Orange City Council is making progress on its plans to upgrade the city’s CBD. The council appointed SJB, a firm of urban designers to work on plans to guide the city’s future.
After months of research the firm has compiled a list of more than a hundred preliminary ideas for projects. A progress report was presented to members of a community reference panel in a meeting this week.
Orange City Council CEO David Waddell said while the project list is still in an early stage, he is pleased to see signs of progress.
“A major planning exercise like this is going to help shape the future of Orange for many years to come,” David Waddell said. “We want our CBD to be a place we can all be proud of, that will attract more people to spend more time there and to grow the number of people living and working in our city centre.”, David Waddell said.
“There’s been a number of stages of work to get us to this point. After initial research, there were a number of more detailed studies of economic and retail capacity, a study of the current buildings and a study of how people are moving between local places.
“This latest list of more than a hundred ideas is based on that research. It’s also an attempt to ‘cast the net wide’ to look at all kinds of projects and programs that could help transform the Orange community for the better.”
The consultants listed the ideas and rated them according to :
- how easy or hard they would be to implement,
- how much they might cost,
- whether they would be short-term or long term,
- how much impact they would have in achieving the big-picture vision and
- whether it was a project council would take on, or perhaps another tier of government, a local business or a community group.
“Throughout this process, the consultants have been bouncing their ideas off councillors, council staff and members of a 50-person community reference group and seeking their local insights about which directions to explore,” David Waddell said.
A number of council members, including Crs Tony Mileto, Stephen Nugent, Mario Privetera and Cr Joanne McRae attended this week’s presentation to the community reference panel.
“I was impressed by the amount of work and thinking our expert consultants have put in to get us to this point,” Cr Joanne McRae said. “It’s important we don’t rule anything in or rule anything out at this point in the process while ideas are still developing.
“There’ll be a lot of time for broader community consultation and debate, but now we’re still at the listening and imagining stage and giving preliminary feed-back.”
The list of more than one hundred ideas includes suggestions for :
- A public art program
- Community gardening projects
- Strategies to reinstate awning and verandahs
- Free WiFi
- High-speed fibre optic cabling
- Improved cycle lanes integrated in local streets
- Better online council services
- Teen activity program
- Programs to address cause of anti-social activities
- Autonomous bus to key locations
- Ways to increase use of Robertson Park
- Better connections between Robertson Park and Civic Precinct, by alternative uses for Byng St
- New master plan to renew for Summer St
- Improvement to Woollies car park site
- Improvement to McNamara Street, north and south of Summer St
The next stages of the Future City planning process is set to focus on a number of special precincts around the CBD including :
- New DPI and TAFE precinct
- Civic precinct
- Robertson Park
- Byng St
- Summer St
- Anson St-Woollies car park
- Lords Place
- McNamara Street
- East Orange