Liveability reflects the wellbeing of a community. It also considers the many characteristics that make a place where people want to live now — and in the future.
A liveable city or region meets the basic social, environmental and economic needs of its people. It also addresses community values and preferences for amenity, wellbeing and a sense of place.
For many decades Melbourne Water has looked after the health of our community by providing safe and secure drinking water, reliable sanitation and effective flood management. Within our region we manage approximately 8,400 kilometres of rivers and creeks and over 33,000 hectares of land as part of these services.
We are now identifying opportunities to open our land and waterways for more community benefit, transform Melbourne’s landscape, enhance contemporary public health, and address wellbeing issues. This is the future direction of the business and is reflected in our vision of “enhancing life and liveability”.
We are planning for multiple outcomes on our waterways and land, and master planning for liveability services at key Melbourne Water sites. This includes collaborating with Councils and other agencies on new projects such as active transport links along our waterways to connect outer suburbs to the inner city.
Other projects include exploring alternative water sources, water sensitive urban design and green infrastructure to provide urban cooling and deliver creative, productive landscapes. We’ve also created an online data portal Our Space Your Place showing where our land is available for community use.
These approaches are realised in Greening the Pipeline, an innovative project that aims to transform a decommissioned sewer reserve into a linear parkland. This takes a more holistic approach to water management by activating a community sense of place, enhancing active transport and green links, and creating resilient open spaces.
Greening the Pipeline is a collaborative project with Wyndham City Council, VicRoads and City West Water, which successfully launched its first community park at Williams Landing in Melbourne’s west on the 29th April this year. The Williams Landing park was part-funded by a grant from the Victorian Government.
Around 300 people came along to the launch event to enjoy the new green open space, which is irrigated with captured stormwater.
This article was kindly provided by Melbourne Water, and is a follow-up to the original paper titled ‘Enhancing life and liveability – growing the social fabric of Melbourne’, submitted for the 2016 Liveable Cities Conference.