A report into the future of Melbourne’s Federation Square has called on improved use of the big screen for major events, along with better connections to the nearby sporting precinct.
A consultation report saw more than 1700 responses from festival, tourism and event leaders, community groups, government agencies, business owners in the square and members of the public contribute to the review into the heritage-listed space.
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.
Other ideas generated by the respondents 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; better weather protection, including the provision of shaded areas; and the retention of public open space.
The review is also considering how Federation Square can best operate in the future alongside Metro Tunnel’s Town Hall station.
“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,” said Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events Martin Pakula.
“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.”
The Federation Square Review’s recommendations will be delivered to the government early next year.