Green makeover for Huatoki Plaza

New Plymouth’s Huatoki Plaza is getting a revamp.

Much of the concrete will be removed and lawn and native plants will be added to soften the concrete edges and help filter the breeze through the plaza.

Other changes include new lighting in the plaza and in James Lane, new seats with USB charging ports, the removal of the big yellow roof, and a pathway connecting Devon and Ariki Streets.

The plaza’s green makeover is being done by New Plymouth District Council and they say it is the first step towards creating a sustainable and more welcoming CBD.

NPDC regulatory solutions manager Katrina Brunton said the council was also working with the owners of buildings next to James Lane about opening into the laneway and creating more vibrancy.

“Imagine coming to meet friends for lunch or sit and have a coffee in a green space bang in the middle of town,” she said.

“Our community has told us they want a CBD that welcomes families and puts pedestrians first, a place people want to visit and hang out.

“The CBD is the business centre of our district as well as the cultural and social hub.  We all have a stake in success.”

The move follows the two mayoral forums, the CBD 2050 Forum in October last year and the CBD 2050 Summit in May, when stakeholders met to discuss the city centre’s future.

Participants in the two CBD forums highlighted themes to improve city centre, including more green spaces, a greater focus on pedestrians with more paths to get round the CBD, and more family-friendly spaces, such as safe areas where kids can play.

They also asked for more public and shared transport options, more consistent opening hours among retailers, and more homes in the CBD.