"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.
For more information, see the project information sheet(PDF, 3MB).