A park is not an isolated place. Instead, it is a connection to a continuous ground, an unbroken series of planes linked through space and time. This continuous ground runs everywhere under the city: below buildings, asphalt, and beneath the concrete. A park is not an added amenity. Instead, it is the absence of construction. In the urban extents of Melbourne, building a park in the future begins with unbuilding the city, reconciling with the past, and opening new directions forward.
This proposal calls for the creation of two reciprocal landscapes. For the first, Queen Victoria Market will be disassembled and moved to create a new open space in the city. Today, the market sits over the graves of Melbourne’s first residents. Thus, this proposal asks that the entire market be moved, releasing the ground and respectfully acknowledging those who were and those who remain buried on site. Left behind, we propose raising a burial mound to remind busy locals of their debt to the past and responsibility to future generations.
The second landscape accepts the relocated market to the Moonee Creek Community, which comprises E-Gate and the lands to its west. We have designed this new Port Market Wetland Park and Moonee Creek Community to preserve a connection to the ground while accommodating a growing population. The wetland park references Batman’s Swamp and supports a salt marsh habitat that accepts rising floodwaters and stormwater. The newly relocated market encircles the restored marsh, and beyond, a new model of development proposes housing interspersed with ample green space. Here urban agriculture, an opportunity to touch and work with the soil, is the first strategy to connect local citizens with the ground, linking their future to the past and growing a healthy community.