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Melbourne sky park will boost health and wellbeing with new AUS$1.9bn green city quarter

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Australian developer Lendlease has unveiled plans for a new billion-dollar city precinct for Melbourne, which will have a floating sky park at its heart.

Melbourne Quarter will be a 2.5 hectare block in the city’s business district, between the famous Collins and Flinders streets and located close to Zaha Hadid’s mooted vase-inspired mixed-use tower.

Alongside offices and residential apartments, many public leisure facilities are planned and over half of the AUS$1.9bn (US$1.4bn, €1.2bn, £991.5m) development is dedicated to public open space.

“Everyone will be able to enjoy a high quality public domain with a focus on rich greenery and landscape as well as a vibrant retail and food and beverage offering that will rival the best of Melbourne's central business district," said Jonathan Emery, MD of Lendlease's urban regeneration arm in Australia.

At the heart of this public space will be the 2,000sq m (21,500sq ft) Melbourne sky park elevated above Collins Street. Designed by Australian architects Aspect/Oculus and inspired by New York’s High Line, the park is designed to enhance the health and wellbeing of the public and office workers in the district, and will feature a signature restaurant.

The park is expected to be completed by 2018.

Lendlease is also developing plans for Melbourne Square, a new space similar in size to the existing City Square, as well as a new neighbourhood park on Flinders Street.

"Melbourne Quarter is designed to connect people with nature in buildings and in the urban environment to improve amenity, productivity and liveability,” said Emery. “Melbourne is sophisticated, successful, proud, seasonal, natural, cultural and liveable. These characteristics have been pivotal in informing us to create our vision for a thriving new city block that will encapsulate public amenity, green spaces and wellness without forgetting the renowned authentic Melbourne experience in the world’s most liveable city.”

According to media reports in Australia, the planning minister for the state of Victoria, Richard Wynne, has approved the first phase of Melbourne Quarter and construction is expected to begin this year, creating tens of thousands of jobs.

Melbourne is not the only Australian city investing big money into public space. The South Australian government recently revealed plans for a major new public realm in Adelaide; the local government in the City of Ryde has launched a design competition for a new gateway of culture and commerce; and last year saw the opening of a major linear park on an old train line in Sydney.

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Australian developer Lendlease has unveiled plans for a new billion-dollar city precinct for Melbourne, which will have a floating sky park at its heart.
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