The Green Spine project is transforming central Geelong with a vibrant linear park along the length of Malop Street, connecting Johnstone Park and Eastern Park.

The project is part of the $500 million Geelong City Deal, a collaborative plan to transform Geelong and the Great Ocean Road by the Australian and Victorian Governments, and the City of Greater Geelong through the Revitalising Central Geelong Action Plan. The Green Spine will connect Johnstone Park to Eastern Park and the Botanical Gardens via six blocks along Malop Street.

Cities around the world are embracing linear parks to support health and wellbeing. Once complete, nearly a hectare of new green space will be added to the Geelong CBD as well as more than 10,000 plants and trees.

Geelong Malop Street Green Spine artist impression

Artist impression of the Green Spine.

The project will reclaim Malop Street as a pedestrian and active transport zone, providing enhanced alfresco and social opportunities, a safer cycling route spanning the length of the Green Spine, and delivering a unique and distinctive streetscape showcasing Geelong’s UNESCO City of Design status.

Along with its appealing, natural public spaces, Malop Street plays an important social and economic role in central Geelong. Local businesses are benefiting from the CBD becoming an improved destination for visitors and shoppers, with more people choosing to spend time in the city centre.

This project is being delivered in a series of blocks:

Block 1 – Gheringhap Street to Moorabool Street (Stage 1 north side complete)

Block 2 – Moorabool Street to Yarra Street (complete)

Block 3 – Yarra Street to Bellerine Street

Block 4 – Bellerine Street to Swanston Street

Block 5 – Swanston Street to Fitzroy Street

Block 6 – Fitzroy Street to Garden Street

Biophilic design principles

A key feature in the designs is the use of ‘biophilic’ design principles, which seek to connect buildings and people more closely with nature. Biophilic city design has been proven to deliver a range of environmental, social, and economic benefits to the community.

By embracing these design principles, flora and fauna will flourish along Malop Street, breathing new life into the CBD and supporting Geelong’s status as a UNESCO City of Design.

Award-winning

The Green Spine (Malop Street) Project was a winner in the Civic Landscape category of the 2019 Australian Institute of Landscape Architecture National Awards.

Block 1 (Malop Street between Gheringhap Street and Moorabool Street)

Block 1 north side

Stage: Block 1 Stage 1 north side complete

Project duration: 2021

Block 1 south side

Stage: Subject to funding and approvals

Location: Malop Street between Gheringhap Street and Moorabool Street

Funding partners: The delivery of the north side of Block 1 was delivered as part of the $500 million Geelong City Deal, a collaborative plan to transform Geelong and the Great Ocean Road by the Australian and Victorian Governments, and the City of Greater Geelong through the Revitalising Central Geelong Action Plan.

The delivery of the south side of Block 1 is subject to future funding and approvals, and we will keep you informed as the project progresses.

One hectare of new green space has been added to the CBD with construction of the second stage (Block 1, Stage 1 north side) of the Green Spine project complete between Gheringhap and Moorabool streets.

Featuring a landscaped triangle park, cultural heritage features from the Wadawurrung Traditional Owners, new trees, garden seating and alfresco areas. The single lane bike path on the north side of Malop Street also continues through this block.

A rich mix of native, indigenous, and exotic plantings has been used throughout the space which is complemented with public art and alfresco spaces. The mix of trees includes deciduous trees that allow shade in summer and increased sunlight infiltration in winter, addressing urban heat impacts and allowing the city to become more resilient to climate change impacts with a connected and strengthened ecosystem.

Along with its appealing, natural public spaces, Malop Street plays an important social and economic role in central Geelong. Local businesses are benefiting from the CBD becoming a destination for visitors and shoppers, with more people choosing to spend time in the city centre.

Thank you for your patience while we completed the works.

  • Aerial image of Malop Street Green Spine Block 1 Malop Street Green Spine Block 1 public seating Malop Street Green Spine Block 1 paths and seating looking onto Johnstone Park Malop Street Green Spine Block 1 lawn outside WorkSafe building

Block 2 (Malop Street between Moorabool Street and Yarra Street)

Stage: Block 2 complete

Project duration: 2017 - 2018

Location: Malop Street between Moorabool Street and Yarra Street

Stage one of the Malop Street Green Spine between Moorabool and Yarra streets was completed in July 2018.

The Green Spine project is designed to transform Malop Street into a vibrant street and linear park, with an 8-metre-wide botanical walk, featuring stunning indigenous and exotic plants and a series of interconnected gathering spaces beneath a canopy of large trees.

The Malop Street Green Spine project is creating more spaces for people to meet and socialise. The separated one-way bike lanes and meandering walk provide for safe active transport, supporting the health and well-being of the community.

The project contributes to central Geelong’s ‘City in a Park’ principle, creating a new linear park linking Johnstone Park with Eastern Park, and making central Geelong’s streetscape a great place not just for shopping, but for relaxing and enjoying.

Developed following intensive community consultation, the creative vision for the project is underpinned by smart sustainable features such as storm water filtration, and shade and wind breaks that will further enhance the city’s liveability.

Two pedestrians walking down the Malop Street Green Spine with shopping bags Pedestrians crossing at the traffic lights, the Green Spine bike lane and greenery Public seating and greenery along the Malop Street Green Spine with cars in the background Trees in the foreground and pedestrians in the background along the Malop Street Green Spine

Block 3 (Malop Street between Yarra Street and Bellerine Street)

Stage: Concept design

Duration: 2022-2023

Location: Malop Street between Yarra Street and Bellerine Street

Block 3 from Yarra Street to Bellerine Street will seamlessly connect with previously completed blocks, balanced between vehicles and active transport, with single lanes in each direction for cars and separated lanes for cyclists improving safety.

Block 3 will see the continuation of the botanic walk along both the north and south sides of Malop Street complemented by native vegetation and planting, separated bike lanes for improved cyclist safety, and rehabilitation of the road consistent with Block 2.

The design aims to enhance the street environment by creating a functional and attractive community space for retail and dining, business, active transport, and cultural activities. The design elements will tie together the unique existing business and trader features, and retail/commercial functions.

Traffic and parking changes

A key objective of this project is to support active transport in Geelong and balance the need of vehicles, active transport users and pedestrians in central Geelong.

Two-way traffic will be maintained along Malop Street and the road layout and active transport design elements will be consistent with Blocks 1 and 2. The design has also taken into consideration opportunities to improve traffic flow from previous block designs.

Download a copy of the Block 3 Project Fact Sheet here

Malop Street Green Spine Block 3 concept design

Blocks 4 to 6 (Malop Street between Bellerine Street and Garden Street)

Stage: Concept design

Duration: 2022

Location: Malop Street between Bellerine Street and Garden Street

The delivery of Blocks 4 to 6 of the project is subject to future funding and approvals. We will keep you informed as the project progresses.

Concept designs for Blocks 4 to 6 have been developed to showcase the exciting possibilities for these sections of Malop Street and we are seeking your feedback to ensure the designs reflect local interests and values.

The concept designs for Blocks 4 to 6 aim to enhance the street environment as Malop Street transitions from retail to residential.

The design elements will flow from Blocks 1-3, with the continuation of the botanic walk along the south side of Malop Street only, including native vegetation and planting. The north side will feature a more traditional streetscape and will continue the avenue of trees established in Block 3.

As these blocks transition to residential properties, the design will extend the neighbourhood character feel with car parking on both sides of the street for the health precinct and residents and improved pedestrian linkages with Little Malop Street.

Download a copy of the Blocks 4-6 Project Fact Sheet here

Concept design of Block 4 of the Malop Street Green Spine
Image of Malop Street Green Spine Block 5 concept design

Image of Malop Street Green Spine Block 5 concept design

Frequently Asked Questions

The Green Spine Project will transform central Geelong with a vibrant linear park along the length of Malop Street, connecting the Geelong Station precinct, Johnstone Park, and Eastern Park, and will create a central destination.

It will reclaim Malop Street as a pedestrian and active transport zone, enhancing alfresco and social opportunities and delivering a unique and distinctive streetscape showcasing Geelong’s UNESCO City of Design status.

The Green Spine project spans 1.4 kilometres along Malop Street and is divided into six blocks between Gheringhap Street and Garden Street.

The project plays an important social, environmental and economic role. It supports economic development, tourism and sustainability by connecting key thoroughfares and creating a destination for locals and visitors to linger. Cities around the world are embracing linear parks to support health and wellbeing.

The Green Spine Project is being delivered as part of the $500 million Geelong City Deal, a collaborative plan to transform Geelong and the Great Ocean Road by the Australian and Victorian Governments, and the City of Greater Geelong through the Revitalising Central Geelong Action Plan.

Winner in the Civic Landscape category of the 2019 Australian Institute of Landscape Architecture National Awards, the Green Spine will deliver important benefits to central Geelong, enhancing business opportunities by transforming the street into a drawcard for locals and tourists. The landmark linear public open space is an example of ‘biophilic design’, which seeks to connect buildings and people more closely with nature. The design will improve the urban environment by providing shade in summer, reducing the effect of wind, removal of air pollutants and filtering storm water.

Concept designs for Blocks 3 to 6 of the Green Spine have been developed to showcase the exciting possibilities for these sections of Malop Street.

The design elements will seamlessly connect along the street, with the continuation of the botanic walk from Blocks 1 and 2 complemented by native vegetation and planting, an avenue of trees, separated bike lanes for improved cyclist safety and road upgrades.

Feedback provided through our community and trader surveys during February and March will help to inform the next stages of the design.

Construction of Block 3 is anticipated to begin in mid-late 2022 and be completed in mid-2023.

Construction of Blocks 4 to 6 is subject to future funding.

We are committed to working with traders to understand the needs of their business and how we can best support them during these works to minimise disruption during construction and support business-as-usual activity.

We understand that it has been a challenging few years with the ongoing effects of the COVID-19 and are committed to working with traders and the community to achieve the best possible outcome that reflects the diverse needs of Malop Street.

The project has a dedicated communication and engagement team to support the project team and work with traders to best support them throughout the project.

All applications for outdoor dining will be supported where the COVID-19 temporary outdoor dining permit guidelines are met. During construction, project partners will work with traders to minimise disruption to outdoor dining.

You can sign up for project updates here.

Along with regular updates on the RCG website, information about the Green Spine project and other RCG Action Plan initiatives are regularly published on the following platforms:

You can also ask specific questions regarding construction by emailing rcg@geelongcity.vic.gov.au

On Block 3 (Yarra Street to Bellerine Street) some parking spaces will need to be removed from the southern side of Malop Street and the centre median to accommodate the realignment of the road to follow from Block 2. The exact location and number of parking spaces will be determined through the design process.

Blocks 4 to 6 (Bellerine to Garden Street) will retain car parking on both the north and south side of Malop Street, however car parking will be removed from the centre median.

Construction of Block 1 Stage 2 south side is subject to future funding.

Stay informed

We appreciate your patience and understanding during this important work. For more information about this project, or to give us your feedback:

Australian Government logo, Victorian Government logo, Geelong Unesco City of Design logo, City of Greater Geelong logo, Revitalising Central Geelong logo

Page last updated: 28/09/22