Yarra City Council

Open Space Strategy Review / This review is to identify how and where we can create new open spaces to meet the needs of our growing community.

In 2006, Yarra had 34.2m2 of open space per person and now we have access to 25.3m2 per person. This has dropped significantly due to the staggering rate of population growth and is only going to get worse.


To satisfy our own social and recreational needs and for the sake of our children and grandchildren we must act now.

'Our streets are not garages' campaign has been made to raise awareness about the rise of the motor vehicle and how it's restricting potential public open spaces

 The Problem

  1. With the rise of the motor vehicle, our streets have become our surrogate garages, particularly in the inner city.

  2. As detached housing becomes more unaffordable, apartments are now a significant part of our housing choice in the future. Families living in dense accommodation (townhouses and apartments) need access to a ‘backyard’.

 The Solution

  1. Repositioning cars and investing in public open space where cars once sat. 

Picture this / Imagine the streets of Yarra being turned from this to this...

Oxford Street, Collingwood

If this is something you'd like to support, we need your help.


Local authorities like Yarra will never raise sufficient funds through open space levies on new developments to provide a meaningful ‘backyard’ across its municipality. The cost of land alone is too high, let alone the cost of constructing the open space. Therefore a project like this only gets approved and funded by council if the community gets behind it.

Where do I park my car? / Reasonable question

There are a number of techniques for better managing cars. We are working hard to find the best solution. If you have further concerns about this issue please contact us.

 Management of existing public and private car parks

There are opportunities to better manage existing public and private spaces over the course of the day so that they reach full capacity. 


Next time you walk around the area look at all the shop and commercial office spaces that are vacant at night. With management they could be more efficiently used.

 Increased use of public transport and alternative travel methods

Increasingly we think people will reduce their use of vehicles in areas like Collingwood and use Public transport, bicycles, Uber, Taxis and short term car hire.

 Underground car parks

In the longer term we think space should be provided under the street as they do in Barcelona and used to generate revenue for the development of additional new parks.

 Other parking solutions

Short term car parking could be provided in above ground stackers.

Team / Who's running the campaign?

The team at Message Consultants Australia submitted a proposal of this idea to the Yarra City Council during their review of their open space strategy. Tim Biles, the Director at Message Consultants Australia and Peta O'Brien, Campaign Manager have been working to promote and generate support for the campaign. 

FAQ / Have more questions?

  • Black Facebook Icon
  • Black Instagram Icon
  • Black Twitter Icon

We need your support!

To get a plan like this going we need community support.

Find out how you can help below (it's super easy!)