Purpose ‐ The purpose of this paper is to present an overview of the management and development of Federation Square, one of Melbourne's most important public spaces. Design/methodology/approach ‐ A descriptive approach was taken which looks at the strategic management that has guided the evolution of Federation Square from initial inception to its realisation as a key public space in Melbourne. Findings ‐ Federation Square has become a place for residents and visitors alike. It is now a place where community gathers, and enormous attention is given to staying in touch with the sentiment of the community. This has been achieved through effective strategic management, which has encouraged the community to play the part of creative leaders through the use of a number of key tactics. Originality/value ‐ Federation Square has become a successful place thanks to the involvement of the community ‐ the management of the square presents a model which other similar schemes could replicate/take pointers from.