Have Your Say! Public engagement period opens for Midtown concept designs
The City is now seeking community feedback on the draft streetscape concept design for Midtown.
The concept responds to the shared vision for Midtown co-designed with local traders, residents and property owners during a comprehensive community engagement program last year.
The plan re-imagines Elizabeth Street (between Melville and Warwick Streets) as a more welcoming, accessible and people-focused main street with better conditions for walking and cycling, spaces to sit and rest, greenery, street furniture and public art.
You can view the plans here and provide your feedback by completing this survey. Your feedback will help to refine the plan. The survey will remain open until 2 November 2020.
When will the project be built?
Covid-19 has had a significant impact on the Council’s financial position and as a result, the capital project is not currently funded. However project planning is continuing so that the project will be 'shovel ready', as new funding opportunities arise. This could mean the project gets delivered in stages and through different funding programs. We will keep you up to date as the situation evolves.
The City is currently in discussion with the Department of State Growth in relation to making additional space available for outdoor dining in suitable sites adjacent to interested local food and beverage businesses. If successful, this would be a pilot project aiming to support local business to recover and prosper in the COVID-19 environment and to assist with the need for physical distancing. The City has appointed consultants Sugden and Gee to investigate suitable locations for trial dining decks, and engage with interested businesses in Midtown. We hope to update you soon about the outcomes of this work.
On Friday 18 September, Elizabeth Street was transformed with number of pop-up parklets hosted by several of Midtown businesses to celebrate Park(ing) Day. Supported by the City of Hobart and delivered locally by the Tasmanian Young Planners, Park(ing) Day encourages people to see public spaces from a different angle, and their potential as a place for people to dwell rather than for cars. Starting in San Francisco in 2005, PARK(ing) Day is now celebrated in more than 160 cities. The successful event provided an glimpse of what a more greener, vibrant, active and inclusive people-focused Elizabeth street could look like in the future.
The City has recently secured funding under the Australian Government Black Spot Program to improve the Elizabeth Street/Patrick Street intersection to make it safer for pedestrians. The project is currently in the initial design stage.
The City has been working with Midtown businesses, property owners, and residents for many months now in a co-design process to re-imagine Elizabeth Street, Midtown as a more welcoming accessible and people-focused main street. Achieving something great takes time, and when things like COVID get in the way, sometimes they take a little longer, but when there is a desire and momentum to see change then some exciting things can happen. Take International Park(ing) Day for example. Occurring annually on the third Friday of September worldwide, the premise is to re-purpose an on-street car space for a day to create a 'parklet'. What is a parklet? A tiny park in an on-street car parking space, temporarily transformed into something different and social. Park(ing) Day demonstrates the what could be possible by re-claiming on-street car parking spaces into 'parklets' to help our cities become healthier, more comfortable, more creative and more successful outdoor human habitat.
In recent weeks the Tasmanian Young Plannners have been working with several Midtown traders to prepare for this year's Park(ing) Day. On Friday 18 September we will see pop-up parklets curated and hosted by a record number of Midtown traders including The Stagg, Island Espresso, Bar Wa Izakaya, the CWA Gift Shop, Shoe Box café, Play Street landscape architects, and maybe more! Midtown will be transformed 'fleetingly' for a day to provide a glimpse of what a future Midtown might look and feel like. Park(ing) Day is for everyone. Make it to Midtown and join in the fun!
Last year the City collaborated with Midtown’s traders, residents, property owners and other stakeholders (who formed a Project Action Team - PAT) in a co-design process, to identify priorities to upgrade Elizabeth Street (between Melville and Warwick Streets).
A draft streetscape concept master plan for Midtown was developed in response to the PAT’s vision. This plan re-imagines Elizabeth Street as a more welcoming accessible and people-focused main street.
The future Elizabeth Street has better conditions for walking and cycling, wider footpaths, spaces to sit and rest, greenery, street furniture and public art. These changes would support the vibrant local businesses that Midtown is known for, and build on the area's natural strengths.
We are excited to soon be able to share the concept master plan with key stakeholders and the wider community. Direct consultation with businesses and key stakeholders will be occurring later this month. Key stakeholders and businesses will be contacted directly by the project team in the coming days and invited to participate in this consultation.
When will the project 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 starting in 2021 is no longer available. However we will continue planning to ensure the project is 'shovel ready', and pursue new funding as opportunities arise, including through Government programs and stimulus packages.
For example, the City has recently been awarded funding to upgrade the pedestrian crossing at the intersection of Elizabeth and Patrick Streets has been granted by the Australian Government under its Black Spot Road Safety Program. Improvements in this location are likely to commence in the first half of 2021.
Upcoming street activation plans
We are pleased to advise that the team from Vibrance Festival 2021 are still working on their plans to bring seven days of celebrating street art and culture along Elizabeth Street this coming summer.
In addition to Vibrance, we are looking to work with the Project Action Team and local traders to identify and develop potential initiatives to encourage activation in the street to support local businesses, and to continue to develop the sense of place and community connection in Midtown. If you are interested in joining us at a workshop to help plan activation opportunities, please get in touch. We'll settle on a time and date that suits most.
More details on this opportunity will be provided soon.
Last year, we worked with traders, residents, property owners and other stakeholders to create a vision for an improved Elizabeth Street (Midtown), with a focus on the blocks between Melville and Warwick Streets.
A draft concept has been developed in response to this successful engagement process, for a more welcoming, accessible and people-friendly street, with better conditions for walking and cycling, spaces to sit and rest, greenery, furnishings and art. We've come a long way in co-designing Elizabeth Street, Midtown with you.
More recently the City's focus has been on responding to the evolving COVID-19 situation, and we know this is the case for everyone. We've been thinking of you during these unprecedentedly challenging times for traders and for many members of our community.
Currently, the City is reviewing all planned capital projects in light of the situation, and Midtown is part of that review. The status of the project may change, however at this stage we are continuing with the current draft concept phase.
Right now, we are preparing for when we can re-engage with you on the project.
In coming weeks, we’ll be mailing concept plans to key stakeholders, and we’ll be seeking feedback. The feedback collected from this targeted engagement stage will be reported to the Council. This needs to occur prior to sharing the concepts with the broader community.
Until then, we want to thank you for your support to date, and we look forward to sharing the concept design for an improved Elizabeth Street Retail Precinct, soon.
The project stages detailed below. If unexpected changes to the program occur, this page will be kept up to date.
Postcards: December 2018 – February 2019 (complete)
Postcards were distributed to local traders, residents, owners and occupiers, in December 2018. People were invited to share a quick message about what they like about midtown and what they would change to make it a more people friendly street. The responses have assisted us with planning the engagement program.
Issues and Vision: February - March 2019 (complete)
The focus in this stage is on listening to the broad perspectives within the community and gathering everyone's views. At the end of this stage we will have a thorough understanding of the range of issues and aspirations to be considered. Activities include:
- Online survey: February - March 2019 (complete)
- Midtown vision workshops: March 2019 (complete)
Directions and options: April – May 2019 (complete)
Council staff are working closely with a Project Action Team (PAT) made up of community stakeholders, to develop a design philosophy and make specific recommendations to the Council regarding the priorities for the streetscape upgrade.
We have a group of people who are passionate about Midtown and are helping the City plan the upgrade. Our community representatives are people of different ages, backgrounds and lives, including people who live, work and own businesses and businesses here.
Draft concept: November 2019 - May 2020 (current)
The City's design team will develop a streetscape design proposal, based on the PAT’s recommendations.
Concept review: mid 2020
Concept design proposals will be exhibited in the precinct in the first half of 2020, together with a feedback survey. This will test the concept with the broader community stakeholders.
Detailed design: late 2020 / early 2021
Once the Council has given approval for the project to proceed, detailed designs will be prepared in preparation for construction.
Currently there is no construction time frame. 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 starting in 2021 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 spring 2015, the City of Hobart appointed consultants to identify and prioritise streetscape upgrades for five retail precincts across Hobart's local neighbourhoods. Local traders staged pop-up events in main streets to test traffic interventions and streetscape improvements. Participatns, designed, organised, tested and proved their bold concepts, and the communities had a lot of fun in the process.
The Elizabeth Street traders group hosted an event that encouraged people to walk their dogs to town - 'Paws and Feet in the Street'. They tested a concept that provided more space in the footpath for people to socialise and interact.
A Local Retail Precincts Plan was developed based on a review of the situation in each area and identified specific works, expected benefits and estimated costs of improving the City’s infrastructure at each of the selected shopping strips.