Laneway Revitalisation Swarm

A group of about 30 enthusiastic creative thinkers converged at Pollinators in Geraldton recently to dream up plans for a revitalised Swansea Laneway, off Marine Terrace.

CBD Property Trust contracted Pollinators to conduct a ‘Swarm’ event to engage the community in the revitalisation of the privately-owned laneway.

The Trust and City of Greater Geraldton have already agreed to maintain the laneway thoroughfare to the foreshore, with pedestrian-only access. And the City has pledged funding to revitalise the space to complement the increasingly vibrant feel of the West End.

Participants at the Swarm event made an extremely enthusiastic and positive contribution of ideas for the laneway, highlighting a shared desire to create a public space of which the whole community can be proud.

Participants considered and shared what values or themes they’d like the space to represent, examples of other laneway concepts they considered to work well, possible uses for the laneway, required infrastructure and decorative features.

Brainstorming resulted in a huge range of ideas ranging from performance space and ever-changing art displays to green walls, moveable performance stage, a traders’ corner to swap produce, water features, and hanging solar-powered lights.

While ideas varied widely, when prompted to choose their most preferred use of the space, participants agreed on several key ideas.

“The most obvious result was the show of enthusiasm and desire for an inclusive community space of which the general public can feel ‘part of’ and proud of,” Pollinators chairman Paul Dyer said.

“There was a real emphasis on a ‘green space’ with trees, plants and environmentally conscious design.

“There was also real emphasis on arts, music and culture, and on having an inclusive area that will bring people together.”

The three resulting preferred ideas for the laneway included a ‘collaborative cultural space’ for relaxed get togethers, regular community workshops, local art displays and local music performances. Proponents of this idea suggested the area be decorated with trees surrounded by wooden benches, as well as Aboriginal art and a fire pit.

The second preferred outcome was for an ‘art and produce traders’ space’ with a relaxed feel, an outdoor theatre and a traders’ corner in which people can swap and sell their excess home-grown produce. Proponents of this idea suggested the laneways be decorated with a retro caravan for demonstrations, fold out tables that double as artwork, shade sails and trees, lighting to feature as artwork and an iconic sculpture.

The third preferred outcome was a ‘green space’ with a solar-powered water feature, fold out tables that double as art, an assortment of trees in varied sizes and styles, a performance space with a moveable stage and a historical photo exhibit showcasing the laneway throughout history.

CBD Property Trust will now consider the ideas presented, along with budgets and building approvals to decide on the fitout of the laneway.

For a full list of ideas presented click here.


One Response to Laneway Revitalisation Swarm

  1. Andrew Outhwaite April 2, 2017 at 12:52 pm #

    Sounds like a wonderful event, creative process and clear outcomes. I’m so excited that there’s the community ethos, open-minded developers and skilful facilitators such that this can occur. It’s really significantly different from many other communities, where place-making consultants are brought in at expense, where there’s an adversarial process, or where are ideas but no interest or capability to turn them intro reality. Well done, all.

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