The Victoria Park master plan, developed and endorsed by Council in December 2008, seeked to create a vibrant, flexible and sustainable recreatioinal open space within the iconic Adelaide Park Lands, supporting a variety of community activities whilst preserving the unique landscape and heritage qualities of the site. Community use of Victoria Park/Bakkabakkandi for a wide variety of recreation activities drove the master plan.
The gardens and informal recreation spaces were seen as a vital component of the master plan. There was an opportunity to further encourage community use of the park by providing amenity through landscaping and the creation of informal recreation opportunities and open space.
Future use of Victoria Park has long been a controversial topic in Adelaide. Becky Hirst Consulting was brought on board to facilitate a conversation between local residents and users of the park about the potential design for the proposed Central Gardens. A meeting was held where the design team spoke with small groups about the potential design, including activities, amenity & facilities and landscaping.
Interactive and participatory tools were used to collect feedback from participants in a non-threatening way. Everyone who attended the meeting had the opportunity to have their say and provide valuable input in to the design process. A final report was compiled and presented to the Council and design team.