A footbridge linking two buildings is often a divisive issue but Melbourne Central is showing us how wonderful it can be.
A large two-storey footbridge connects Melbourne Central Shopping Centre [ Block 28 ] to The Emporium Shopping Centre [ Block 21 ], across a traffic sewer called Lonsdale Street. Mention the word ‘footbridge’ and nimby’s immediately arm themselves, ready for a fight ! In some cases they are right, but, Melbourne Central has recently shown us just how good a footbridge can be. They have successfully turned a pedestrian sewer into a public plaza where people can work, chat, relax, eat and learn something new.
The newly refurbished footbridge was recently opened and it was an immediate success. People flock to the new space and during peak times you will not be able to find a seat or table. Here you can find recharging stations for your phone, tablets and/or laptops, comfortable seating amongst an oasis of greenery, large tables where you can create communal workspaces [ including free wifi ], intimate spaces where you can reflect and ponder, as well as, info panels telling you about the flora that surrounds you.
It is no longer a soulless tunnel that transports you from point A to point B. It is a ‘sticky place’, other such examples is the State Library of Victoria’s forecourt and the lawn in front of St Paul’s Cathedral. These are places where people want to be and gravitate towards. So thank you Melbourne Central and may the City Council of Melbourne, landlords such as Crown Casino and Property Developers learn from your example. Our city can only be enriched by creating modern sticky places for people.