Sunvale Community Park
- Brimbank City Council
- CONVIC Pty Ltd
- E2Design Lab
Previously a disused primary school, Sunvale Community Park is now a Flagship Park facility for Brimbank residents. The park delivers high quality open space with both active and passive recreation offered through the provision of large natural open spaces, circuit walking tracks, abundant shade and tree planting. Playgrounds feature integrated water play, sensory gardens and a skate facility. Set around an expansive lawn, the park is serviced by sheltered picnic facilities, public barbecues, inclusive toilet facilities and outdoor fitness stations. The park captures surrounding stormwater for treatment and storage in a 100,000litre underground tank and reused for irrigation.
Council facilitated a community led design approach, engaging in a campaign of listening and reporting back over a two year period. Led by Brimbank Council’s Urban Design Team, this allowed a process that embedded community aspiration in the evolving design. At the initial Listening Post 548 ideas were put forward by the community. It was these requests that directly shaped the park. The result of this 360 degree design process is a park design guided by strong community attachment for the old school site and the collective ambitions of residents for a new place of community into the future.
Sunvale Community Park is now enthusiastically embraced by its community. Residents clearly wanted a park with strong social, recreation and ecological outcomes and were enabled in the shaping of their new community park through a 360 degree design methodology that listened to the sites community and sensitively responded.
Brimbank Council were supported by the State Government, Melbourne Water (WSUD infrastructure) and Sports and Recreation Victoria (Skating infrastructure) to fund this $3.5m upgrade of the old school site to a major park.
Today the park is a lively green place that offers opportunities to connect park users of all cultures, ages and abilities to each other and the environment. Every element constructed within the park proudly links back directly to an idea put forward by a resident, that was then supported by the greater community through a returned design over the two year engagement process. The park draws contrasting ideas together seamlessly and since opening in 2018, brings diverse community groups together. This park has successfully re-engaged a local community with ‘their’ community place after years of dormancy following the school closure.
Central to the design is Council\’s aim to make parks as \’Oasis\’ where the community has a place that supports resilience from heatwaves and pandemics.
A complex urban forest is emerging that provides shade, biodiversity and plants for to take home from the herb garden.
The central shelter is designed for a kiosk in the future while supporting music events, film nights and gatherings of large numbers of people.
Play is about natural spaces and experiences through a variety of challenging activities, water play, music, ball games, skating, outdoor gym or ball games on the old school oval.
One of the request from the communty was walking circuit with a First Nation People\’s theme. Urban Design led the procurement of the First Nations art pieces tilted, The Five Elements. These pieces depict the strong connection First Nations people have to the landscape being, Spirit, Water, Fire, Wind and Earth. These are now shared with the Brimbank community allowing a forging an ancient culture with contemporary Brimbank. The artist were local First Nation women supported by djprojects, who specialise in the fabrication and installation of public art pieces.