Best Low Cost Public Space Idea
Georgia Vitale, Kerrie Van Lambaart, Kristina Touma
A community-led concept for reimagining Edward Lane
Two neighbours, together with The Settlement asked their community for their big idea for Edward Lane in Darlington. To spark ideas we created a participatory public installation in the lane made available to all.
A temporary blackboard installation provided the community with a platform to share their ideas for transforming the lane as well as gathering sentiment about the lane. The installation was in place for two weeks to challenge the sometimes top-down manner in which urban transformation is undertaken; to seek the ideas of those who know the place best.
Through The Settlement’s programs for out of school hours activities for children, youth work, health, indigenous social and affordable housing programs they encouraged program participants to generate ideas for the lane. Dog walkers, joggers and street sweepers added their ideas too.
Concepts for the lane include vertical vegetable gardens, being atmospherically lit and a rollerblading link. It’s clear that the community values the space as they commented on it feeling like a ‘superhighway to nirvana’ and ‘home’.
Through this on-site civic engagement, the approach has provided community-driven insights for creating a low-cost approach to reimaging the laneway-. It highlights Darlington’s collective imagination and support for enhancing the lane through street art, greening, lighting and events to bring the community together.