Studio Pacific involved in community-led 'Tactical Urbanism' in Porirua

24 Nov 2021

Porirua City Council’s People Changing Streets project has completed a series of temporary interventions on Fantame Street, making it safer and more enjoyable for the community.

Porirua City Council’s People Changing Streets project is a collaborative and innovative project funded by Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency’s Innovating Streets Programme. This programme aims to make it faster and easier to transition New Zealand streets into safer and more liveable spaces. These projects use tactical urbanism – a design approach which creates fast, temporary and low-cost interventions for the local community to experience and review before permanent solutions are selected. A community co-design approach was taken where the council and local residents collaborated within their communities to design better streetscapes.

Studio Pacific Architecture worked with Porirua City Council and its consultants, including Te Hiko (Wesley Community Action), Isabella Cawthorn, Halo Communications and Downer, to run an intensive community co-design process. Studio Pacific contributed to the process by demonstrating tactical urbanism examples, assisting with options and final concepts and providing technical urban design and general advice in the community workshops. This co-design process enabled ‘The Engine Room’, a group of Cannons Creek locals, to realise a series of interventions that would make Fantame Street and shops in Cannon’s Creek safer and more enjoyable for the community. The interventions added to the street include changes to street layout, the addition of seating, planting and colourful community generated street art, all aimed at ‘shifting the dial’ from car to people dominated spaces.

Since being implemented, data has shown a significant change in traffic speeds and how people inhabit the space. Porirua City Council views this project as a new way to engage with residents on similar projects in the future. These ideas may also become part of the long-term Eastern Porirua regeneration project, which will assist in providing more opportunities for positive engagement and enabling meaningful contribution in our communities.

A big congratulations to The Engine Room team, who recently won a Placemaking Aotearoa, Kūmara Award for their excellent (voluntary) work on the project.

Read more in an article from Stuff here.