For a Better Brisbane

Roma Street Parklands: Development + Parklands

Brisbane residents love wide open parks. But they also need places to live that don’t take 30 minutes plus and two traffic gauntlets a day just to get to and from work. Often in debates about land uses, it is automatically taken as granted that parks and high density development are taken as mutually excluding opposites -black and white, park or development. Fortunately the world isn’t so clear-cut. The need for breakout recreational space and space to live in can be met at the same time, but it takes a big block of land to do it.

Brisbane has at least two precedents of parkland + high density development: Roma Street Parklands and South Bank Parklands. These parks are easily the most popular and loved recreational spaces in Brisbane. Their popular use makes them enjoyable but safe places.

Many of the buildings are around 10 storeys in height. Traffic parking on the street isn’t free and there are many traffic calming devices. But what about all these people, aren’t they generating colossal levels of car traffic? The answer is, surprisingly, no. Anybody who takes a walk along at peak hour at the end of the work day will be surprised to see how little car traffic is on Parkland Boulevard. Even more surprising is the extremely high level of cycling on this road, no doubt helped by the nearby bicycle centre at King George Square.

Public transport use couldn’t be easier with Roma Street Station just down the road. But why bother when the CBD is 500 meters down a wide pathway, you could walk to work! There is just one thing missing though- lots of restaurants and outdoor dining along the Boulevard.

If anyone wants to see how parkland and development can go together, go to Roma Street. Even this blog envies such a nice place.

Roma Street Parklands, Official Site


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August 23, 2010 at 9:58 pm

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