During the 2006 Commonwealth Games, the 20 hectare Commonwealth Games Village in Parkville accommodated 4,500 athletes and 1,500 team officials as well as dining, medical, religious, media and administrative facilities.
Adjacent to Royal Park, the site was previsouly occupied by the Royal Park Psychiatric Hospital. Many of the hospital buildings were accorded heritage significance and were integrated within the new development.
Post-games, the houses and apartments were refurbished and a series of new apartments constructed. The completed Village holds approximately 1,000 dwellings, around 20% of which is social housing.
The Commonwealth Games Village provided a unique opportunity to showcase advanced landscape planning principles and present a new model for urban planning and open space design to both a local and international audience.
Built into the Master Plan was the recognition that the Village must make a graceful transition from the highly intense but brief setting for the Games Village in to a vibrant residential community.
Ambitious environmental targets exceeding current best practice were set for the Commonwealth Games Village in all areas of environmental design including water management, carbon emissions, and waste management.
Specific initiatives included on-site treatment of grey water through bioswales and sand filter beds and a local bus route and a comprehensive network of pedestrian and cycle paths encouraging emission-free transport.
Aged care facilities, affordable housing, and community services were also integral components of the Master Plan.
As a highly visible project, the Commonwealth Gamels Village demonstrated the ability of the landscape architect to establish an overall Master plan “vision” and guide the project through a multitude of obstacles to realisation.