or on a day-to-day management basis).
Some of the key issues included:
- Cycling-safety issues - while traffic flow and some changes are foreshadowed in the master plan, we will continue to manage and regulate traffic and cycling around the busy Grand Drive on an operational basis, with a focus on reducing the number of incidents and near misses. A series of interventions around Grand Drive to improve safety at conflict points, particularly where vehicles enter and are required to cross the cycle lane, are already underway.
- Off-road cycling - safety issues and environmental damage caused in the Park will be managed operationally, although where feasible and consistent with the Master Plan, we may explore design elements to assist. We have additionally committed to exploring potential off-road cycling opportunities in Moore Park, as part of the forthcoming Moore Park Master Plan.
- The impacts of events - we have embarked on a process of creating a balanced and varied program of events in Centennial Park. This program includes artistic, cultural, entertainment and culinary events that are enjoyed by over 200,000 people annually. As always, we are aware of the need to balance this activity with the needs of other park users, and will continue to find this balance through careful planning and defining of key event zones within the Park.
The Centennial Park Master Plan 2040
The Master Plan is presented in two volumes, and is available to download in PDF format. To make the document more accessible and improve download impacts, we have broken each volume into smaller parts.