Tag Archives: Clovelly Road

Clovelly Road Better Block 2014 – Done and Dusted

After a hell-of-a-lot of Council and community engagement and event planning, the 2014 Clovelly Road Better Block streetscape improvement day was a raging success in October last year.

It was organised by the Park to Pacific Association, which is a community group set up to advocate for improved urban design and traffic outcomes for the entire length of Clovelly Road, from Centennial Park to the Pacific Ocean.

Better Block 2014, similar to the 2013 event down the road, was organised to demonstrate some ways the community can make their streets better places to live, work and socialise – with more trees and shrubs, street art, slower traffic speeds, more street furniture and creative public spaces. It is part of a movement that is based around short term action for long term change.

The event had some key aims, which were:
– To trial improvements to a small section of Clovelly Road, which may be made permanent and/ or used elsewhere in Clovelly Road or the City of Randwick
– To show how the street can be beautified (art, trees, shrubs, moveable street furniture)
– To raise awareness of possibilities for environmental improvements
– To promote local businesses by encouraging locals to shop local
– To enhance the sense of place for the ‘Hill Top’ village, where the 2014 event was held
– To bring attention to the benefits of lower car speeds
– To encourage the community to participate into streetscape design and to voice concerns and ideas regarding their local environment
– To foster a stronger community spirit

All in all, the one-day event went exceedingly well and the local community responded almost entirely positively to the majority of elements set up on the day. The Park to Pacific Association move into 2015 with hopes that Randwick Council will pick up on the positive community sentiment evident on and after the event day and incorporate many of the streetscape ideas trialed on the event day in their future planning for Clovelly Road.

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16 super-advanced trees were craned into the ‘Hill Top’ village on Clovelly Road for the Better Block event day

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Council approval was given for two very prominent blank building facades in the event area to be painted with murals by professional mural artists

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The ‘Hill Top’ area, like other commercial areas on Clovelly Road, is almost entirely devoid of public seating. Street Furniture Australia donated a dozen of their products for the event day. These were very well received by both the community and business.

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The footpaths of the event zone were spray-painted using sea and landscape motif stencils and some cute locational logos

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The grand-daddy of all elements installed in Clovelly Road for the event was this semi-permanent parklet.

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A (temporarily) landscaped street

After months of planning, the Clovelly Road Better Block demonstration day happened on the 27th October – this thanks to the hard work of many people and the tireless efforts of Phil Stubbs, the Better Block coordinator.

The event seemed to be a great success, judging by the community interest on the day. The principle behind the demo day was to ‘install’ a representation of the kinds of improvements Randwick Council could consider for this rather bland section of the Clovelly Road ‘gun-barrell’ transit corridor.

clovelly roadClovelly Road, looking east from Arden Street – the Better Block area pre the demo day. (www.facebook.com/events)

This included vegetation, street furniture, services like bus stop libraries and bubblers, street art, designated bicycle parking zones and community perma-culture gardens.

By the time traffic-slowing attendants arrived and a huge semi-trailer rolled in at 7am (the latter carrying 8 x 400 litre trees and hundreds of shrubs), the street’s footpaths and roadway had magically already been spray-painted with beautiful stencil art.

DSCN1593Some of the Better Block footpath and roadway stencil art

Between 7am and 10ish, many bodies were scampering up and down the Better Block area – carrying shrubs, street furniture, display posters and all sorts of fittings and fixtures. I was thrilled to be on the back of the semi-trailer, hurling plants at all of our helpers.

tree craneLifting the 400 litre trees into place at 7am. (www.facebook.com/ClovellyRoad)

The layout in the Better Block area was essentially designed to create ‘bulb-outs’ from the footpath into the roadway, within which stalls and street furniture would be placed. These bulb-outs were separated by the major trees and framed by smaller shrubs, as was the entire length of the reclaimed roadway area.

DSCN1580The Better Block area, looking west

DSCN1582The 400 litre trees and definitional shrubs in the roadway bulb-outs

DSCN1585The Better Block area, looking east

Part of the concern in planning for the day was that the Better Block event not present as an annual street fair. The organising group was very careful to highlight the point of the day – to achieve permanent streetscape change – in their signage and advertising. Any uncertainty regarding the reasons for the event were also hopefully negated by the material in the pop-up gallery that was set-up in a vacant shop in the Better Block zone. The gallery showed examples of many other Better Block events that have occurred worldwide and lots of photos of particular components important in the creation of exciting and liveable streets.

After Randwick Council is presented with the various petitions and survey material gathered on the demo day, they will hopefully be interested in examining how the event’s installations could be transposed into permanent solutions.

You can keep up to date with our latest on the Clovelly Road Better Block at http://www.facebook.com/ClovellyRoad

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