Footscray Wharf and Promenade's stunning revitalisation

With the goal to maintain the historical character and repurpose historical elements, Cardno, now Stantec’s team has successfully transformed the historical heart of Melbourne's inner west. Resulting in a stunning revitalisation of Footscray Wharf and Promenade.

Footscray is the historical heart of Melbourne’s inner west.  Founded in the 1850s, the town grew with the rise of trade and industry.  In recent decades, the industries that once flourished have closed or relocated elsewhere, leaving a quiet waterfront town that was disconnected from Melbourne city

The master plan proposed key moves for reconnecting the community with the river.  It identifies opportunities to create a vibrant river edge that attracts and engages the community. 

This included giving the community better access to the Maribyrnong River, a lower landing and a floating pontoon allowing small to medium boats to moor at the wharf.  A wider pedestrian promenade connecting the Maribyrnong River trail is equipped with seating, sheltered picnic areas and barbecues, offering space for groups to gather. 

The team provided both scope of work for the project included the detailed design construction services and documentation of the Footscray Wharf and Promenade.  The plan focused on incorporating the historical site's character and repurposed historical elements.  

This entailed geotechnical investigations and approvals, civil design, maritime design and design of all other associated services.


Working collaboratively and supporting the Council’s landscape architects, the team advanced the Footscray River Edge Master Plan into a construction documentation stage comprising drawings including plans, elevations and sections.

A truly multidisciplinary project, the key elements of this development included: 

  • An approximate 330m long timber wharf structure bordering the Maribyrnong River with mooring facilities for small to medium-sized vessels 
  • Construction and remediation of a rock revetment to protect the river embankment within the extent of the site  
  • Civil design works that included kerb realignment, on-street parking, shared pathways and landscaping areas 
  • Structural design of custom feature shelter structures
The construction process saw the physical transformation from demolition and site clearance to building and landscaping, resulting in the breathtaking transformation of Footscray Wharf.

All images courtesy of Jason Ting, Project Manager, Simpson Construction Company Pty Ltd

New life has been breathed into the historic site, an iconic transformation presenting diverse landscapes from an active urban waterfront to a natural river edge.

Footscray Wharf and Promenade has successfully retained the site's historical elements and created a waterfront that boosts civic pride in the local community.