The transformation of Edward Street, in Brisbane’s CBD, into a pedestrian-friendly shopping boulevard has come a step closer with the release of Brisbane City Council’s concept designs.
The plan, which was announced in the 2015-16 council budget in June, would see Edward Street reduced to three traffic lanes to make way for the widened pedestrian way.
The newly released “Edward Street vision” was released on the council’s website on Monday, including new images of how it envisioned the changes to the streetscape.
The Edward Street vision project will cost $11.4 million over three years. Photo: Brisbane City Council
Lord Mayor Graham Quirk said Edward Street’s reputation as a “high end” retail and dining precinct was important for Brisbane’s global reputation.
“The continued success of this area is a priority for council and the Edward Street Vision will deliver broad footpaths and tree-lined streets to support a thriving and diverse retail economy and firmly position the precinct as a major destination in Brisbane,” he said.
“The Edward Street precinct in the CBD has established itself as Brisbane’s home for international luxury brands such as Louis Vuitton, Tiffany & Co, Georg Jensen, Rhodes & Beckett and Oroton to name but a few.
The ‘Sand Castle Competition’ sculpture planned for Wynnum. Photo: Brisbane City Council
“…As more people live and work in our city centre we need to make it easy, safe and comfortable to walk along the street by widening footpath space and to achieve that vehicular traffic will be reduced to three lanes.
“Brisbane is a well-designed, subtropical city and the Edward Street vision will elevate the area’s high quality retail offer, provide for an enjoyable pedestrian environment and celebrate the heritage architecture and unique building facades of one of our key city boulevards.”
Cr Quirk allocated $11.4 million over three years towards the project in his June budget.
“Construction between Queen Street and Charlotte Street is anticipated to commence in mid-2016 and council will work with local traders and property owners to transform the area into a showcase retail environment,” he said.
“The Edward Street vision is the product of extensive consultation undertaken throughout the city centre master plan, as well as input from local businesses, industry experts and the Edward Street traders and property owners group.”
Labor lord mayoral candidate Rod Harding blasted the plan shortly after it was announced, saying Cr Quirk was pandering to “wealthy multinational retailers”.
Cr Quirk also released images for some new public art planned as part of the Wynnum suburban centre improvement project.
The concept designs for the Sand Castle Competition sculpture will be on display at the Wynnum library until November 30.
“Suburban centres all throughout Brisbane are a hub for communities, where small businesses are run, where we meet for coffee with family and friends, and where we source the essentials for our households,” Cr Quirk said.
“SCIPs across Brisbane contribute to the community and commercial vitality of suburban shopping precincts and encourage additional private investment into these centres.”
The council will spend $500,000 on the Wynnum SCIP, with Sand Castle Competition to be installed at the corner of Florence Street and Bay Terrace.
“The artwork features a stylised large bucket and spade that references the sandcastle competitions held in Wynnum in the 1930s,” Cr Quirk said.