22 August 2022
Pop-up art installations, colourful directional street stickers, recycled furniture and a beautiful block-letter ‘Ipswich’ sign were some of the ideas hundreds of enthusiastic community members built as part of a Queensland-first placemaking event on 12 August.
Ipswich Central Redevelopment Committee Chairperson Councillor Marnie Doyle said the Building Better Blocks and Neighbourhoods event and Unlock the Block community street party showcased innovative ways to activate the city’s public spaces.
“Placemaking is a collaborative process that brings together people of all ages, backgrounds and experiences to create positive changes to the spaces between buildings,” Cr Doyle said.
“Featuring Australian experts in partnership with international organisation Better Block Foundation, the day-long thought leadership event discussed how we could reinvigorate Ipswich Central through city shaping and placemaking to bring more people together and make better use of our environment.
“The day started at council’s Administration Building in the Nicholas Street Precinct before moving outside to d’Arcy Doyle Place for fun and practical activities that put principles newly learned into action.
“Community members and attendees built tables from pallets and blocks, reimagined tyres for chairs and obstacle courses and painted sidewalk decorations as they explored imaginative ways to activate Ipswich Central.
“The day of placemaking has ignited imaginations of what Ipswich Central could become for the community with the needs of people prioritised over cars and further community-led actions to revitalise our city centre.”
Division 3 Councillor Andrew Fechner said it was fantastic to see residents, students, local businesses and staff from seven South East Queensland councils take part in the hands-on demonstration.
“The internationally-renowned Better Block Foundation specialises in placemaking training, and their leadership will help build on the Ipswich Central Revitalisation projects that have already drawn people into the city centre such as the Ipswich Central Partnership,” Cr Fechner said.
“A collaborative council initiative, the Ipswich Central Partnership is a volunteer group of passionate local businesses and community members working together to improve the cultural hub and beating heart of our community.”
After the Building Better Blocks and Neighbourhoods event, Ipswich Central Partnership took over d’Arcy Doyle Place to showcase what the community could achieve through their event Unlock the Block.
Unlock the Block featured a community talent competition, street art and projections, a plant swap stall, an empty shopfront multimedia activation by Inhabited Ipswich and plenty of family-friendly activities.
Councillor Doyle said council wanted to enable and empower a connected Ipswich community of positive doers to create a place where residents are proud to live.
“There are important social, environmental and economic benefits to encouraging people to get out of their cars and walk through the city to engage with Ipswich’s built environment,” Cr Doyle said,
Councillor Fechner said the day was a huge success and looks forward to seeing more future community placemaking in Ipswich Central.
“Council has lots of ideas to explore and consider so we can continue making our city centre a welcoming place for residents and visitors,” Cr Fechner said.
For more information and to keep up to date with what is happening in Ipswich Central visit Ipswichcentral.com.au