The future of West End’s Boundary Street, one of Inner Brisbane’s most recognised and popular community hubs, is currently the subject of debate and uncertainty.

“The street’s unrivalled combination of social, entertainment, shopping and professional activities makes this area a magnet for local residents and metropolitan visitors,” says Phil Heywood, planning spokesperson for Kurilpa Futures. A number of groups including traders, elected representatives, service providers and community spokespeople are voicing concerns that its character as a safe and welcoming meeting place for people of all ages is threatened by poor maintenance and incompatible uses.

Competing proposals are being developed and publicly aired. A firm of international urban planning consultants commissioned by the West End Traders Association have submitted a crime prevention strategy with implications for key public spaces in the precinct. A number of local groups believe that it’s time for more collaborative solutions which include both trader and community values. Working with staff and students of the University of Queensland’s Urban and Regional Planning program, award- winning local landscape architect John Mongard, will lead a public Design Workshop in brainstorming positive ideas for the future of the Boundary Street precinct. The resulting strategies and actions could become a model for similar areas throughout Inner Brisbane. Michael Major, a prominent retail expert who has also advised main street traders in both New Zealand and Great Britain, will discuss opportunities for creating solutions.

Kylie Waldron, Indigenous Development Officer at West End Community House, will share her knowledge of the local Aboriginal community and its many significant links with West End’s daily life. John Mongard and UQ’s Sebastian Darchen will facilitate the ideas workshop, focusing on both short and long- term needs and visions. Staff and students will take away these findings and develop them into schemes that local groups can present to city council and state government. The free and expertly facilitated workshop will run  in West End’s AHEPA hall on Boundary Street.

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