Revitalisation forum discusses city’s future: poll

Sir Bob Parker, mayor of Christchurch, is visiting Newcastle to discuss the city’s revitalisation. Picture by Brock PerksNEWCASTLE’S ‘great bones’ were the key to transforming the former steel city into one of the world’s great regional cities, former Christchurch, New Zealand mayor Sir Bob Parker said on Sunday.

A veteran of the urban transformation process, Sir Bob told a Revitalising Newcastle forum he had no doubt Newcastle would once again become a thriving urban centre because of the passion that Novocastraians displayed about its future.

‘‘Christchurch had to go through a similar ground-up transformation when we rather would not have,’’ he said.

‘‘I’m very optimistic about Newcastle because I can see plenty of people who are passionate about this place.’’

More than 100 people attended the weekend’s UrbanGrowth NSW community workshops about the city’s future.

Newcastle train station was among the locations that participants visited to discuss urban renewal opportunities.

Sir Bob said the city’s natural beauty, educational resources, such as the university, the port, and rich natural resources of the Hunter were the bones, or building blocks, of a great city.

‘‘You wouldn’t get better bones to build a city around anywhere in the world,’’ he said.

‘‘It’s a question of what do you want to do? How do you strengthen it to make it a place that people want to come to.’’

UrbanGrowth NSW program director Michael Cassel said community participation and feedback were essential components of the revitalisation process.

“For example, some people expressed the view that the land in the heavy rail corridor should be mainly parkland, while others wanted it transformed into active recreational and cultural opportunities,’’ he said.

‘‘Others felt that some of the land should be used for enterprises that stimulate the economy and attract investment to the city centre, including educational, jobs and innovation hubs, with a range of housing to support new jobs in the city.’’

Community feedback from last year generally supported:

• Reinstating Hunter Street as a thriving main street where people can shop and enjoy cultural and leisure activities

• Improving connections between the city centre and the waterfront

• Creating a mix of housing types in the city centre

• Introduction of new jobs and educational facilities in the city centre • Restoring and sensitively reusing heritage buildings such as Newcastle Railway Station

• Enhancing active recreation areas along the waterfront.

For more information or to participate in online engagement initiatives, visit www.revitalisingnewcastle杭州夜网

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