Whacky Idea No. 2 – Pedestrianise Wynnum Central
Back in 2013 a film came out called The Human Scale. It was a profile of the work done by Danish architect Jan Gehl to help cities ‘rehumanise’ themselves by creating pedestrian spaces in cities where pedestrians had become marginalised by the car. His firm has worked with cities around the world including New York, where they introduced a new pedestrian area in Time Square, and Melbourne where they helped the city reactivate otherwise abandoned laneways into vibrant food and shopping hubs. See the trailer for The Human Scale on YouTube here.
So, what if Wynnum were to pedestrianise one or more of the streets in the centre, perhaps Edith Street or a section of Bay Terrace? The downside of course would be the loss of parking directly outside and behind the shops, however there would be many advantages, such as…
- European cafe culture, piazza/plaza style shopping and dining
- Unique in the Brisbane area (with the exception of Queen Street Mall)
- Great combination with seaside location
- Holding ‘street’ events would be easier and less expensive (no road closure costs, which are substantial)
Parking would also not be as much of a problem, if some of the current parking space in Wynnum Central which is effectively private (see our previous article here) were reassigned as genuinely public parking. Wynnum is also – in urban planning terms and as recognised by the current Brisbane City Plan – a transport oriented development, in other words it is well served by public transport with two train stations. With the right promotion Wynnum could become a destination for locals and visitors from further afield, with either incentives or general encouragement to use public transport.
Pedestrianisation would also fit well with any community focused redevelopment of the old school site, where it is looking increasingly likely that a sizeable component of the school will be given over to art activities and an art exhibition space.
Let us know what you think in the comments below and take our quick poll – do you think pedestrianisation would improve Wynnum Central?
Image credits: Times Square New York, http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Times_Square,_New_York_City_(HDR).jpg; Melbourne laneways http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Melbourne