Rapid population influx due to migration in Australia has produced diverse cultural landscapes, which become visible in cities as physical forms, settings and symbols produced by different ethnic communities. Scholars have argued that people moving away from the country of their birth, whether this be a necessary migration, labour mobility or voluntary migration, results in a difficult process of resettlement for families and individuals. To provide a cohesive multicultural society for all citizens, it is essential to understand how immigrants perceive their new environments and how they make connections in a new land in the process of cultural renewal. While the policy of ‘multiculturalism’ has had a rocky road since the optimistic 1970s, a drive through many suburbs in Australian cities shows buildings, festivals and communal gatherings of people that express and refer to diverse cultural backgrounds.
Urban green spaces, ranging from private home gardens to public parks and botanical gardens, play an important role in the life of immigrants. Besides psychological and the restorative effects of urban green spaces, these spaces are public places that provide opportunities for recreation, social gatherings, and the celebration of collective cultural values and events such as festivals for many communities. This study aims to raise awareness of ethnicity as an important issue in park settings and spaces. It investigates the interrelationship between these cultural practices in the urban park environment, in relation to ethnic and cultural identity and physical settings. The concept of transculturalism – reinventing a new common culture as a result of migration to a new place – can help the analysis of the affects and the perception of urban green spaces. The paper will review different experiences of immigrants in relation to the use and perception of urban green spaces, developing alternative perspectives about the Australian landscapes.