Yesterday at the Long Term Plan hearings we pointed to the lack of 'People' spaces in our CBD. Conversely we have lots, and lots of 'Car' space. Essentially, when compared to other modern cities, our CBD is inside out - much of our inner city public space is 'dead' space.
By restricting car traffic and encouraging more people to cycle and walk, we enable more creative use of our public spaces. Every weekend, when we use part of one of our car parks for the market, we see an example of what happens if we use some of our public space for something other than for parking cars. More recently of course, the all-too-brief closure of the top of Trafalgar St. showed what happens if we create spaces around people.
It's an exciting time, our city is evolving. While some retail may be shutting down this is creating new opportunities for small businesses and collectives of young creatives to move into the centre. We're also starting to see more residential spaces crop up.
It really is time to recognise and embrace the changing dynamic of our city centre. Rather than continuing to try and prop up an outdated retail and infrastructure model, lets start focusing more on the people that live and work here. Lets create public spaces that we can all enjoy and that attract people to Nelson. Lets develop our city into a creative, social hub for our whole community.