Inner-city 'master plan' unveiled

EVAN HARDING
Last updated 05:00 31/07/2013
Invercargill CBD
NICOLE GOURLEY/Fairfax NZ

MAKING PROGRESS: There are several key improvements in the city centre's 'master plan', including the development of pocket parks as sheltered places to eat and meet people.

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Details of Invercargill's multimillion-dollar CBD revitalisation plan have been unveiled after more than two years in the making.

Features of the inner-city upgrade include developing a market place, small parks, extra sheltering, roading improvements, pedestrian shelters, extra toilets and street furniture, more seating, better lighting, improved safety and easier accessibility for walkers and cyclists.

The "master plan" for the CBD is detailed in a 105-page report which was released by inner city working group chairman Norman Elder yesterday.

The upgrade work is broken into 11 precincts, with work expected to begin late this year and take about two years to complete, he said.

However, before work starts the plan will be presented to the city council for adoption on August 27.

More detailed design work would follow before it went out to contract, he said.

The project costs would be revealed at the August council meeting but Mr Elder said it would cost more than the original $6.6m estimate.

The upgrade would ensure the inner city would thrive and it would give investors confidence to invest in Invercargill, he said.

"The plan also brings reasons why families will want to return to the inner city, and that will bring more business opportunity for retailers."

The plan was developed by Pocock Design Environment who had met with key stakeholders and asked the people of Invercargill how they would like to see their inner city revitalised, through various consultation since 2011, Mr Elder said.

Craig Pocock, from Pocock Design Environment said each of the 11 main projects had been set up in the report as precincts to give flexibility, while considering costs and staging.

KEY POINTS

The key improvements to Invercargill's city centre highlighted in the plan are: Family and youth-friendly open spaces in Esk St, the bowling green site on Esk St, Wachner Place and Wood St.

Developing a flexible market place site that incorporates car parking and staging to allow for markets, events and community gatherings. Pocket parks as sheltered places to eat and meet people in Esk and Don streets.

Various roading improvements around the inner city to improve accessibility. Pedestrian shelters on Tay, Dee, Esk and Don streets to create a city centre experience that is protected from the weather and makes crossing Dee and Tay streets more comfortable.

Increased community facilities such as toilets, street furniture and better lighting to make the inner-city a more comfortable place to visit. Easier accessibility for walking and cycling in the inner city. Efficient lighting and safe spaces to move through at night. 

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