Foreshore rejuvenation a winner

An extensive program to rejuvenate one of Melbourne's great natural resources, the Port Phillip Bay Foreshore, has won the Environment Prize in the 1997 Institution of Engineers (Victorian Division) Excellence Awards for the City of Port Phillip.

The win is a coup for the City with relatively few Local Government entries having featured previously in these prestigious industry wide awards. Delegates at the recent 9th National Local Government Engineering Conference were treated to a Technical Tour of the work and surrounding development.

Along with increasing use, the fact that no work had been done on the popular foreshore for some years prompted Council to consider ways of providing safe and attractive recreational facilities for the many thousands of visitors the area receives daily. As well as enhancing its attractions and improving amenity, the work was designed to bring returns for local business.

Community consultation was a hallmark of the project, starting with a public meeting attracting over 200 people. Their ideas were noted and prioritised into a draft plan. To ensure this project delivered community aspirations, public comment was invited and acted on at all stages of development.

"The project's success is evidenced by the ever increasing number of people, many of whom live locally, who flock to the area daily," said Peter Fussell, Manager Foreshore and Tourism.

Works include the provision of both bicycle and pedestrian paths through four suburbs, upgrading of restaurant and kiosk facilities, a Koori heritage trail, installation of street furniture, lighting, showering and toilet amenities, all complementing the Victorian and Edwardian streetscape of the district.

A white line travelling the length of the bike path, signalling the width of the widest door of a parked car, is one of the simple means employed to accommodate the great variety of users.

Council achieved the transformation using its experienced in house engineers and architects. Simple design techniques were used and where possible recycled material and renovated existing infrastructure were used to minimise costs and provide a sympathetic streetscape.

For further information contact Peter Fussell, telephone (03) 9209 6666.