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Social-Distancing Circles Are Coming to Parks Across Australia This Summer

New painted markers have arrived at Melbourne's Prahran Square and are on the cards for seven Sydney parks. Welcome to the future of picnicking.
By Libby Curran
October 01, 2020
By Libby Curran
October 01, 2020

We already know this summer's going to look a little different to those before it, as our cities set about recovering from months of pandemic-driven restrictions, while still trying to keep a lid on community transmission of COVID-19. But if you needed a reminder that 2020's social-distancing habits aren't going anywhere anytime soon, just check out the newly installed circle markers at Prahran Square, in Melbourne's south.

Offering a glimpse into the near future of COVID-safe picnics and park hangs, these social-distancing guides appeared on the grass this week as part of a trial project by the Chapel Street Precinct Association and the City of Stonnington. The new additions were inspired by similar social distancing rings that popped up during New York's summer, in locations like Brooklyn's Domino Park. Sprayed on with eco-friendly white paint and spaced 1.5 metres apart, there are 25 of the circles now gracing Prahran Square's lawns, with another 50 in surrounding locations. If you're in Melbourne and fancy giving them a workout, just keep in mind the current rules for public gatherings.

There's been a positive response to Melbourne's debut park circles so far, with a spokesperson for the City of Stonnington telling Concrete Playground it now plans on bringing more of these projects to life in parks across the region. Stay tuned for details on exactly where they'll be installed.

First Fleet Park by Destination NSW

And it seems other Aussie states can also expect to see similar circles soon gracing their own local parks and green spaces. In a COVID Safe Summer Plan unveiled by NSW's Department of Planning, Industry & Environment, it's revealed distancing markers are already in the works for spring at First Fleet Park in The Rocks, Tumbalong Park in Darling Harbour, Murray Gardens and the Crescent amphitheatre in Parramatta Park. More circles for sites in Centennial Parklands, the Royal Botanic Gardens and Sydney Olympic Park are set to be unveiled in the lead up to summer, too.

In some good news for Sydneysiders, the summer plan also mentions a hefty roster of events, which are set to take place in parklands and public spaces across the city. So far, the program includes 1000 gigs as part of Great Southern Nights and a 365-day celebration dubbed The Festival of Place. We'll let you know when more are announced.

You can check out the new social-distancing circles at Prahran Square, Cato Street, Prahran.

Published on October 01, 2020 by Libby Curran


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