Our laneways have been the subject of graffiti makeovers for years now, but the City of Melbourne wants to give four CBD alleys a different kind of facelift.
By summer next year the facades lining Guildford Lane, Katherine Place, Meyers Place and Coromandel Place will be covered in leaves and flowers. All four have been tapped for transformation into green walkways that will be home to planter boxes, vertical gardens, climbing plants and trees.
It’s part of the Green Your Laneway pilot project – a $1.3 million scheme that aims to change the atmosphere of the laneways into something a little lusher, while breathing new life into the cityscape.
“We’re obviously not going to be able to put a veggie patch in every laneway, or a vertical garden on every wall, but these walkways are blank canvases and the idea has had a positive reception so far,” says Deputy Lord Mayor Arron Wood.
Beyond the aesthetic changes there are local climate benefits, too. According to City of Melbourne, increasing the number of plants and gardens in the CBD will decrease the temperature in a space that is around four-to-seven degrees warmer than surrounding areas.
“There’s a real need for us to cool our city,” says Wood. “These greener laneways will form an important part of the cooling story of our city and the better prepared we will be for warmer temperatures in the future.”
City of Melbourne also says the greenery will help with intercepting and cleaning stormwater and improving air quality.
Meyers Place will be decorated as a “pop-up” example of what’s to come from today until November 14. All four laneways will be greened during 2017. The City of Melbourne will finalise laneway designs in early 2017. The city aims to start construction by next winter.