21 December 2018

The new year will bring a new look for parts of Masterton’s town centre as the project to revamp public spaces continues.

Masterton District Council launched its town centre revamp project in November with the first temporary ‘parklet’ in King Street – parklets are a shared public amenity established in spaces traditionally used for car parking.

The first week of 2019 will see Park Street transformed with one side pedestrianised and filled with activities such as giant games, basketball hoops and skate-appropriate furniture.

Meanwhile, a replica of the parklet on King Street will also be established on Queen Street outside Charlie’s Lane, beside Paper Plus.

Jonathan Hooker, Masterton District Councillor and member of the newly established Masterton Town Centre Reference Group, said it was exciting to see the temporary initiatives popping up around the town centre.

“These temporary projects are about experimenting with different designs and ideas to learn what works. The lessons from this first stage of the town centre revamp are being fed into the design of permanent changes,” Mr Hooker said.

“A key objective of this particular area is to increase the linkage between the centre of town and Queen Elizabeth Park.”

The Masterton Town Centre Reference Group includes representatives of nominated interest groups and the community to act as a sounding board to the design process.

The south side of Park Street will be pedestrianised from 7 January to 10 February as part of the temporary placemaking initiative. It will be called ‘Play on Park’ aligned with the objective to engage people from all areas of the community in activity.

The parklet on Queen Street will be in place for a minimum of a month and will be a shared community space free for all to enjoy.

“Similar projects in other towns and cities have demonstrated significant benefits for both the community and neighbouring businesses,” Mr Hooker said.

“For example, some businesses have reported a 20 per cent uplift in revenue because there are more people around and they stay around for longer; that’s one of the things we are keen to test with business owners.”

More information on the Masterton Town Centre Revamp can we found at www.mastertontown.nz