CBD Urban Node Trial
The Shire has recently accepted the Esperance CBD Landscaping Concept Design (Concept Design) to guide the implementation and upgrading of landscaping in the Esperance CBD. The full Concept Design can be found here. As part of the Concept Design it has been proposed to create “Urban Nodes” The Urban Nodes are designed to create opportunities for Alfresco dining areas or public open space in front of Restaurants and Cafes through modifying the parking layout. The image below is an example of an Urban Node, also attached are examples of Urban Nodes from Oxford Street Leederville.
The key benefits of the Urban Nodes are to:
Promote vibrancy in the Town Center;
Support local business;
Enhance walkability; and
Encourage pedestrian activity.
It is proposed to undertake a trial of the Urban Nodes at various locations in the Esperance CBD. The trial is to establish if the Urban Nodes would work as intended and if there is both public and business acceptance of the Nodes.
The proposed trial is to put down a temporary decking structure that would sit on the existing road parking surface. There are two proposed options for the size of the Urban Nodes, that are detailed in attachment B and C, that are approximately 20m2 and 40m2 in size, there would be a loss of 2 and 3 carparks respectfully for each option. The Urban Nodes would have a barrier around the perimeter to provide safe access for users and to create a boundary for the area.
The proposed trial was initially approved for December 2019 until 30 June 2020 however due to COVID-19 the trail has not been able to be completed as non essential businesses were forced to close to prevent the spread of the Covid-19. Council resolved in June 2020 to extend the Trial until April 2021 to ensure the nodes could be trailed and assessed effectibly by the business's involved and the public. In August 2020 Council requested consultation with the participating and neighbouring businesses of the urban node trial to identify positive and negative impacts and report findings back to Council.