The first designs for a new public park on the banks of the Yarra River in Docklands have been released, following initial approval by the City of Melbourne.

The proposed 3500-square-metre park is part of a plan to renew the public space next to the historic Mission to Seafarers building on Flinders Street, and the Seafarers Bridge. “This is the most significant stretch of wharf in Melbourne’s history,” said councillor Jackie Watts, who has been advocating for the establishment of a Maritime Heritage Network Project for some time.

The heritage-protected Seafarers building was completed in 1919, and the design of the new park will pay homage to site’s maritime history. The plan includes lawns overlooking the river, timber seating, a children's play space and a dog-friendly "urban forest" with a shaded area.

The council’s Future of Melbourne committee has signed off on the designs, which were made in consultation with the community, state government and developers.

“Seafarers Rest is an important next step in linking Birrarung Marr to Docklands through a run of open spaces and parks,” Chair Councillor Nicholas Reece said in a statement. “This is a great local park that reflects the site’s maritime heritage and incorporates many ideas received from the community about how people would like to use and enjoy the space.”

The park is part of a $500-million project by private property developer Riverlee, which also includes a 17-storey mixed-use development nearby.

The project is expected to be finished in 2023. You can give feedback on the designs until July 15 2020 and find more information here.