The future of West End’s Boundary Street, one of Inner Brisbane’s most recognised and popular community hubs, is currently the subject of widespread debate and uncertainty.
“The street’s unrivaled combination of social, entertainment, shopping and professional activities makes this area a magnet for local residents and metropolitan visitors” says Phil Heywood, Planning spokesperson for Kurilpa Futures.
A number of groups including traders, elected representatives, service providers and community spokespeople are voicing concerns that its character as a safe and welcoming meeting place for people of all ages, interests and backgrounds is threatened by poor maintenance and incompatible uses. The future of its clusters of well-loved community spaces is being widely debated.
Competing proposals are being developed and publicly aired. A firm of international urban planning consultants commissioned by the West End Traders Association have submitted a crime prevention strategy with quite radical implications for key public spaces in the precinct.
A number of other local groups including Kurilpa Futures and West End Community Association believe that it’s time for more collaborative solutions which include both trader and community values.
Working with staff and students of the University of Queensland’s Urban and Regional Planning program, award-winning local landscape Architect John Mongard, will lead a public workshop to brainstorm positive ideas for the future of the Boundary Street precinct. The resulting strategies and actions could become a model for similar areas throughout Inner Brisbane.
A panel of local and international speakers will set the scene. Michael Major, a prominent retail expert who has also advised main street traders in both New Zealand and Great Britain will discuss opportunities for creating bold, local solutions. Michael will ask:
‘What is the thread that binds Boundary Street together? What threads create community and vibrant trade, and engender pride and joy in the heart of West End?’
Kylie Waldron, Indigenous Development Officer at West End Community House will share her detailed knowledge of the local Aboriginal community and its many significant links with West End’s daily life.
John Mongard and UQ’s Sebastian Darchen will facilitate the ideas workshop, focusing on both short and long-term needs and visions. Staff and students will take away these findings and develop them into practicable schemes that local groups can adopt and present to city council and state government.
In preparation for the workshop a group of students participated in a familiarisation walk in West End on Monday 29 July with community ‘guides’ from Kurilpa Futures and West End Community Association.
The free workshop will run from 9.00 a.m. to 11.00 a.m. on Monday August 5th in AHEPA hall on Boundary Street – All Welcome.