Maribyrnong City Council undertook a major redevelopment project to transform Braybrook Park in Braybrook into a safe and more welcoming public space for the community.
After the park’s iconic aeroplane playground was destroyed by an arson attack in late 2015, Maribyrnong City Council began planning for a redevelopment of the park which had become known for anti-social behaviour and community perceptions of safety at the park had been declining.
In 2016, council consulted extensively with the local community, including residents, schools, childcare providers, business traders and Victoria Police, about the design approach to ensure the project would address local safety issues and encourage activation and community ownership of the park.
Utilising Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) principles, the new design delivered a high level of amenity to encourage legitimate activity and natural surveillance.
The redevelopment of the park was completed in October 2017, providing the community with a safe public area and a vibrant multi‐sensory space. This included:
- a steel playground structure with clear sightlines throughout
- two sheltered picnic and barbeque areas
- a connected pedestrian path network around the playground
- vandal resistant lighting to improve visibility at all hours.
The new amenity has increased legitimate use of the park, improving perceptions of safety and helping to reduce anti-social behaviour, the number of graffiti clean-ups and the amount of syringes found in the play space.
This project was awarded the LGPro 2019 Award for Excellence for Community Assets and Infrastructure Initiative ($2 million and under) .
Lessons from the project
The community were without a playground at this location for nearly two years due to the length of time to consult, design and build the project. Council reported that providing regular updates to the community on the status of the project helped to engender their support during this period. Engaging with local police throughout the project was also beneficial to the process.
Council has also committed to installing a public toilet in the new park following requests from the community. The toilet is expected to open in mid-2019.