The Daylighting Dandenong Creek project is a part of the Enhancing Our Dandenong Creek program currently being implemented. Dandenong Creekwas channelised, and sections piped, in the late 1960s. The reach consists of 800 m of grassed floodway channel with a low flow pipe. In 2016 Melbourne Water in conjunction with EPA, local government and the community initiated a program of works to naturalise the creek back to a functioning waterway. Through 2018 the 800 m piped section of the creek is being naturalised.
The process of going from an initial aspiration to the constructed naturalised channel has taken several years, including extensive consultation and engagement with community and collaboration with project partners throughout the design process. Throughout this time a number of complex challenges have been faced and addressed, ensuring a successful construction outcome.
This paper discusses details the process for Dandenong Creek, from project initiation and development, which adopted a collaborative and participatory approach to decision making, through several stages of design, and finally construction. It highlights key design constraints and considerationswhich were addressed in this project and should be considered for all future naturalisation projects.
A number of design stages were undertaken from concept to detailed design. Through this process key design features such as establishing limitations for recovery and achieving a geomorphically and ecologically sound design were addressed. Importantly a number of other processes formed a large component of the design process, including:
In addition to design and construction considerations, the consultation process with community and stakeholders has been equally insightful. These project highlights key opportunities and issues that must form part of the naturalisation design process to ensure successful outcomes.