The central city core within the four Ring Roads we envisage as a pedestrian priority area with places that support public life, local economies, and future investment. A rethink of how we design our streets, along with other public spaces, will further support the centre as a local and regional destination, and a hub for social, cultural and economic activity.
Data identifies high pedestrian use on Trafalgar, Bridge and Hardy Streets for movement. However, the city centre streets provide limited opportunities to linger beyond Upper Trafalgar and a few footpath extensions at existing courtesy crossings.
Great urban centres are changing. Studies of the most liveable and desired cities show they support a 20-hour active street and 15-minute walkability with housing, employment, entertainment, dining, shopping, education, critical services, parks and transport at close proximity. Nelson has an opportunity to reimagine Trafalgar, Bridge and Hardy Streets as a cohesive collection of iconic local streets, which reflect the vision of a place for people, a green city and as a place to stay.
- Prioritise pedestrian activity
Streets are the primary areas of public space inmost city centres. They are also usually balanced heavily toward vehicle movements and storage.
Rebalancing these in favour of pedestrians, where human-scaled activities are prioritised, is an obvious step to invite and support a higher level of public life and can be achieved without overly compromising functional streetscape requirements, such as vehicle movements and parking.
- Activate the edges
Cities are the people inhabiting them. Invite people to stay a little longer and the vibrancy will follow.
Activity ‘spilling’ out of buildings and into the street contributes to an engaging and dynamic street environment. A greater focus on the pedestrian environment will ensure that this type of activity is both invited and supported.
- Invite diversity
Great city centres support a range of activities at all hours for all age groups. User diversity within the centre is currently low, with very little presence of children and youth, and low levels of activity occurring outside of business hours. A public realm that invites and supports more diverse user groups will help shift this imbalance and support the city as a resilient and lively centre, with more users, more often.
Click below to see some concept images of what Nelson's streets could look like. For more detail on Streets for People please read the PDF of the full plan linked at shape.nelson.govt.nz/city-centre-spatial-plan.