“50% of the surface area of Melbourne is dedicated to streets and carparking - that’s 5,000 square kilometres. If we transform even half of Melbourne’s paved surfaces to landscape, that’s 2,500 square kilometres of new green space!
Re-forested, this could result in 125 million new trees in Melbourne alone.
The streets of Melbourne, renamed “parks,” will become neighbourhood “commons,” providing shared open space and civic amenity for the communities through which they run.
“Over time, one day, you’ll even find yourself in the middle of great seasonal celebrations in the streets, with everyone coming out to share in the fire, and the burning.” The Square in the Park is much more than just a tree in a carpark – it is an opportunity to transform our cities, recover our relationship to landscape, and have a global impact.
“For thousands of years, the Birrarung Valley was rich grasslands and wetlands. Hundreds of generations ago, the Wurundjeri people settled this valley, which became their Country: a ritualised landscape, with a sung history, with places for feasting, ritual and celebration.
“After colonisation, this landscape was overlaid with the abstraction of the Hoddle Grid, a system for the efficient movement of vehicles.
“This project is an opportunity to recover landscape, habitat, meeting spaces and places of meaning, using Melbourne’s streets. In doing so, we’ll re-establish the relationship between residents and the landscapes that we all share. By reframing Melbourne’s streets as parks, as civic spaces in which the life of the city happens, we imbue these spaces with meaning beyond that of simply movement - they become permanent fixtures in the community’s cultural memory, they become Lines No Fire Could Burn.”
The tree quickly became a meeting spot for Conference attendees. It inspires others: workers, students, neighbourhood groups and local councils, will all undertake similar tree-planting works, transforming rows of parking spaces into alleys of trees.
AILA The Square The Park