Parklets to attract visitors, shoppers back to CBD

The first of two ‘parklets’ to help encourage people to visit the CBD was installed in Keen Street today, near the Embassy Arcade, under a program funded by the NSW Government.

Lismore City Council’s Manager of Economic Development Tina Irish said the project was designed to improve CBD amenity and provide COVID-safe spaces where people could congregate in the CBD.

“This is not only important for the general community, but it’s also crucial to help our local businesses during the next phase of adapting to a COVID world,” Tina said.

“Providing more seating where people can relax in the CBD while being safely socially distanced is a positive improvement for visitors and businesses alike.”

The second parklet is scheduled to be installed in Molesworth Street outside the Star Court Theatre next week.

As part of the trial project, called ‘Spaced Out’, each parklet will occupy one parallel car park space and include seating, vegetation, tree shade and colourful art to deliver a connection between existing green spaces within the city centre.

“Importantly, the locations for these parklets were identified to minimise any potential impact to local businesses,” Tina said.

“As part of the project, we are also conducting a social distancing awareness campaign in the Lismore and Nimbin business centres.”

Tina explained that when COVID first hit, Council delivered an advertising campaign to encourage people to buy take away and purchase items from local businesses via their websites.

“We also removed fees to help businesses, like charges for outdoor dining,” she said.

“This parklet project is another program to support local businesses and help bring more visitors and shoppers into the CBD.”

The parklet project is a three-month trial, during which time community members will be asked to provide feedback via QR codes on-site at the parklets. Council will also collect data on community usage to determine if and how they are used in the future.

“Should the project receive positive feedback, work will be undertaken with the community in 2021 to identify future temporary parklet locations,” Tina said.

The trial parklet project is funded through the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment’s Streets as Shared Spaces program.

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