ACT’s Minister for City Services, Chris Steel MLA has unveiled plans for a six-month placemaking project and landscaping installation for the Woden Town Square.
In February 2018, members of the community participated in a discovery phase for the six-month furniture installation, intended to formulate a concept design for the project and outline how the Woden Town Square will be further brought to life.
“Activating the central Town Square is a key next step in the Woden Town Centre’s regeneration and supporting the further development of high-quality public spaces in our Town Centres,” Mr Steel explained.
“I am pleased to be able to release the #WodenExperiment draft concept design today and put out a call to the community for ideas and their involvement in creating a strong program of activation and events for the Woden Experiment,” he said.
The recently released concept plan includes five hubs of activity, each with their own focus, including a work hub, a green dining space, a community square, a social lounge and a timeout space. Key features of these hubs include a stage for community performances, outdoor offices, smart benches with phone and laptop charging, flexible table settings next to areas set aside for pop up food and drink vendors, turf areas with sun loungers and an outdoor table tennis facility for visitors to enjoy.
Mr Steel said that the spaces aim to cater to a diverse range of groups, encouraging people to pause and spend time in the square, rather than just pass through.
“The concept design, prepared by Context Landscape Design, was informed by a Discovery Phase hosted by Street Furniture Australia (SFA). It responds to feedback from the community to improve the vibe of the Square, and create attractions of interest, shelter from the elements and places to eat,” he said.
The project builds on the success of the 2016 #BackyardExperiment a similar public furniture installation by SFA, located in Garema Place.
The installation created a popular, colourful, family-friendly space in an area similar to Woden Town Square. After the project, SFA announced Garema Place recorded to have doubled foot traffic, increased dwellers by almost 250 per cent, and attracted more families, couples, seniors and social groups – by up to 780 per cent, over a period of 8 days.
“Adding some colour, lawn, moveable tables and seats, and colourful lights at night, created a welcoming atmosphere and transformed the area for the eight days of the activation. We want to see similar results for Woden, this time with a longer-term installation that tracks how the activation performs through seasonal change,” said SFA’s Marketing Manager June Boxsell.
More information on the project can be found here.