What is a pocket park?

Pocket parks are areas of open or green space that can be enjoyed by local residents, the term 'pocket' refers to their small size.

Open and green spaces provide a range of positive effects for communities. Functions of the space could include a place to sit or relax, play, meet friends, take a lunch break, read a book, walk the dog, or for neighbourhood gatherings.

As part of a strategy to green Fremantle, the City is working to provide usable open space within walking distance for every resident and worker in the City of Fremantle.

The 400m walkable catchment target is derived from the basic building block of walkable neighbourhood design. The idea is the community has access to open space within a five minute walk, which is about 400m.

Alternative and innovative methods such as public access to private open space and creative use of verges and road reserves could assist in taking up this shortfall.

There are several pocket parks already in the City of Fremantle, and many other examples from Australia and overseas. We have provided an online gallery with a few local examples.


Why was this site chosen?

Residents in this area of White Gum Valley do not have public open space that is a close walking distance (within 400m).  

The City of Fremantle carried out a detailed analysis of potential open space in this target area, taking into account a range of factors:
• land ownership
• site conditions, services and site-work requirements
• pedestrian accessibility
• public transport accessibility (ideally within 500m of a bus stop)
• road accessibility
• nearby facilities
• surrounding amenity (such as cafes or retail)
• passive surveillance
• population and demographics.

The Minilya Av / Biddles Lane site was chosen because it:
• is City-owned land
• has existing shade trees
• has good footpath connectivity
• is near a bus stop (Watkins Street)
• is near a café
• has good passive surveillance

The potential pocket park location is shown below.


What site constraints are there?

The land on the corner of Biddles Lane and Minilya Av is a drainage sump and must retain this function. The City is unable to change or convert this sump as part of this project but propose to build decking over a portion of this site, with a balustrade that complies with pool fencing requirements.

To extend the available area the adjacent verge would be incorporated, with proposed native plantings, seating and new trees. This area could also incorporate play equipment.  

Can an alternative site be chosen?

The City is not able to purchase land for this project. A previous analysis has identified this is the only suitable location in this area of White Gum Valley - this project aims to address a lack of green space in a specific catchment area.

How can I get involved?

The City is inviting local residents to get involved in the development of the pocket park by contributing vision, ideas and skills to the design process through the on-site session and providing feedback online. Subject to the project proceeding, further opportunities would be provided.

What will guide the concept for this space?

The proposed pocket park is part of the City of Fremantle’s Green Plan 2020 which has a target to provide usable open space within walking distance for every resident and worker in the City of Fremantle.

The City’s Play Spaces Plan differentiates between major and local play spaces. For example:

  • major play spaces service a large catchment and include parking, toilets, sports facilities, bbqs and more.
  • local play spaces service a highly localised catchment (less than 1km). They may provide shelter/shade, seating, play equipment, natural landscape features and access for people with disabilities.
The proposed White Gum Valley pocket park would service a 400m walkable catchment and is intended only for the immediate neighbourhood. Therefore, 'local' play space provisions will be used as a guide for the community to develop agreed priorities.