A plan for Hobart's Local Retail Precincts
In spring 2015, the City of Hobart appointed consultants to identify and prioritise streetscape upgrades for five retail precincts across Hobart. Local traders staged pop-up events in main streets to test 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 tested a concept that removed traffic from the intersection of New Town Road, Valentine Street and Cross Street, creating a new village square. The event was a success, and surveys showed that the community and the traders enthusiastically endorsed the concept.
A master plan was developed (illustrated above) which recommended:
- a village square and village green to define and reinvigorate New Town’s community hub by closing vehicle access to Cross Street and Valentine Street from New Town Road
- a new pedestrian crossing on New Town Road
- paved alfresco dining and sitting areas to support and promote activation
- space for events, markets, and other related activities
- improved footpaths
- traffic calming on New Town Road.
Since the 2015 trial, discussions with traders and the New Town Community Association have revealed that there are many different views about the proposed concept. In particular lots of people have real concerns about the impacts of restricting traffic access.
The City now wants to hear everyone's views to understand what is most important regarding the future of the retail precinct. The results of this consultation will inform the project objectives and these will lead to the creation of a plan in collaboration with community members.
Taking the time to give everyone a chance to have their say will give us the best opportunity of developing a final plan that has broad community support.