In 2016-17, Maribyrnong City Council received a $205,000 grant from the Community Crime Prevention Program to contribute to a major redevelopment project. This involved transforming 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. The park had become known for anti-social behaviour and as a result, community perceptions of safety at the park were declining.
In 2016, council consulted with the local community about the design approach, to ensure the project would address local safety issues and encourage activation and community ownership of the park. Council spoke with:
- childcare providers
- business traders
- Victoria Police.
Using 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
- improved perceptions of safety
- reduced anti-social behaviour
- reduced the number of graffiti clean-ups
- reduced 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.