New Town Retail Precinct Upgrade

The shopping precinct in New Town Road, New Town will be upgraded to provide a more vibrant and accessible streetscape for the local community, with an improved pedestrian crossing facility over New Town Road. 

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.

The New Town traders group planned an event to test the closure of two street sections in order to create a new village square. The event was a great success and the community and the traders supported the concept. A master plan was developed by the consultants which recommends the following actions: 

  • Create a village square and village green to define and reinvigorate New Town’s community hub
  • The new community space would be achieved by closing access to Cross Street and Valentine Street from New Town Road
  • A new pedestrian crossing across New Town Road
  • Paved alfresco dining and sitting areas to support local traders and promote activation
  • Space for events, markets and other related activities
  • Improved footpaths
  • Traffic calming on New Town Road

About the process

The proposal that was developed by the consultant team presents an exciting new open space for people to enjoy. Restricting through traffic and transforming side street intersections into urban plazas is a traffic calming strategy that reallocates a portion of the road space for public open space. There are some good examples in Melbourne where traffic-dominated neighbourhoods have been given some ‘breathing space’ for people to rest, relax and socialise.

Since the 2015 trial, discussions with traders and the New Town Community Association have revealed that there are many different views and some people have real concerns about the impacts of restricting traffic from New Town Road.

The City is planning to invest $2 million in streetscape upgrade works in New Town. This is an opportunity to make a positive difference to the local community. The City will take the time to engage broadly with the New Town community to ensure that a project concept is developed that will make the precinct a more vibrant and inviting place to be and has broad community and stakeholder support. 

Expression of interest - public art elements

The City of Hobart wishes to engage an artist, craft practitioner or designer, or collaborative team, to create a series of public art elements for the New Town Retail Precinct Upgrade. Find out more here: Public art - current opportunities

Key Dates 

Consultation and project planning will commence in mid 2017. There will be a number of ways that you can be informed and have your say throughout the life of the project. The initial stages of the project will focus on understanding the community’s views and developing a concept that has broad community support. The initial stages will be: 

Issues and vision: July – September

The aim of this stage is to understand the community’s core values and priorities and to identify common ground that will be the foundation for a project concept that addresses the key issues.
Project information and a survey has been mailed out to local residents, traders and property owners. An online survey is now available via Your Say until mid-September, and a community workshop will be held on 24 August 2017. Details for the community workshop are as follows:

Date: Thursday 24 August 2017
Time: 6-8pm
Location: Sacred Heart College
RSVP: by Monday 14 August 2017 (to Alison Surtees on telephone 03 6238 2930 or via email to
*When you RSVP please indicate whether you would like to use the childminding service, if you have special dietary needs or if you require wheelchair access. The venue has steps, however, step free access can be provided with prior notice. A map of the venue will be provided upon request.

Directions and options: September – November

In this stage project officers will work closely with a Project Action Team which will be comprised of community-based stakeholders from within the precinct and representatives of the New Town Community Association.
The role of the Project Action Team will be to work collaboratively with City officers, to work through the options and ultimately identify a project that reflects the issues and priorities identified by the community in the previous engagement stage. 

Draft concept:  March

Once an agreed project direction has been identified, detailed planning and design development will occur with a draft concept released for community consultation around March 2018.

Reporting and approvals: April

The results of the previous engagement stage will be documented and will be used to refine the draft concept. The proposal will then be reported to the Council in April or May 2018. 

Construction is currently programmed for the 2018/2019 financial year, with an expected commencement of late 2018. However, this is an approximate projection and will depend on the results of community engagement. 

Further Information

You can download a copy of the project Master Plan here: A Plan for Hobart’s Local Retail Precincts.


New Town Road, New Town 7008  View Map

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