The Wharf Street Basin Next Generation Community Park is a key project for the Canning City Centre Regeneration Program, which is a ten year, $76 million program that aims to transform Canning’s City Centre into Perth’s southern CBD.

Wharf Street Basin has been reimagined as a new smart park and is one of the City of Canning’s centrepieces of urban renewal. Located at 109 Wharf Street, Cannington, Western Australia, walking distance to Cannington Leisureplex and Westfield Carousel, the Wharf Street Basin Next Generation Community Park is a pilot project for water sensitive infrastructure and technology.

It was an inaccessible stormwater basin, fenced off from the public for 60 years, which has now been transformed into a community smart park and a jewel in the crown of the urban regeneration of Canning City Centre.

The Next Generation Park is a one of a kind where nature and technology meet to give the community a place to relax, connect with nature and learn more about water. This innovative park has solved practical problems and created a project framework that will serve to be a model for all of Western Australia and even more widely across Australia.

The City of Canning has collaborated with Western Australia’s thought leaders and key government agencies in urban redevelopment and landscape architecture to use landscape design and technology solutions to create a recreational space that incorporates a new approach to stormwater management.

The City worked closely with the Water Corporation’s Drainage for Liveability program to take down the fence from around the stormwater retention basin, while ensuring that the site remained safe for the public to access, and also maintained the basin’s core flood management function. Where once the site was inaccessible, with low biodiversity and no amenity, it is now a thriving oasis within the urban landscape.

The local community now have a place to relax, watch the wildlife that is calling the site home, and admire the beautiful native plants that have been incorporated into the landscaping. There is also room to exercise, as well as meet up with friends for a picnic lunch.

The park has some unique features that set it apart from other parks:

• An augmented reality (AR) app, Smart Canning, lets you be a scientist, play games and learn about stormwater – all while using your mobile device.

• A 40m large mural painted on the Wharf Street side of the park. Designed and painted by two Perth artists, Brenton See and Jade Dolman, the mural is a celebration of water, the site’s plants and wildlife and the Whadjuk Noongar people’s connection to water and the landscape.

• A small nature play area located near the mural (southern end of the park). It has a water play feature, log steppers, a balance beam, log stilts and is suitable for young children.

• An open-air pavilion, which can be used as an outdoor classroom for school groups.

Other facilities include universally accessible pathways, bike racks on site to lock up your bike, seating to stop, rest and enjoy the views across the water, a boardwalk, and a bridge to easily connect between Leila Street and Cecil Avenue, lighting that allows for safe evening use of the park, Wi-Fi within the park, several smart charging benches to plug in your USB cable and drinking fountains and a water bottle refill station.

The project was co-funded by the Federal Government who contributed more than $1 million as part of Smart Cities and Suburbs funding back in 2018. The City also partnered with Water Corporation’s Drainage for Liveability, Department of Water and Environmental Regulation, Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions, Urbaqua, Curtin University and Innovation Central Perth and contracted Josh Byrnes and Associates to design the project and Environmental Industries to deliver the park.

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