Project background and concept
Andrews Avenue is the only public space in the core of the Hutt City CBD, and its location is vital for the creation of a lively and vibrant entrance for RiverLink, a development that will be completed over the next 20 years.
Hutt City Council are working with the business association to establish how the city can be improved, regenerated, better connected to the river and better accommodate pedestrians and cyclists in the future. The Council are aiming to attract people to the South end of Hutt City and change how people see the area by finding a new and innovative way to use Andrews Ave. This could provide a model for how the wider area can be revitalised and regenerated in the future. There are residential properties bordering both sides of the site, along with local businesses, who will benefit from improvements to Andrews Ave.
What was changed
Hutt City Council worked with the Southend Business Group (SEBG) and Massey University students to pilot a closure to traffic on Andrews Ave to inform future public space designs. In November 2019 the partners ran a collaborative workshop to identify then reconfigure and reuse the overlooked space in the City.
The SEBG had developed a revitalisation plan to enhance the South end of High Street, including Andrews Avenue. They were keen to have the opportunity to work alongside Massey’s design students during their summer course. ‘Urban Camouflage’ is a design course that focuses on using a placemaking approach to design an interim plan to make the space at Andrews Avenue more functional for people to use.
A living lab classroom was set up on and around Andrews Avenue, activating empty shop fronts to house the students during the three-week course and allowing them to engage with people that work in the CBD, business owners, Council, SEBG members, local students and any interested parties from 11–26 November.
From 9 January to 31 March, a short straight section of Andrews Avenue was closed to moving vehicles. The space has been kitted out with concrete planters and other people friendly furniture, informed by the work of Massey University students. Activities like lunchtime music will be scheduled to enhance the area for people.
Initial feedback from businesses, local people and the Mayor of Hutt City has been very positive.
View the short video below.