Sit and see who pops up

Public open space has transformed bustling Ballarat St, giving residents and shoppers a chance to pull up a chair and relax ... but only until the end of April. 76448  Picture: Joe MastroianniPublic open space has transformed bustling Ballarat St, giving residents and shoppers a chance to pull up a chair and relax … but only until the end of April. 76448 Picture: Joe Mastroianni

By Charlene Gatt
YARRAVILLE’S pop-up park is up and running.
Maribyrnong City Council has closed off Ballarat St
between Murray and Canter-bury streets to traffic and rolled out the synthetic turf, large planters, tables, chairs and umbrellas to create a temporary piece of public open space that will be used for events and activities.
The idea was inspired by similar projects across London and New York and came about after a study identified a lack of open space in the Yarraville village, with narrow footpaths causing pedestrian congestion.
“This is a unique concept and one that will allow residents and visitors alike to enjoy some open space right in the heart of Yarraville village,” Maribyrnong Mayor John Cumming said.
“The temporary park will redefine the road as public space, giving pedestrians the chance to enjoy the outdoors in the heart of an urban environment that was previously occupied by vehicles.”
Ward councillor Martin Zakharov added: “Anyone can drop by for a coffee, read a book, have lunch with friends or enjoy an ice-cream in the sun before their movie starts.
“It is essentially Yarraville’s first town square – a communal place where the community can meet, gather and enjoy the neighbourhood.
“The support from local traders along the road has been fantastic, it wouldn’t work without their commitment.
“They have been very generous with their encouragement of using public spaces in the street.”
Traders, community groups and locals will be given the opportunity to hold events and art installations in the pop-up park to participate in the activation of the space.
The $50,000 installation will run until the end of April.

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