Victorians have backed Federation Square’s role as a place for public celebration and assembly, and as a key cultural and civic hub, in feedback that has formed the backbone of a major review of the public space.
The Andrews Labor Government today provided a snapshot of ideas received in the Federation Square Review, highlighting key messages from 1,700 members of the public and representatives of stakeholder groups.
Federation Square Review consultation was launched in August with the aim of identifying ideas to ensure that the Melbourne landmark remained an exciting and engaging place to visit, and to optimise use of its prime location on the banks of the Yarra.
Feedback from the community revealed a desire for the 17-year-old square’s core function as a meeting place and celebration hub be retained, and that the visitor experience and ways to enhance cultural attractions should be at the heart of future planning.
There were calls for the square to be better integrated with its surrounds and majority support for protection and enhancement of the precinct’s unique design and architecture.
Ideas generated by Victorians to support a vibrant future for Federation Square included:
- Better connections to the Yarra River, Birrarung Marr, and the sporting and arts precincts beyond
- More shade, increased greenery and improved accessibility and signage
- More comfortable places to sit, to encourage people to stay for longer
- Increased use of the big screen, especially aligned with events and special programs
- Better weather protection, including the provision of shaded areas
- Retention of open space for the enjoyment of all.
The review is also considering how Federation Square can best operate in the future alongside Metro Tunnel’s Town Hall station, and canvassing optimum governance and business models.
Consultation has been undertaken in two stages. The first stage sought feedback from individuals and stakeholders including cultural and commercial tenants and leaders in the festivals and tourism sectors. Ideas generated in this stage were then examined further by community and stakeholder groups.
The Federation Square Review report is to be provided to the government in early 2020. Victorian Government Architect Jill Garner and former managing partner of Ernst and Young Tim Eddy are chairing the review.
To view a report on the review’s public consultation, visit engage.vic.gov.au/federation-square-review.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events Martin Pakula
“We asked people to tell us what they loved about Federation Square and what things they thought should change, and we’ve been delighted by the response that we’ve received.”
“Fed Square is an important community asset for all Victorians and we look forward to receiving a final report from the review team in the new year.”