Universal Approach to Public Space Planning

5 years ago | by

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A single strategy that takes into account every aspect of our surroundings – from pathways, streetscapes, parks, reserves and waterways – as we travel through the Coffs Harbour area is the aim of a future Public Realm Strategy.

“Council’s Open Space Strategy 2010 and Street Tree Masterplan 1999 have both reached their intended expiry date and thus require review and updating,” said Chris Chapman, Council’s Director Sustainable Communities. “The purpose of this project is to update these two documents as part of a far more comprehensive Strategy that provides a broader understanding of open space to include not just green spaces but all public spaces such as main streets, residential streets, squares, bicycle and pedestrian links and waterways.

“The Strategy will be applied across Council to assist with the planning, design and management of the public realm. It will also help ensure that public spaces within our area respond to increasing population and demographic change, and our changing lifestyle.

“It also meets a goal that the community identified as an important aspect of the MyCoffs Community Strategic Plan – the creation of liveable spaces that are beautiful and appealing,” he said.

The Public Realm Strategy will be broken up into two parts.

Part 1 will include the characterisation of places/spaces within the local government area (LGA), the public realm vision and direction, methodology, types of public spaces, benchmarks, principles and recommended actions.

Part 2 will comprise detailed analysis of each of the places identified in Part 1 of the Strategy in consultation with stakeholders. This analysis will include, but will not be limited to, defining the desired character, streetscapes and urban design, people and vehicle transit networks, public art, companion animals’ management, public spaces and cultural heritage.

The second stage will also include an overview of recreational assets within the LGA to assess their continued suitability for the current needs of the community.

Implementation of the Public Realm Strategy will occur via the creation of ‘Place Manuals’ for the various places identified in Part 1 of the Strategy.

To avoid the postponement of any shorter-term high priority projects while the Strategy is being developed and implemented, a series of clear guidelines that set out minimum design standards will be introduced to provide high quality urban design.

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