A wide range of community groups, city organisations, businesses, iwi and individuals have had their say in the initial stages of the Invercargill City Centre Master Plan process over the past three months.
The groups and individuals were part of a Project Working Group set up to provide community input to the process. Feedback was gathered through six workshops, a city centre hikoi, youth- and activation-focused sessions and multiple individual meetings. It is now being considered in more detail and will help shape the future of the city’s heart.
Council Group Manager – Environmental and Planning Services Darren Edwards says the process is an excellent way to make sure the Master Plan reflects the needs and wishes of the community.
“We’ve had people representing all sorts of local groups – the young and old, technical experts, our big regional organisations, landowners and smaller businesses, iwi, cyclists, family and health groups, educational institutions and many, many more. I’m very positive about the progress made so far and I’m excited to see how all of these ideas and needs are reflected in the Master Plan,” he says.
The Invercargill City Centre Master Plan aims to create public streets that make people want to visit the city centre, that connect major developments and encourage people to stay awhile. It is a framework to guide improvements in the city centre and will include some exciting new projects. The Council has budgeted $20 million to deliver the projects identified in the Master Plan.
Work so far has drawn information from the people of Invercargill to find out what’s unique about the city, what different groups want for the city centre and what is important to them. Early feedback has included the concept of Invercargill as a meeting place, at the convergence of trails – both past and present, natural and built. People want to be proud of their city, with warm and welcoming streets and shared spaces that are full of life and activity.
The feedback is informing the urban design process and preparation of draft concepts. It is expected the full Master Plan will be presented to the Council by the end of the year. In the meantime, alongside the design process, feedback continues to be sought to feed-in to the process.
City Centre Governance Group Chairman John Green says it’s pleasing to see so many
local views being considered as part of the Master Plan process.
“The Governance Group, which itself is made up of local community representatives, is here to guide the planning process, offer an objective assessment of the work underway, and see that it reflects our community. We’re fortunate that people are contributing their time and energy to the process with the aim of creating a city centre of which we call all be proud.
“The Governance Group is encouraged with the work undertaken by the Project Working Group so far and look forward to seeing a plan for an exciting, vibrant and welcoming city heart come together.”
For more information visit www.icc.govt.nz/citycentreplan