The Yarra River and its parklands hold diverse environmental and social values for the different communities who live alongside or nearby. Although it is important to view the Yarra River as one living entity, the reality is that the Yarra River and its parklands will hold different social and environmental meanings and interests for the communities at different reaches of the Yarra. This includes environmental, cultural, social and economic aspirations for the Yarra River and its parklands.


Maintaining the guiding principle that the Yarra River and its parklands are one living entity, this chapter aims to understand:

  • How do the diverse communities at different reaches of the Yarra value, use and connect with the river and its parklands?
  • What are their future aspirations for keeping the Yarra alive?
  • Do these values and aspirations change moving downstream?

The 11 indicators that form this section of this report are the first attempt in Victoria to assess the socio-economic benefits derived from the natural assets of the Yarra River and its parklands. Therefore, the information provided in this chapter either establishes a baseline for future trend assessments or, for seven indicators where data is absent or poor, creates a foundation from which the development of more nuanced cultural, social and economic indicators can be developed. As the indicators will also need to be integrated and aligned with the environmental health indicators that form the YSP Performance Objectives (due for release in late 2019), some adjustment to these indicators may be required in the next reporting cycle (2019–23).

Cultural landscape health and management

Demographics, stewardship and recreational health