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Open Space Strategy - parks, reserves and other open spaces in the City of Whittlesea

In 2016 we adopted our Open Space Strategy that sets out the future planning, design and management of our open spaces.


Please use the below links to access documentation regarding the Open Space Strategy 2016:

Key aims of the plan

  • Accessible – located within easy and safe walking distance of living and working areas
  • Health and wellbeing – provide spaces for people to enjoy, encourage sport and exercise and green spaces with trees and grass
  • Diverse – diverse areas, sizes and facilities that appeal and are accessible to everyone
  • Equitable – spaces that embrace and support cultural diversity and ne equitably funded by the existing and future population
  • Sustainable – spaces that protect and strengthen our natural environment (ie. Water use, promote walking/cycling etc)
  • Connected – provide spaces that connect neighbourhoods
  • Cultural – protect and celebrate Indigenous and non-Indigenous values
  • Ecological – protect significant biodiversity (ie. Remnant River Red Gums) and other indigenous vegetation so future generations can enjoy them

Different kinds of open space

Each type of open space in our municipality has a specific role to play – depending on its size, location and character.

  • State open space – of significant to the State Government (Plenty Gorge Park, Yan Yean Reserve)
  • Regional open space – caters to a broader regional catchment (Merri Creek, Darebin Creek Linear Trails)
  • Municipal open space – provides for the recreational needs of the municipality (Harvest Home Recreational Reserve, Redleap Reserve)
  • Neighbourhood open space – provides facilities within walking distance of home or work (Mimosa Park in Mill Park, Lorne Park in Lalor, Botanica Park in Bundoora)
  • Local open space – located within easy and safe walking distance from home or work, and provide enough space to have 2 activities in the 1 open space (Prince of Wales Parks in Mill Park, Silky Oak Park in Bundoora, Victoria Park in Thomastown)
  • Small local open space – located within an easy and safe walk from home or work and smaller in size compared to local open space (Kellaway Crescent Park in Mill Park, Japonica Park in Bundoora)
  • Small local link – provide improved connectivity between streets and open space. Usually less than .05 hectares in size, with a minimum width of 10 metres.

Some recomendations from the strategy

  • Construction of additional shared trail and walking path links to improve the connectivity and accessibility between open spaces.
  • 4 key existing open space reserves have been selected to create destination community parks. Major upgrades planned include regional playgrounds, multiuse courts, fitness stations, picnic and BBQ facilities, public toilets and car parking at the following locations:
    • Whittlesea Public Gardens
    • Norris Bank
    • Quarry Hills Regional Parkland
    • Mill Park Recreation Reserve
  • 11 new open spaces have been identified for future Local and Small Local open space areas. We will be undertaking a more detailed assessment of these sites.
  • Future open space designs will incorporate water sensitive measures including water harvesting to promote environmental sustainability

How do we decide what facilities are installed at a park?

We have established a guide for the rage of facilities and features that are appropriate in the different kinds of open space we have in the municipality.

This guides decisions made by us, developers and other agencies when undertaking future upgrades for existing open space and the establishment of new open space.

Public toilets in parks


Not all of our parks and open spaces feature public toilets.

When deciding whether a park or open space will include public toilets, we consider the size of the park and its uses, this is as the ongoing maintenance of public toilets can cost up to $150,000. Public toilets are also prone to vandalism and damage.

Public toilets are typically installed at parks and open space reserves that are classified as State open space or Regional open space.

Find your local public toilets.