News | 10 February 2021

Parklets pop-up as Innovating Streets pilot launches

Wellington City Council is pleased to announce its Innovating Streets pop-up pilots are launching this week – temporary projects designed to create more vibrant, people-friendly spaces in our neighbourhoods.

Image of Innovating Street parklet on Allen Street

Wellington City Council has secured $1 million from Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency to design four Innovating Streets ‘pilots’ with the community, as part of 70 projects throughout the country, giving residents and councils the opportunity to work in partnership to improve our communities.

It is very important we ensure those living directly with change have a significant say around design, scale, and the works timeline, says Mayor Andy Foster.

“The Parklet pop-ups will support the community in their desire to take the reins and show us what they want in their neighbourhoods, to be involved in co-creating street design changes.

“These projects are also an opportunity for Council to test a new approach to co-designing and trialing interventions with the community, to get local insight and feedback in real time.”

The nature of the projects means that there will be a range of initial activities, but what’s on within the space will change over the course of the time it’s there based on feedback.

The first three pop-ups to launch are:

Newtown

  • Opens Friday 12 February for approximately four weeks
  • Located directly outside Black Coffee, 133 Riddiford Street, Newtown.
  • Live music
  • Live storytelling
  • Backgammon Tournament Saturday 13 February 1pm – 3.30pm

Allen Street

  • Opened Tuesday 9 February until Saturday 20 March (aligns with Fringe Festival)
  • Located outside the new offices of Capital Creative Trusts, 17 Allen Street
  • Lounging area
  • Performances from artists participating in Fringe

Te Aro

  • Opens Saturday 13 February for approximately three weeks
  • Located outside Bicycle Junction, 1 Marion Street, Te Aro
  • A living lawn and garden area that you can water by riding a bike
  • Lounging area
  • Lunch time sessions
  • Stationary bike races

The pilots are a collaboration with Iwi, residents, schools, businesses, and those that use the spaces on their streets. First Retail Group Managing Director Chris Wilkinson says we need to change past priorities to make Wellington more liveable in the future.

“We need to consider our streets for more than just movement by building in greater opportunities for social connection, community activities and environmental initiatives. This includes parklets, encouragement for contemporary outdoor dining, and spaces for the community to connect regularly.

“We must also make it easier and more convenient to prioritise walking, cycling and taking public transport – over choosing private vehicles, taxis or UBER. Our city and local centres must speak to and deliver compelling solutions to this choice at every opportunity to make these transport modes intuitive and embedded.”

Councillor Jenny Condie, Associate Portfolio Leader for Transport, says the goal is to make the city a place for a growing population to live, work, and play easier, better and safer together.

“The purpose of these parklets is to trial incorporating more spaces for people in the city’s wider transport corridor and Te Aro, which is one of the inner city’s fastest growing residential neighbourhoods.

“Getting creative and collaborating with our communities in an agile way means we’ll be better able to listen, engage and deliver healthy transport choices and more attractive spaces faster and more effectively.

“The pop-ups are an exciting and creative way to attract attention, get people involved, interested, and engaged, which could become permanent based on community feedback.”

The 70 Innovating Streets pilots throughout the country are funded through Waka Kotahi’s $24 million pilot fund.

The engagement process will see members of the community co-design the trials and jointly assess the extent to which they achieved their outcomes after people have experienced the trial in real-life. Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency is providing 90 percent of the funding and the Wellington City Council 10 percent.

More information can be found at wellington.govt.nz/innovatingstreets.