25 May 2016
A programme to refresh and revitalise New Plymouth’s CBD is under way.
A collaboration of the Council, Taranaki Chamber of Commerce and the Business and Retailers Association, ‘Shaping Our City’ will see three key activities taking place during the coming months: Paint the City, Green the City and Light Up the Laneways.
Group Manager Strategy Liam Hodgetts believes the Shaping Our City initiative can help some great outcomes for relatively small costs.
“The CBD is performing relatively well but like many provincial city centres, it’s facing a few challenges – but our CBD also has a lot of opportunities,” he says.
“It has a great mix of buildings, laneways, activities and some passionate developers and business owners, which is creating a point of difference. It has something unique and cool going on and we want to help that along.
“Fortunately that doesn’t have to mean major spending. A lot can be achieved through good ideas and collaboration among people and organisations that share a passion for our city.”
Paint the City will encourage more medium-to-large-scale art on CBD Buildings while Green the City will include a precinct-based planting regime for street trees along with the replacement of street furniture. Some of the new furniture is already in place, outside Centre City, with new-look ‘feature seating’ due for installation over spring.
Light Up the Laneways will use environmental design to prevent crime and increase vibrancy. Lighting will be brought into some of the CBD’s darker side streets, brightening them up to deter bad behaviour and encourage positive activities such as events and pop-up music performances.
The Shaping Our City initiative complements improvements to the CBD approved late last year, which included a dedicated resource to minimise litter and untidy streets, as well as the upgrading of planter boxes, rubbish bins, information signage and seats.
It is part of NPDC’s District Blueprint, a spatial plan comprising eight key directions that will guide the Council’s planning for the district over the next 30 years, with ‘central city’ being one of them.