Council secures funding to innovate streets

Invercargill City Council has been successful in its application for funding for three special projects which will bring the chance to truly innovate the city’s streets.

About $400,000 has been awarded to Council from the Waka Kotahi Innovating Streets pilot fund.

Roading Manager Russell Pearson said the Innovating Streets fund was all about offering Council an opportunity to investigate, experiment, and explore ways that our city streets could be improved and used in new ways.

“The funding allows us to ‘test the waters’ a little bit, to try new things, and will enable us to seek feedback from our community without committing the ratepayer to trying out something which we think will work, but we won’t know until we try.

“It very much reduces risk to the ratepayer, while giving us the opportunity to be innovative and leaders in developing Invercargill streets to be great places to be,” he said.

The funding will be used for three key projects, which will also complement the Invercargill City Centre Master Plan project already underway.

The projects are:

Deveron Street Activated Cycleway
A pilot/trial project for improved cycling connections across the city centre and between major city parks and green spaces. The short-term project will include safe cycleway planning and “activations” along Deveron Street, such as events, art installations or food and drink stops.

Esk Street transformation
Esk Street is undergoing a major transformation with Invercargill Central Limited’s development of a new shopping precinct and the nearby ILT Langlands Hotel development. Working with local businesses, community representatives, schools and interest groups through the Invercargill City Centre Master Plan process, Council will involve the community in plans to bring life, activity, and fun to Esk Street. Work will be carried out while the Master Plan is being developed and also inform its final concepts.

Shelter ideas and activations
We’re often looking for shelter from the southern elements and this project will ask the question: What is shelter? Community-led experiments and conversations will tease out what is needed in the city centre and findings will influence the design work that follows the Master Plan.

Mr Pearson said the three projects will be exciting for the city and a great way to support and kick start the work being considered in the City Centre Master Plan.

“Work on the three projects is already underway and people can expect to see and hear more as early as next week. It’s a great boost for the city to receive the Innovating Streets funding and we’re excited to see the results of the work we’ve got planned,” he said.

Mr Pearson said the three projects will be completed by June 30 2021.