Our streets play a much deeper role in our lives as citizens beyond mobility. They are spaces for recreation, culture, democracy and community.
However, the American and Australian car-centric development forgot this in the past years. With the emergence of shopping malls on the outskirts of the city, the life and vitality of the main streets disappeared.
This was also the case with Queen Str in Campbelltown, losing all its retail core and vitality. Instead of people, abundant free parking filled the streets, making an inefficient space use, and discouraging the access the central station and adjacent residential areas to pedestrians. Contributing to increased car dependency, it ultimately comes with a high financial and social cost for everyone.
With the advent of the pandemic, it was necessary to provide 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 Str intervention (On Q activation program) is framed.
The main purpose was to downgrade the place of the automobile in the street hierarchy, reclaim the space for people and to make room for a design that is based on human scale and promotes community building. Some of the new street installations included parklets with mini-parks and seating, while extending the sidewalk. Moreover, amenity upgrades (like live music of public art) and new green are meant to attract residents and workers to the main street.
With the help and ideas of citizens, it was intended that Queen Str would become again the pedestrian spine weaving together their civic, cultural, community and business lives.
Photos by: @campbelltowncity, @kellie.kells.loveoffood