Residents chip in with CBD ideas

Rachael Devlin and her daughter Maeve (4), with Josie Coote (2), thinking about fun ideas for the...
Rachael Devlin and her daughter Maeve (4), with Josie Coote (2), thinking about fun ideas for the Invercargill CBD. PHOTO: LUISA GIRAO
A colourful pedestrian crossing, a giant umbrella which changes colour when it is raining and a flying fox are among ideas to bring vibrancy to central Invercargill.

Coin South, along with Te Waka o Waihopai, yesterday ran a workshop involving about 20 residents to encourage and promote activities in the city centre.

Te Waka o Waihopai project manager Cathy Jordan said the Invercargill City Council had received about $400,000 funding from the NZ Transport Agency innovating streets fund for the development of projects to enhance the experience in the city centre.

"It is a really inclusive project and we wanted to understand what are the community needs and what they would like to see here — so then we can create and develop something that can be beneficial for the whole community and make them proud of it," she said.

"Having the input of the community is really important to achieve that."

Coin South chief activator Louise Evans was impressed with the number and quality of the ideas.

"It is the community leading the transformation in its own city."

Participants had a "brainstorm" and walked through the city centre to get inspiration and to understand the needs of the community.

A wheelchair was also provided to help with the discussions about mobility.

A sheltered open space with internet, charging station and heating at Esk St, a 3D and colourful pedestrian crossing, the transformation of "boring old infrastructure" using art and even an outside disco were among ideas suggested.

Claire Jordan and her two daughters, Eve (4) and Grace (2), took part and wanted to see a colourful fountain installed.

"I wanted to bring the girls because it is important to get them to be involved in their own city," she said.

"We want to make them proud to be from Invercargill and create a place where they wanted to come back."

Another two workshops would be held, on April 19 and May 24, and the best ideas would be tested and incorporated in the CBD over coming months.


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