Experiment to offer a fresh angle on the city

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Published: 04 Feb 2022

The first in a series of experiments designed to reimagine how people look at their city is coming soon to Strathallan Corner.

The temporary changes to the high profile site, which was originally designed to shield people from the heavy traffic noise when Stafford Street was part of State Highway 1, will encourage people to rethink what they want from this public space in the future.

The team will be inviting small groups representing diverse parts of the community to occupy and explore the space in different ways, and we’ll be asking people how they think it changes their experience of the city.

Experiments such as this are part of the Urban Master Plan being developed by urban design experts Isthmus and city activation specialists Gap Filler alongside stakeholders as part of Timaru District Council’s City Hub Strategy.

Timaru District Council Development Manager Rosie Oliver said that Strathallan Corner was one of the areas clearly identified in earlier stakeholder consultation, so it made sense that it would be home to one of the initial activations.

“We’re taking a tactical approach to uncover, test and build on ideas suggested by stakeholders and the wider community.

“It includes site testing to understand what happens when we implement popular concepts in a temporary way.

“Testing our assumptions before we commit funding to any big-ticket items will help ensure outcomes are functional, attractive, and well utilised by our communities both now and in the future.

“These will be concepts built around the existing streetscape rather than final ideas, but the trials paired with community feedback will help directly inform, develop, and refine the Urban Master Plan for Timaru.”

Over the course of the next few months and years people in Timaru will see a series of smaller and larger temporary trials and activations happening in the city that test new experiences.

“All along the way we will be asking for people’s feedback to tweak and refine the concepts and you will be able to tell us if they align with your needs and interests,” said Rosie.

“There will be a number of opportunities to give feedback on this specific installation onsite and we are keen to hear from the community at any time through our website or email.”

“We invite you to test the space as well and see how it changes your experience of the city.”

For more information about the city hub project, visit Timaru.govt.nz/cityhub

Last updated: 04 Feb 2022