Hutt City Council’s CBD Development Manager Cyndi Christensen says the opportunity to work with students at Massey’s Wellington School of Design is exciting and one that is supported by the Southend Business Group (SEBG) – a group of businesses located at the south-end of High Street in Lower Hutt.
“We received a proposal from Euan Robertson, senior lecturer at Massey University about the opportunity to reconfigure and reuse an overlooked space in the city,” says Cyndi. “The idea of students working alongside businesses to enhance Andrews Ave for the people who work and visit there fits in well with a revitalisation plan presented to council by the SEBG earlier in the year which looked at ways of improving the environment around the south-end.”
If the proposal is supported by council, students will spend the summer making the space at Andrews Avenue more functional and fun for people to use. A living lab classroom will be set in the area in empty shop fronts to house the students during the three week course allowing them to engage with people who work in the CBD, business owners and the community.
From 9 January to 31 March a short straight section of Andrews Avenue will close to moving vehicles. The space will be kitted out with things like concrete planters and comfortable places for people to sit. Activities like lunchtime music will be scheduled to enhance the area for people.
“The project has business support from the Southend Business Group and the wider business community, and we’re working to check in with business owners to explain the project. So far everyone has been incredibly supportive. As the project rolls out we’ll continue to involve businesses.
“The success of the project will be in raising the profile of this area of the Southend of High Street, its connection to the community and the city,” says Cyndi.
About Space is a Hutt City Council-sponsored initiative that aims to turn the city’s empty shops into creative places the public can enjoy. Art installations, pop-up shops, community creative projects – it’s all About Space.
Placemaking - With community-based participation at its centre, an effective placemaking process capitalises on a local community's assets, inspiration, and potential, and it results in the creation of quality public spaces that contribute to people's health, happiness, and well-being. Projects for Public Spaces.
Information about Innovating Streets for People - This project is part of a wider national programme called ‘Innovating Streets’, managed by the NZ Transport Agency. The programme aims to make it faster and easier to transition our streets to safer and more liveable spaces. The Andrews Ave project is one of a number of case studies around the country that will inform further development of national guidance.