Hamilton City Council has been successful in securing funding from Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency’s Innovating Streets for People pilot fund.
The fund, which provides 90% of the total project cost, aims to help councils create more people-friendly spaces in towns and cities and supports projects that transition streets to be safer and easier for people to move around.
The programme is based on the concept of tactical urbanism; a technique where quick, cheap and temporary physical changes are made to a street and then tested to inform a permanent solution. For communities, it is a chance to be involved in co-creating street design changes.
The successful applications submitted by the Council includes two central city projects that will utilise approaches such as, biking and pedestrian improvements, shared zones, street furniture and ecological improvements, to reimagine these streets as places for people.
“We strongly support a growing movement towards encouraging different types of transport (multi-modal) and designing streets that prioritise people over vehicles,” says Councillor Angela O’Leary.
“These programmes of work are part of this broader strategic approach and our goal of making Hamilton a 20-minute city, one where we are well connected by a variety of safe and accessible transport options,” she says.
One of the projects is Rostrevor St in the West Town Belt (Tristram St to Seddon Rd) between Hinemoa and Boyes Parks. The project will look at ‘stitching’ the two parks together to create better pedestrian and cycle links.
The other project looks at Ward St (Anglesea St to Tristram St), a key street that connects the city’s Western Rail Trail and West Town Belt to the central city and the river path, as well as educational, retail and transport facilities.
“In creating a street that encourages people to walk and bike, play, sit outside and generally spend more time in, supports many of Hamilton’s strategic outcomes,” says Councillor O’Leary.
The projects form part of Hamilton’s mode shift programme – to improve and urbanise roading and transport options across the city, including city centre revitalisation projects.
Deputy Mayor Geoff Taylor says, “it’s key that we embrace our central city as the vibrant hub, and heart, of our metro area. We are delighted to receive this funding for these two projects, as they support our priority of making sure we start improvement works of this kind in the central city.”
Waka Kotahi received a large number of applications from around the country, further highlighting the enthusiasm from councils towards safer and more liveable streets.
Waka Kotahi’s Urban Mobility Programme Manager Kathryn King says, “by using a ‘tactical urbanism’ approach to test what works for communities we can create attractive, vibrant places that make space for people and help to support local businesses. We’re pleased to support this project through the Innovating Streets pilot fund.”
Following the funding approval, the Council will work closely with the community and interested groups before any physical works are carried out. The funded projects are expected to commence early 2021 and be completed by June 2021.