Brisbane City Council has allocated $1.5 million for infrastructure upgrades to revitalise West End’s Davies Park and increase its attraction and usability, funded from infrastructure contributions collected from development occurring within Brisbane.

Author of the national award-winning Green Space Strategy for West End and Highgate Hill John Mongard says it is important that the Council does not lose sight of the need for the shortfall investment in new parks for West End. The Green Space Strategy estimates a short fall of over 15 hectares of parkland by 2031.

“West End has one of the highest housing densities and one of the fastest growth rates in Queensland, yet it has received very few new greenspaces to match this growth over the last 20 years,” said John Mongard.

Direct engagement with hundreds of residents through community workshops and forums over the past two years have identified recurring needs in the neighbourhood green spaces, such as hardcourt play spaces, youth skate areas, more public toilets, more parks where people can gather and celebrate events, small children’s play areas, and places to sit in shade and comfort.

John Mongard would like to foster the idea for a village green fronting Montague Road.

“We could reclaim lost space and allow the markets to spill over into a village green so the vibrancy of Saturday is in our neighbourhood and streets,” he said.

Montague Village Green could act like a central park hub, much like the new Bunyapa Park on the corner of Thomas Street does, bringing a vibrant green space to our streets.

As a loved and important community space, Jane Street Community Garden is integral to this vision and could be enhanced and expanded as part of this plan.

The money allocated by Council is very limited and won’t spread to all areas of the park, so rather than focus all areas of the park in a scattergun approach, the idea is to provide badly needed park functions closer to West End’s older neighbourhood and to the West End State School in one new consolidated village green.

“If we treat the Montague Road frontage as a people space, we will start the process of changing Montague Road into a slow local street. Even a boulevard one day,” Mr Mongard said.

“It would be a village green we would see and use, reclaiming what is currently fallow land adjacent to sporting club fences or lanes. The village green is the only park hub in the Montague Road precinct.”

Brisbane City Council says that the purpose of the $1.5m Davies Park project is to, “revitalise the park to increase its attraction and usability for the community”.

The proposed improvements will focus on areas of the park that do not impact existing leases, such as the rugby and soccer fields.

Council has held a number of feedback sessions and is seeking community feedback on enhancements that increase accessible green space.

They are also asking for feedback on improvements to accommodate existing community lease activities in the park, promote a sense of community and celebrate its cultural heritage, and increase the recreational use of the park.

Community members can have their say on the Council website.

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