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.

As part of the $382.48 million Geelong City Deal and the Victorian Government’s 10-year Revitalising Central Geelong Action Plan, the Green Spine is a key project to drive change in Geelong’s CBD and enhance business opportunities and tourism.  The Green Spine will connect Johnstone Park to Eastern Park and the Botanical Gardens via six blocks along Malop Street.

Geelong Malop Street Green Spine artist impression

Artist impression of the Green Spine.

Block 1 (Malop Street between Gheringhap and Moorabool streets)

Stage: Construction

Project duration: 2021

Location: Malop Street between Gheringhap and Moorabool streets

Funding partners: The project is being delivered as part of the 10-year Revitalising Central Geelong Action Plan, a partnership between the City of Greater Geelong and the State Government. Funding is provided through the $382.48 million Geelong City Deal, a collaborative program to transform Geelong and the Great Ocean Road by the Australian and Victorian Governments and the City of Greater Geelong.

Construction on the second stage (Block 1) of the Green Spine project is now underway, between Gheringhap and Moorabool streets.

Stage 1 works on Block 1 will be carried out on the north side of the road and will provide a new entry to the city from Johnstone Park and the train station precinct. It will feature 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 will continue through this block.

Once complete, nearly a hectare of new green space will be added to the CBD, with a rich mix of native, indigenous, and exotic plantings, as well as seating and alfresco spaces and public art. 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.

The project encourages health and wellbeing and the use of active transport. It includes a safer cycling route spanning the length of the Green Spine, for those exploring or commuting on bike.

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.

Consultation with the community and stakeholders, including businesses and residents that front Malop Street, is an essential part of the design phase for each block. Detailed planning work on the rest of the Green Spine, connecting greenery and bike lanes is also underway and the community will be engaged late-2021 to provide feedback.

Frequently Asked Questions

The Green Spine is a key project in the Revitalising Central Geelong Action Plan to drive change in the CBD and is being delivered through the Geelong City Deal. The 10-year Geelong City Deal involves the Australian Government, Victorian Government and City of Greater Geelong working together to deliver $382 million in government investment to the region supporting Geelong’s continued economic diversification, growth of the visitor economy and a thriving city centre.

A concept developed from a collaborative process between government and community in 2013 called Vision 2, the Green Spine provides a focal point for new development and improves the health and wellbeing of residents and visitors to central Geelong. It creates a new street hierarchy by reclaiming Malop Street as a pedestrian and bike-oriented environment, enhancing alfresco social opportunities, and underpins the establishment of a distinctive streetscape character. It demonstrates Geelong’s reputation as a modern, liveable, and vibrant city.

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’ and will improve the urban environment by providing shade in summer, reducing the effect of wind, removal of air pollutants and filtering storm water. All these elements provide a calmer and more relaxing experience for visitors, thus encouraging them to stay longer in the CBD.

The section between Gheringhap and Moorabool Streets is referred to as ‘Block 1’ of the six city blocks in Malop Street that will form the Green Spine, connecting Johnstone Park to Eastern Gardens. In 2021, we are focusing on the north side of Block 1, with no construction planned for the south side of Malop Street. This will reduce the impact on bus services and city centre parking. The first stage will be the renewal of the pedestrian zone on the north side of the road, and the re-creation of the open space at the entry to Malop Street as the ‘triangle park’ in front of the Worksafe and NDIS buildings.

An ‘all-abilities’ standard will be applied to improve pedestrian movement along Malop Street, including connections to and from the new WorkSafe and NDIS buildings. The single lane bike path on the north sides of Malop Street will continue through this block.

Minor activities started onsite in October 2020 with survey works and early conversations with traders and property owners. The main activity began in January 2021, starting with drainage works at the Gheringhap Street end.  We expect to complete the north side construction of Block 1 towards the end of 2021.

To assist with safe access to businesses and around the works area, traffic management and pedestrian signage will be in place. We understand this may be disruptive and appreciate your patience.

We will be working with traders to minimise disruption, and ensure the community understands traders are ‘open for business’, with access maintained throughout construction.

The project team will be talking to businesses regularly to ensure they feel supported throughout 2021.

Over the summer period 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.

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 regionalwest.communications@roads.vic.gov.au

The number of parking bays will not change between Moorabool and Gheringhap streets. The Civic Car Park entry will also remain open on the south side of the street.

Works to the northern side of Malop Street between Gheringhap Street and Moorabool Street will progress to construct the Green Spine from the back of the road kerb to the building line. The second stage includes works to the southern side of the street to construct the botanical walk, alfresco dining spaces and renewed pedestrian pathway. The second stage will be programmed for delivery when funding is available and the future bus routes in central Geelong are known. As the strategic planning for the buses is reliant on other major projects in Geelong, the next Green Spine stage will be the design and construction of Block 3 between Yarra and Bellerine streets.

Block 2 (Malop Street between Moorabool and Yarra streets)

Stage: Complete

Project duration: 2017 - 2018

Location: Malop Street between Moorabool and Yarra streets

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.

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: 29/08/21