- Project: Holmesglen Neighbourhood Activation Project
- Organisation: City of Monash
- Grant fund: Public Safety Infrastructure Fund
- Grant amount: $250,000
Monash City Council led an urban design project to activate a neglected site along Warrigal Road. The site connects to Holmesglen Train Station, Holmesglen TAFE and local shopping strip.
In consultation with Victoria Police, local traders and the broader Ashwood Chadstone community, council identified a number of public safety issues in the area, including:
- regular graffiti and vandalism
- poor lighting
- several blind spots and obstructions to lines of sight.
These were impacting actual safety and perceptions of safety around the site. This deterred the community from using the space.
Through a $250,000 Public Safety Infrastructure Fund grant and a further council contribution of $283,000, Monash City Council implemented the Holmesglen Neighbourhood Activation Project. The project applied Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) measures to address identified public safety issues, improve amenity and encourage community use.
The project was completed in February 2018 and delivered:
- a bouldering wall
- a shared pedestrian and bike path
- a bike maintenance station
- a community-inspired mural
- communal seating
The upgrade of the shared pathway and surrounding area transformed the underutilised space into a community meeting place to:
- encourage interaction
- improve lines of sight
- increase natural surveillance, and
- provide safer connections for people moving through the area.
The Holmesglen Neighbourhood Activation Project has demonstrated early success in achieving the objectives of the project.
The eastern side of the Warrigal Road Holmesglen shopping strip and the rail trail is experiencing increased pedestrian activity. This has reduced the incidence of crime associated with the cycle/walking route to the local shopping centre.
The site is more regularly utilised by pedestrians and cyclists, and the increased access to transport and shops is benefitting local trade. It has also become a popular meeting spot for community members which is enhancing social cohesion.
Collaboration with all stakeholders, and flexibility when working with the community was crucial to the success of this project. Monash City Council worked closely with Victoria Police to identify the CPTED measures which would be effective in targeting issues. They also worked with VicTrack to ensure the new design would benefit connectivity to major public transport infrastructure.
The project experienced several delays. According to council, these delays could have been minimised by:
- taking into account the VicTrack requirements for projects impacted by rail infrastructure
- ensuring this was fully considered in the project timeframes.
Council also reported the need for regular and ongoing consultation with the Community Crime Prevention Unit and local businesses. This helped to resolve operational challenges during project delivery, and to maintain community support for the project during implementation.
Watch a short video about the project below.