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16 October 2018

Comment – Lyn Patterson, Mayor of Masterton

This week is New Zealand Placemaking Week and what better way to enjoy it than with some games on the sidewalk.

Yesterday we launched a temporary play space for people to come into town and enjoy – it’s all part of us beginning to explore different ways to use our space.

It’s no secret that what people expect to see from thier town centres is changing. It used to be that everyone came in to visit the chemist and go to the bank.

That’s still the case for many people, but people are also wanting more. It might all sound like some urban planning jargon , but people want inspiring places to engage with.

Someone recently told me that the primary reason for them coming into town was because that’s where they run into people. We want to facilitate that community connection.

The temporary play space outside Bullick Blackmore is a way for Masterton District Council to show people what is possible. It is a cheap and easy way to demonstrate ‘placemaking’ in everyday life.

Before the year is out we will have our first parklet up and running in King Street which takes the placemaking concept to the next level. These are also temporary structures that allow us to use areas of our town centre in different ways. Some of these will stay up for three months while others will stay for longer.

Similar initiatives have taken place in Palmerston North and Napier, with great results for the community and business owners alike.

The more permanent elements of our town centre revamp will take shape in 2019. In the meantime head over to www.mastertontown.nz for more information and updates on what’s happening.