New Town Retail Precinct Upgrade

  • Project typeRetail Precinct Upgrade
  • Project scheduleConstruction will commence at the end of February 2019
  • Contractor nameCity of Hobart

The City of Hobart, in collaboration with the New Town community, has developed a plan to improve the New Town retail precinct to make it more vibrant, inviting and accessible place for everyone.  

The project is part of the Transforming Hobart ten-year Capital Works Program and the third of the local retail precincts to be upgraded after Sandy Bay and Lenah Valley.  

Key priorities of the project

  • defining and reinvigorating New Town’s community hub at the Cross and Valentine streets' intersections with New Town Road
  • provide a new pedestrian amenity across the Roope, Pirie and Pedder streets' intersections
  • improving the existing pedestrian crossing points on New Town Road
  • creating new dining and sitting areas
  • adding new trees, plants and street furniture
  • creating space for events, markets and other community activities
  • upgrading footpaths and bicycle lanes.

Public art for the New Town Retail Precinct Upgrade

To contribute to the revitalisation of the New Town retail precinct, the City of Hobart has commissioned an artist to create an engaging and enduring public artwork that reflects the identity of the area, appeals to community members of all ages and remains contemporary and relevant for the long term. 

Matt Drysdale, a Tasmanian-born artist from the Office for Collective Design (the OCD), has been chosen through a nationwide selection process for his concept Hybrids. The concept offers a series of sculptural landmarks that offer other functions, including seating, planting and places for posting community notices. Matt developed the Hybrids as a result of analysing of the streetscape and gaining an understanding of the community desire for a bold work that defined the New Town retail strip.

Matt Drysdale is working closely with the City of Hobart Design and Planning team adjusting various aspects of the concept in order to develop the final version of the artwork to be delivered in 2020. 

For more information, visit the New Town Public Art project page.

Project background

  • “Main streets are the focal points of our towns, villages and cities. They are the places where we meet friends, share lunch, spend time and shop. A town without a quality main street is missing out on the most fundamental of public spaces, and its residents forgo the social atmosphere of a thrumming communal space. There is a broad appeal to quality main streets, so it makes sense to invest in good ones.” MRCagney, 2015 

    In spring 2015, the City of Hobart and a team of consultants undertook a program of community engagement to identify and prioritise streetscape upgrades for retail precincts across Hobart’s local areas. An innovative ‘tactical urbanism’ approach was employed. Pop-up style events were held in local areas, and communities were able to trial a range of temporary traffic interventions and streetscape improvements. Participants designed, organised, tested and proved their bold concepts, and the communities had a lot of fun in the process.

    In New Town, the traders group planned an event to test the closure of two street sections in order to create a new village square. 'Twilight on the Green' was a great success with people from the neighbourhood enjoying food, fire and music into the evening. 

    Twilight on the Green certainly brought the community together for an enjoyable party, however the event was intended to trial a more permanent solution for a traffic-free intersection.  Discussions with traders, locals and the New Town Community Association revealed that there were many different views and some people had real concerns about the impacts of restricting traffic from New Town Road.

    To ensure that a project could go ahead with broad community support, the City of Hobart relaunched the community engagement, inviting participation from all stakeholders in a co-design process to determine the scope, priorities and design direction for the upgrade.

    Key dates 

    Project planning: July 2017 - May 2018

    Issues and vision: July – September 2017

    The following activities were conducted to understand the community’s burning issues and highest priorities, and to identify common ground as the foundation for a new project scope:

    • mail-out to 2000 households, traders and property owners
    • online survey
    • community workshop at Sacred Heart College.

    Directions and options: September – November 2017

    A Project Action Team (PAT) comprised of 23 community-based stakeholders worked collaboratively with City officers to work through options and make recommendations that re-set the direction of the project. Four facilitated workshops were attended by the PAT, information was shared and 31 recommendations were made to the Council, outlining the priorities of the team.   

    Draft streetscape concept:  March 2018

    A draft concept was released for consultation in March 2018. The design was based on the Project Action Team's recommendations. A survey was open for a month to test the concept with the broader New Town community stakeholders.

    Reporting and approvals: April - May 2018

    The results of the March 2018 consultation have been documented for reporting to the Council in May 2018. 

    Project delivery: From June 2018

    Detailed design: June - January 2019

    Following the Council's approval for the project to proceed, detailed designs have been prepared in preparation for the construction stage.

    Construction commencement: End February 2019

    Construction is scheduled to commence at the end of February 2019. Project staff will be in touch with traders, residents and other stakeholders closer to the start date.

    Download the project information sheet(PDF, 3MB)

    Stay up to date 

    If you would like to receive updates, please subscribe to an e-newsletter by calling 03 6238 2564 or emailing

    Further information

    If you have any questions about this project, email or contact Aisha Paulsen, Community Engagement Officer, on 03 6238 2831.


New Town Road, New Town 7008  View Map

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