This year the City of Boroondara kicked off its Glenferrie Road Placemaking Project. This entails a $2.6 million investment over the next three years according to council's 2019-20 budget, as well as $1 million over the next four years for 'Placemaking Coordination.' Placemaking is used in order to "learn about our community's vision for place, what makes it unique, what improvements they might make and how they would like to evolve in the future" as described by David Cowen, Placemaking Lead, City of Boroondara.
The placemaking process will involve five stages: understanding place, imagining place, prioritising ideas, planning place, and transforming place. The completed Glenferrie Road Placemaking Plan is due to be released in February/March 2021. The plan will then be implemented through long-term goals over the next 5-10 years, with a budget yet to be allocated for this. In the meantime, there will be "quick-win" initiatives such as planter box improvements.
Currently the Placemaking Project is in the first stage, 'understanding place', and has implemented this through a large stall at the Glenferrie Festival to consult the public and inviting the community to 'placemaking workshops' at the Hawthorn Arts Centre during March.
The Glenferrie Times attended a placemaking workshop along with approximately 50 others, including Glenferrie Ward Cr Steve Hurd, local traders, employees and residents, members of the Hawthorn Historical Society and Swinburne University staff and students. The two-hour workshop was facilitated by a third party. After a brief explanation of placemaking by the Placemaking Lead, there were a series of interactive activities. Attendees were asked to discuss amongst themselves their opinions, suggestions, and vision for Glenferrie and the community and then share this with the group.
Suggestions included: refurbishing the Glenferrie Station and under the railway bridge, increasing green spaces, reducing clutter in walkways, repairing and widening footpaths, increasing accessibility, improving safety and lighting, maintenance of heritage buildings, informative historical plaques, improving public toilets, art in public spaces, strengthening the connection between local businesses and residents and Swinburne University, and removing on-street car parking for cyclists, pedestrians, and public transport.
Concerns were raised regarding the lengthy process of developing the plan for the Glenferrie Road Placemaking Project, its budget, and how goals will be prioritised.
Some consultation events have been cancelled due to COVID-19 health concerns. You can have your say about the Glenferrie Road Placemaking Project by completing a short survey at www.boroondara.vic.gov.au/glenferrie-placemaking or email your ideas to email@example.com.