Best Street Idea
My Street is a Park
Georgina de Beaujeu
I look at my street and wonder why it can’t also be a park.
My name is Aisha. Our family bought a new apartment in Fairfield. We love our home, but we have to drive to a park for our children. It gets so hot here in summer it’s almost unbearable. The heat makes it impossible for my mother to walk to the shops. I look at the street and wonder why it can’t also be a park.
Aisha’s family is one of millions who will buy an apartment or townhouse in the western outer ring suburbs in the next 40 years. A community who must be able to walk, in shade, to a park within 10-minutes.
This infill development is occurring now, but green space creation is not keeping pace with population growth. Our current approach to infill development means streets are becoming grayer, not greener. We must get ahead of this curve. We must transform underutilised public and private land in and around our streets into green space. We can use private developments as a catalyst to transform public streetscapes. By changing the rules we can deliver a park to residents and a return to developers.
How? By looking at public and private land in our streets holistically -changing setbacks and offsets, closing roads, changing traffic movements and speeds, adopting shared permeable driveways, underground parking, median/blister, verge and private tree plantings, covered/underground powerlines and mixed tree planting to enable large trees to shade the road -the list goes on.
Will we re-write the rules to make this a reality?