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What's on City of Melbourne

Open Space Strategy – planning for future growth

On Tuesday 31 July 2012 Council endorsed Melbourne’s Open Space Strategy, the Open Space Strategy Technical Report which supports the Strategy, and the Open Space Contributions Framework.

An extensive community engagement process was undertaken on the Strategy from November 2011 until the end of April 2012, gaining feedback from the community, agencies and stakeholders.

Read the Council paper (PDF, 8.8MB


The City of Melbourne manages more than 500 hectares of open space. This represents almost 15 per cent of the total area of the City of Melbourne.

To meet the needs of the growing and changing residential and worker population and to respond to issues such as climate change, we have prepared our first draft Open Space Strategy for the entire municipality.

Our first Open Space Strategy provides the overarching framework and strategic direction for open space planning in the City of Melbourne for the next 15 years. A key objective of the strategy is to plan Melbourne’s open space network to be within easy walking distance to the community, particularly in areas of forecasted population growth.

What kinds of issues does the strategy address?

The strategy provides direction on these key issues:

  • the unprecedented demand for open space as Melbourne’s population continues to grow
  • climate change – a decade of drought, water restrictions and extreme weather and the predicted impacts of climate change provide additional challenges in the management of parks and reserves and the role they can play in climate change adaptation
  • ensuring open spaces can provide for and adapt to differing needs and uses. This includes providing people with the opportunity to connect with nature.

Draft Open Space Contributions Framework consultation

On 31 July Council voted to seek authorisation from the Minister for Planning to prepare and exhibit a planning scheme amendment to introduce public open space contribution provisions into the Melbourne Planning Scheme. This proposes a percentage rate for public open space contributions, based on Melbourne’s Open Space Strategy and Open Space Contributions Framework. 

The Open Space Contributions Framework provides an equitable and consistent basis for financial and land contributions from developers and government towards providing additional open space and making open space improvements over the next 15 years.

The framework recommends contribution rates of five per cent and eight per cent to be established in the planning scheme. The higher rate will apply in suburbs and precincts where higher growth and consequently a greater need for open space will occur. A number of government and industry stakeholders were consulted in attaining these rates.

Supporting this strategy is the Open Space Strategy Technical Report, which contains the technical research, definitions, analysis and recommendations.

Further information

Park with trees