Plan to create a greener city centre for Hobart

Article image - Plan to create a greener city centre for Hobart Hobart could be further greened under an ambitious new plan for the city centre.

Hobart could be further greened under an ambitious new plan for the city centre.

More trees and green areas are slated for Hobart under an ambitious plan to develop the State capital. In releasing the first stage of Hobart's Inner City Development Plan for public comment, international architect and urban planner Professor Jan Gehl has recommended a city centre with beautiful and surprising environments encompassing high quality streetscapes.

Lord Mayor Alderman Rob Valentine said the Gehl Plan calls for a greener city centre by planting more trees and creating more green connections.

"Greenery has a softening effect on the streetscape and effectively muffles the noise of traffic as well as cleaning the air," he said. "Professor Gehl sees the need for the planting of 200 to 300 trees every year and to use different types to create individual identities for different streets and areas.

"As an example, trees need to be planted in traffic dominated streets such as Davey and Macquarie Streets to turn them into green streets. To maintain a human scale city, there needs to be controls on building heights and planning controls to maintain the present average building height of a maximum three to six storeys along streets. There is a need to ensure that new buildings fit in with their neighbours and to develop regulations for signage, canopies etc to prevent inappropriate elements reducing the quality of architecture and the street environment.

Professor Gehl also wants to promote the sensitive re use of heritage buildings and to use old buildings for new purposes if possible.

"The Gehl Plan also recommends improving the visual qualities by adding elements that increase delights for human senses.

"Another recommendation is to replace heavy awnings along building fronts with light elegant Australian verandah type awnings. Ground level frontages can provide colour and vitality to make walking more interesting and pleasant and inviting people to stop, but too often pedestrians are met by dull blank walls.These types of frontages create deserted areas in the city.

"There is also a recommendation to open up the ground floor of the State library towards Murray Street and Mathers Lane with active, attractive and transparent ground floor street frontages and an 'outdoor reading room' in Mathers Lane.

"The Gehl Plan also wants to ensure that new developments to take place in such places as Dunn Place, Parliament Square and the Hobart Railyards have active and transparent ground floor street frontages.Another major consideration revolves around the fact that Hobart is a waterfront city and this should be felt in all areas of the city centre by installing water elements in selected streets, squares and parks."

For further information contact Manager Economic Development Tim Short on (03) 6238 2940.