Montague Road is a street of imaginative, diverse experiences and unfolding possibilities showcasing Brisbane and its citizenry. These words encompass the Montague Road Community Vision for 2035. 

The Montague Road project team and participants launched the Community Vision for Montague Road at the Queensland Ballet’s Thomas Dixon Centre on 30 March 2023.

Fiona Stager, long-term West End resident and proprietor of Avid Reader Bookshop, opened proceedings by sharing her pleasure in walking our back streets and seeing the cultural mix of West End represented in its gardens, planted with poppies, lemon trees, bok choy, and tamarind. She talked about the need to think about how we walk and access our streets, and shared a quote from The Overstory by Richard Powers:

“When is the best time to plant a tree?” “Twenty years ago.” “When is the next best time?”, Now.”

“And that speaks to my heart,” Ms Stager said, “we can make change now.”

Fiona Stager at Project Launch

The Montague Road project team is urging us to imagine this congested, exposed thoroughfare as Brisbane’s coolest, greenest, most water-wise street. 

“Imagine a Forest Parkland at Kurilpa Point, protected lanes for mobility devices and bicycles, a village experience with public spaces for community connection and much more”, said local resident and Montague Road Project Group Member Maurice McCallum.

The project is a community response to the significant cultural and physical changes impacting Montague Road; the growth in new residential buildings, the newly renovated Thomas Dixon Centre at its southern end, and plans for a new International Broadcasting Centre in 2032 at its northern end.

“In response to these developments, residents, Kurilpa Futures, and Queensland Ballet formed the Montague Road Project to initiate this community-led participation in decision-making,” the project team said.

The Community Vision is the starting point for guiding precinct-wide and individual projects in the run-up to the Olympics and beyond.

“We hope that this inspiring community vision, backed by rich data, will encourage government and design teams to engage with us at the earliest opportunity to discuss their projects”, Mr McCallum said.

“It’s important that the local community voice from conception informs projects. We live here, we have a vision and the local knowledge that can help make sure that projects add value to our community.”

The project team aims to centre the Vision around residents’ voices and to work in partnership with all tiers of government and the development sector on designing the future for Montague Road. 

The Community Engagement Report documents how the group approached the community last August and September, listing who participated and what they heard. The resulting Community Vision is formed around four broad pillars. 

“We designed the four themes or pillars to encompass streams of work needed to achieve the Vision.”

The themes are: 

  1. Sustainable Movement
  2. Cool, Blue, Green
  3. Kurilpa Canopy
  4. Village Experience.

The project team rounded off the evening by thanking all who supported and participated in the project, and invited locals to get involved as they partner with the government to realise their vision.

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All images by Jan Bowman