Cleveland’s CBD is set to undergo a dramatic community-powered transformation to encourage people to linger longer when they come to town.
In early May internationally renowned place maker David Engwicht, creator of the 7 Day Makeover, will challenge the people of Cleveland to work together with a shoe-string budget but a wealth of enthusiasm to turn the CBD into a vibrant social epicentre.
David has worked with communities worldwide to create public spaces that feel like home and is looking forward to helping Cleveland’s CBD to reinvent itself.
“If the CBD is to compete with the regional shopping centres, it has to offer more than just convenience shopping. It has to offer an experience that you can’t get at the regional shopping centres”, said David, who has been brought in by Redland City Council as part of its Cleveland What’s Next initiative.
“What we would like to achieve is a more vibrant and prosperous CBD that feels like it’s the civic heart of the community.
It needs to be a place where people want to hang out and relax because it’s welcoming and interesting. This will only happen if the community feels an emotional attachment to the town centre, and if traders band together to offer a unique visitor experience.”
“That’s why we’re going to get volunteers from the community to do the audit of the town centre. They will then form project teams to implement the most appealing ideas.”
To make it easier for businesses to benefit from active use of the footpath, Redland City Council will establish a ‘YES! Zone’ in the Cleveland CBD, trialling a more flexible approach to the use of space beyond local shopfronts.
Redland City Mayor Karen Williams said that improved place making was a key strategy identified by the business community at last October’s inaugural Cleveland What’s Next workshop, together with attracting more events and providing better tourism information.
“We are delivering on our promise to work with local businesses to drive economic growth in Cleveland’s CBD,” she said.
“We recognise that taking a step back and reviewing whether some of our rules and regulations are impediments to creativity and out-of-the-box thinking, will be a critical part of the 7 Day Makeover process.
“We are committed to providing as much latitude as possible to facilitate a great result for local businesses and the wider Redlands community.
Division 2 Councillor for Cleveland Peter Mitchell said the 7 Day Makeover would be followed by other initiatives as part of Council’s Cleveland What’s Next program.
“Making Cleveland’s CBD a more interesting place to visit will in turn encourage event organisers to consider Cleveland as a location of choice,” he said.
“Council will also be working hand-in-hand with traders through the Till Boosters program, which will run in parallel with the 7 Day Makeover. Two lucky traders will be chosen as Demo Pods to work with David Engwicht to showcase how footpath activation can boost their turnover.”
The 7 Day Makeover will take place from 6-12 May. David will introduce it at a community information session from 6.30pm to 8.00pm on Tuesday 11 April at Binary Music Studio, Shop 11, Cleveland Plaza, 48 Bloomfield Street, Cleveland.
People of all ages and abilities are welcome. For more information about the 7 Day Makeover or to register for the community information session, visit the program’s Facebook page for more information.
Till Boosters will be launched to traders at 7.00am on Wednesday 12 April at the above venue. For more information about Till Boosters or to register to attend the launch, visit the Facebook page.