For the past two years, the Town of Victoria Park has been running an extremely successful program aimed at activating the Albany Highway main street, encouraging tourism and economic development benefits.
The program focus is on small-win and experimental projects that are quirky, low-cost and well received by the public.
Street art has had a strong emphasis, with the installation of almost 20 murals by local, national and international artists over the past two years.
Nine of these murals came about through the Town’s sponsorship of PUBLIC 2015, a ten day festival of place-making, art and ideas-sharing run by FORM – an independent, non-profit cultural organisation established in 1968 that develops and advocates for excellence in creativity and artistic practice in Western Australia.
Another theme has been pop-up activities including several international outdoor cinemas, busking, Christmas Carol singing, alfresco footpath seating and more.
One major investment has been a series of parklets installed outside of cafés. Parklets are small alfresco areas with greenery and seating, typically installed in parking bays, as a way to take back some space for an urban park, where people can sit and relax during the day.
The Town has installed four parklets outside of local cafés with plans for two more.
Other notable initiatives include a Community Chalk Wall for writing public messages, Chinese New Year celebrations with lion-dancing and trader activities, suitcase markets held in laneways, and a Hawkers-style food market occurring every Friday.
Several of the above initiatives are projects in which the Town has partnered with local community organisations, such as the Vic Park Collective.
These partnerships allow the Town to have reach and participation in the community that has previously been unachieved.
The Town of Victoria Park is committed to growing relationships with community partners that will ensure that the work done along Albany Highway and elsewhere within the Town remains relevant and continues to meet the needs of the diverse, vibrant community.