Urban play & recreational activities hit the city centre

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Published: 26 Oct 2022

Bite-sized recreation installations are popping up around the city centre starting this week, encouraging physical and social interaction through a range of activities until mid-next year.

The trials are an opportunity to learn how we can make the central city a more vibrant place to live, work, and play. The aim of the project is to explore whether these small opportunities for urban play encourage people to stay longer, help them to enjoy the area in a different way or change their perception of the city centre.

The trials are a part of the Timaru CityTown project, helping reshape and improve the city through community engagement, with the aim of testing ideas to take an evidence-based approach to longer-term investment through a 10-15 year Master Plan with a capital budget of $34.6m.

Helen Kerr, CityTown Design Team Leader said that the CityTown project has a clear priority to increase the number of people living in the central city.

“Generally, city residents expect a bit of everything on their doorstep: that’s part of the appeal of central living.”

The trial findings will help determine whether small urban recreational offerings could become a more permanent part of the central city, especially for the proposed greenway streets and associated public spaces in the Long Term Plan.

The trial installations are located at Heritage Place, the Strathallan Overbridge, and on Stafford Street outside Soul, Surf and Skate.

A table tennis table is now installed at Heritage Place with bats and balls available from Speights Ale House, a giant tetherball game is being built under Strathallan Overbridge, and outside Soul, Surf and Skate there will be a beach scene set-up for people to interact with.

Owner of Soul, Surf and Skate, Tash Broadhead, says she is excited to see people enjoying themselves outside of her shop heading into summer.

“I'm stoked to see more things happening in the city,” Broadhead said.

“The trials will show the community how the CBD can be a vibrant city”.

“The trials have been a great collaboration between the CityTown project and business owners in the city. Hopefully, it will also encourage the community to shop locally.”

More information about the trials and the wider Timaru CityTown project can be found at timarucitytown.co.nz

Last updated: 26 Oct 2022