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Photo credits: Campbelltown City Council (left), Kellie Thompson (right)

ON Q

Location

Type

Period of time

Stakeholders

Purpose

Description

Campbelltown, Australia

Re-Purposing Sections of Streets

November 2020 - October 2021

This project is being funded by the NSW Government through the Streets as Shared Spaces grants, and supported by the Campbelltown City Council.

To revitalize the main street as well as provide more public space ensuring social distancing and promoting community building. 

Our streets play a much deeper and important role in our lives as city dwellers than justmobility. They are spaces for recreation, culture, democracy and community building.

However, the American and Australian planning trend over the past half century has forgotten this, with its focus on a car-centric urban development. With the emergence of shopping malls on the outskirts of the city, the life and vitality of the main streets has disappeared.

This was also the case with Queen Street in Campbelltown, losing all its retail core and vitality. In its place, abundant free parking spaces filled the street, making inefficient use of space and discouraging pedestrian activity by being a barrier to access to the central station and adjacent residential areas. It also contributes to increased car dependency, induces urban sprawl and lower densities, and ultimately comes with a high financial and social cost for everyone.

With the advent of the pandemic, it was necessary to provide ample and open public space for citizens, given the urgent requirements of physical distancing.

In May 2020, NSW Government launched its $15 million Streets as Shared Spaces Program, where the Queen Street intervention (On Q activation program) is framed.

The main purpose was to downgrade the place of the automobile in the street user hierarchy, reclaim the space for people and to make room for design that is based on human scale and promotes community building. Some of the new street installations included parklets, which repurpose on-street parking bays for amenity such as mini-parks and seating, while extending the sidewalk. Moreover, amenity upgrades (like live music of public art) and new greenery are meant to attract residents and workers to the main street.

With the help and ideas of citizens, it was intended that Queen Street would once again become the pedestrian spine weaving together their civic, cultural, community and business lives.