Glass' Creek and Hay's Paddock: the background history of a park
AuthorKelso, M. H.
AffiliationSchool of Environmental Planning
Document TypeMasters Research thesis
CitationsKelso, M. H. (1984). Glass' Creek and Hay's Paddock: the background history of a park. Masters Research thesis, School of Environmental Planning, The University of Melbourne.
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© 1984 M. H. Kelso
This case study relates the history of a controversy in the Melbourne suburb of Kew, about the development of public open space. The space consisted of an existing park, through which a creek flowed and proposed parkland adjacent to it, which was private farmland when the history began. The controversy was activated by a group of residents who opposed the Municipal Council's plans to underground the Creek and to build three ovals. They wanted the Creek reconstructed and the site developed as a "natural" environment. The dispute focused on three issues: treatment of the degraded, urban creek; use of the land for active or for passive sport, and the values ascribed to the land. The case study is based on documentary material from the files of the main organisations involved, and on interviews with some participants. It covers the period 1971 to 1981, describing the area, the interests of the main organisations, the history of their attitudes, proposals and decisions. The problems of urban creeks are outlined. The report describes how Glass' Creek was reconstructed and some of the problems associated with that. It considers why the recreation conflict was protracted and concludes that this was due to differing belief systems about the value of the land itself, which could only be resolved by political means. Finally, the case study examines what "natural" meant and how participants expressed their values towards the land through physical and symbolic proposals for development of the site. The case study illustrates problems in the planning structure and raises questions for landscape architects about the relationship of people to their physical environment and the way in which they invest it with meaning.
KeywordsKew Natural Environment Group; parks; Victoria; Kew; landscape design; recreation areas; planning; stream conservation; Hay’s Paddock; Melbourne; Glass' Creek
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