• Date: 24/03/2018
  • Cemetery: GMCT Home

Green open spaces at GMCT cemeteries and memorial parks will play an important role in maintaining Melbourne’s liveability in the future, according to new research.  

A new report from Infrastructure Australia, Future Cities: Planning for our growing population, forecasts what Melbourne will look like in 2046.  

It suggests that in 30 years’ time, there will be increased demand for public green space in the city as population growth reduces access to private outdoor spaces, such as backyards.  

The report forecasts that Melbourne will be: 



In need of green space

Melbourne’s population will have grown by 58 per cent, reaching 7.3 million.


The will be a greater proportion of people over 65 and fewer people of working age. 


While 38 per cent of Melbourne’s population had access to public green spaces in 2016/17, by 2046, this proportion will have dropped to 32 per cent.

We know that green spaces are good for our health. Environmental psychology research suggests humans depend on nature not simply for material requirements – such as water, food and shelter – but also for emotional, psychological and spiritual needs.

Initiatives such as Parks Week, which ran from 10-18 March, raise awareness on the value of our parks and open spaces, and to get people out of their living rooms to enjoy the outdoors.

GMCT’s parks are important places for remembrance and reflection, but they can also be for the living.

Now and into the future, we encourage members of our community to visit our cemeteries and appreciate them as places of natural beauty to be shared, explored and enjoyed as part of everyday life.

Landscapes that soothe

GMCT’s future focus will be on building stronger communities by providing spaces where people can come together for leisure activities or to reconnect with nature.

This includes shaping those spaces to ensure they are emotionally nourishing and inclusive of all segments of Melbourne’s diverse population.

In 2017, GMCT CEO Jacqui Weatherill presented on the concept of ‘emotive landscapes’ to industry delegates at the Australasian Cemeteries and Crematoria Association’s (ACCA) national conference. She also twice appeared on ABC Melbourne radio to talk about how cemeteries could best meet the sensory and emotional needs of the communities they serve.

“For local communities, just to walk through a cemetery and experience peace and tranquility when our lives are so busy and hectic is a really important thing,” Jacqui said.

“It’s not just a cemetery space, it’s a peaceful public open space for the community to enjoy, to walk their dog, to cycle through.

“When we’re designing new cemeteries these days, we’re looking at it with a multifaceted approach. It’s got to consider multicultural communities. It’s got to meet a broad range of needs, not just one need. We’re looking for our cemetery spaces to be long-term, important public spaces in urban areas,” she said.

Did you know?

GMCT’s future memorial park at our Harkness greenfield site in Melbourne’s west will be over 100 hectares!

Find out more

Click here to read more about emotive landscapes

Click here to find out more about GMCT cemeteries and memorial parks

Click here to read the full report by Infrastructure Australia