New Town Retail Precinct Upgrade

The City of Hobart is upgrading the New Town retail precinct to create a more vibrant, inviting and accessible place for everyone.  

The concept design has been developed by the City of Hobart in collaboration with the New Town community.

The project is 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.

 

Current achievements

Our construction crews have now completed the first stage of works for the New Town retail precinct upgrade.

Our achievements over the past few months include:

  • All kerb and gutter renewals between Sunnyside Road and Salvation Army, New Town Road have been completed.
  • Both pedestrian crossings at Pedder Street and Pirie Street intersections are now step-free with bright new line marking.
  • Footpaths and retail nodes have been upgraded with a new paver layout design.
  • New garden beds have been installed at the intersection of New Town Road and Pirie Street.
  • New seat benches and bike racks have been installed in New Town Road.
  • A concrete seating at the New Town Road and Pirie Street junction is in place and will later receive celery top pine slatting and a steel backing.

The new design for the area was guided by the eclectic nature of the precinct. Various elements –  such as the texture and colour of paving stones, the shape and material chosen for the precinct’s furniture and the plants selected to adorn the streets – all are carefully considered and blend together to create a distinctive look to express the unique character of New Town.

The paving stones used to upgrade the footpaths and paved retail nodes fit together in an asymmetric pattern, creating a quilt-like effect. Varying paver texture and reflectivity creates a pattern that changes depending on time of day and weather conditions, while retaining appropriate slip resistance.

The style of the new street furniture resembles the design of the furniture in the neighbouring Lenah Valley precinct. Intended to be familiar, but different, it is influenced by the geometry of the new paving. Local Tasmanian celery top pine – the City’s frequent choice for furniture due to its durability and attractiveness – softens the street.

The planting design of the garden beds refers to the historic streetscape and cottage gardens of New Town Road. Colourful kangaroo paws and burgundy coloured dwarf flax contrast with grey succulents, irises, lavender and geraniums. The drought tolerance and low maintenance qualities of the plants will ensure an attractive look in all seasons.

The finishing touch is a tulip tree planted at the Pirie Street intersection. It will grow into an excellent shade tree, boasting a beautiful golden-yellow foliage in autumn.

Future planned upgrades

When will the next stage be built?

Covid-19 has had a significant impact on the Council’s financial position. As a result, the funding that had previously been forecast to build this project is no longer available. However there is ongoing work to pursue new funding opportunities for the project, including through Government programs and stimulus packages.

In the meantime, our priority is to continue to prepare for the future by progressing planning and design to get this project ‘shovel-ready’ for when funding opportunities become available.

What will the next stage involve?

Cross Street and Valentine Street intersection

The next stage of construction will involve the renewal of the Cross Street – Valentine Street intersection. The intersection will be developed so it can be temporarily converted into a dynamic public space, capable of hosting community events.

Pedestrian improvements

The City has received numerous comments about the need for the inclusion of pedestrian improvements along New Town Road. These will come in a variety of shapes and forms, including raised pedestrian thresholds, crossing and pedestrian refuge islands. The improvements will result in New Town Road becoming a safer and more comfortable area for pedestrians.

A pocket park for New Town

One of the most exciting developments in this stage is the creation of a pocket park at the front of the Salvation Army on New Town Road. Subject to planning approval, the park will include tables and seats for people to enjoy. Think of the park like a break-out zone – a gardened area for relaxing and socialising.

The City of Hobart is looking forward to delivering this project that we envisage will have wonderful social benefits for the community of New Town.  

Public art

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.

Download the project information sheet(PDF, 3MB)

Contact details

If you have any questions about this project, email coh@hobartcity.com.au or contact Philip Holliday, Executive Manger City Place Making, (03) 6238 2589.

 

Location

New Town Road, New Town 7008  View Map

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