Concept designs endorsed by Council
At the Council meeting on 7 December 2020 Council endorsed the draft concept design for the Elizabeth Street Midtown Retail Precinct project as a framework for future streetscape development in the project area. This milestone comes after an extensive two year consultation period. We extend our thanks all Midtown stakeholders who participated in the engagement over this period – with a special thanks to the Project Action Team (PAT) – all busy people who volunteered significant time to work together collaboratively.
The draft concept design responds to the PAT's shared vision for Midtown co-designed with local traders, residents and property owners. The design 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.
The most recent public consultation period in October 2020 revealed 71% of respondents being supportive of the overall concept design. Feedback both for and against the concept design was captured in the engagement summary report which was considered by the Council in making the decision to endorse the concept design. Thank you to everyone who contributed to this process and providing constructive feedback on the concept design.
When will it be built?
As previously communicated, Council is not currently in a position to fund construction for the project, however project planning is continuing so that the project will be 'shovel ready', for when new funding opportunities arise. If funding became available, construction of block one could start in 2022.
In the meantime, work will continue on the detailed design, costing, and implementation planning for the project. A further report is to be provided to Council next year with an implementation outline, including funding sources, cost estimate, financial implications and proposed timing of any on-ground works.
Patrick Street Intersection
Funding for safety improvements to the intersection at Elizabeth Street and Patrick Street has been secured though the Australian Government Black Spot Program. Design work for this improvement is underway, with implementation planned for the first half of 2022. Futher consultation will occur with stakeholders in this area soon.
Vibrance Festival is an arts and music festival that celebrates street art and urban culture. Vibrance Festival returns to Hobart over 7 days from 22-28 February 2021 showcasing 20+ artists including some amazing Tasmanian talent painting murals live at various sites along Elizabeth Street. Events will be staged in Midtown, from Melville Street and extending right up to North Hobart.
The festival will focus on the painting of large-scale murals by Tasmanian artists, but will also include live music, street art tours, local food & beverage offerings as well as special pop-up events
Expect live music, skateboarding demos, street art tours, markets, fairs, and food.
Stay tuned to the festival website for more details on the event program, the lineup of artists and presale for ticketed events.
Thanks to those who have participated in the project’s engagement to date, and for your recent feedback to the draft concept design. Your comments and contributions will now be reported to the Council for its consideration.
The report of the feedback will be available to view on the agenda of the City Infrastructure Committee November 2020 meeting from COB tonight – at this webpage:
The report presents the results of the survey that was conducted through October, and will be discussed by the committee on Wednesday evening 25 November 2020. You can tune in to the meeting which will be livestreamed on the City of Hobart YouTube channel from 5.15pm.
Tune in to the meeting here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCrIBiZ0bXHUfnOAj8OAxqtA?view_as=subscriber
We’ve heard lots of views and have aimed to capture a true record of those views in the report. If you feel that your views have not been sufficiently captured, and that you have more say, there are two additional pathways open to you.
1) Email elected members
You can email your elected members to let them know – as a group firstname.lastname@example.org.
Or to the individual elected members on the City Infrastructure Committee -
Councillor Harvey (chair) email@example.com
Lord Mayor Councillor Reynolds firstname.lastname@example.org
Deputy Lord Mayor Councillor Burnet email@example.com
Councillor Ewin firstname.lastname@example.org
Alderman Behrakis email@example.com
2) Make a deptuation
Alternatively, you can request to make a deputation to the committee. This is a process where members of the public are given five minutes to address the Committee in relation to a report. Committee meetings are currently by Zoom and are broadcast on YouTube, and recorded. The committee chair is required to approve any requests for deputations.
If you would like to consider applying to make deputation, please contact Council Support Officer, Belinda Herbert to discuss on 6238 2721 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Once the City Infrastructure Committee has considered the report, it will then be considered by the full Council, where it will make a decision about the next steps for the project, at its meeting on 7 December 2020.
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.