Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 


A call for innovative use of vacant space in Wellington city

A call for innovative use of vacant space in Wellington city

Java Dance Installation in Newtown, December 2013. Image: Gabrielle McKone

More innovative Wellingtonians now have the opportunity to use empty retail space in the central city thanks to the Urban Dream Brokerage.

With new funding confirmed this month from Wellington City Council and Wellington Community Trust, the Urban Dream Brokerage allows innovation and diversity to flourish by brokering the use of vacant space. Everyone with ideas - artists and designers, community groups, social entrepreneurs and fledgling businesses - are invited to propose or pitch ideas for interacting with the city in new ways in 2014. First applications are due Friday 13 June.

“Imagine a city,” says Urban Dream Broker Helen Kirlew Smith, “where everyone feels represented. Where, like the traditional high street, community and businesses exist side by side. This is an opportunity for locally-grown businesses and groups with original ideas to involve the public in their thinking and work. For the city’s future health, our streets need to reflect our diversity. A city’s resilience is determined by how it responds to its changing circumstances.”

Established by Letting Space, Urban Dream Brokerage ran as a pilot over the last 15 months. The Brokerage placed 15 creative projects into vacant retail spaces around the city. These included a community cinema (People’s Cinema, still going), a former ASB Bank site where the public could deposit their mood and consider the collective mood of the city (Moodbank), a waiting room in Cuba Mall (The Waiting Room), innovative theatre productions, a jewellery workshop and exhibition space in Willis Street (Occupation Artists), and a space displaying hundreds of wedding dresses where the public were asked their views on marriage on the eve of the passing of the Marriage Amendment Act (Brides).

Mark Farrar, from Council’s funding team says, “the Urban Dream Brokerage gives Wellington innovative and exciting public art, helps our creative industries and asks provocative questions about social and cultural issues.”

The Brokerage is now also working with community groups and fledgling enterprises thanks to wider support from the City Council and Wellington Community Trust.

“This means we are able to bring empty spaces to life for more people and bring new tenants for property owners,” says Kirlew Smith. “The use of these spaces reduces vandalism and graffiti and many of our projects lead to new tenancies for these buildings.”

The businesses of the creative people who use these spaces have also been developed. Jewellery studio Occupation Artists, for example, has now taken up a long term lease.

Over the last four years statistics from Colliers International show that, while there has been recent growth in retail spending, there has also been a steady increase in retail and other commercial vacancies, with most of that increase in the heart of the CBD. The most recently published figures show vacancies at 13.7%.Proposed projects for the Urban Dream Brokerage need to be unique, innovative, bring life to the city and be open to the public. Projects may be temporary one-off trials or designed to be ongoing. “Our job,” says Kirlew, “is not to replicate what already exists. This is an opportunity to develop new ideas with the public”.

Project proposals can be submitted on the Urban Dream Brokerage website: www.urbandreambrokerage.org.nz or by emailing Helen Kirlew Smith at urbandreambrokerage@gmail.com for more information.

ENDS


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Urgent Bill Planned:
MP Pay Rises To Match Public Service

Prime Minister John Key today announced an overhaul of the Remuneration Authority Act, tying MP salaries to those of the wider public sector, which will be passed under urgency.

Mr Key says the decision was made after the Remuneration Authority’s latest determination which saw the total remuneration received by MPs increased by about 3.5 per cent...

The new legislation will be backdated to 1 July 2014, meaning the pay increase outlined in the latest determination will not be awarded. More>>

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

PM's Press Conference: MP Pay Rises, Solid Energy, Iraq

Prime Minister John Key answered questions in his Post-Cabinet press conference about the Iraq deployment, Solid Energy and National’s decision to overhaul the Remuneration Authority Act. More>>

ALSO:

Worksafe: MSD Charged Over Work And Income Ashburton Shooting

WorkSafe NZ has laid one charge against the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) in relation to the shooting at the MSD Ashburton office on 1 September 2014 in which two Work and Income staff were killed and another was injured. More>>

ALSO:

Iraq: Ex-Hostage Says Government Not Putting NZers, Iraqis First

Harmeet Singh Sooden is travelling to Iraq in the coming weeks to work with Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) on a short-term assignment. More>>

ALSO:

Joint Statement: Australia-New Zealand Leaders’ Meeting

Prime Minister Key warmly welcomed Prime Minister Abbott and Mrs Abbott to New Zealand. The visit has enabled wide-ranging and substantive discussion that has underlined the strength, value, diversity and warmth of our trans-Tasman relationship. More>>

ALSO:

Press Conference: Peters To Stand In Northland By-Election

New Zealand First Leader Winston Peters has announced his intention to stand in the Northland by-election, citing his own links to the electorate and ongoing neglect of the region by central government. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Wage Hike For MPs (and Paul Robeson)

Hard to tell what is more infuriating. Is it the 5.3% increase on the already bloated salaries of MPs, or their pantomime of outrage at being gifted with such a wonderful back-dated bonanza? More>>

ALSO:

No Designers Or Visual Artists: Flag Panel Members Announced

The Government has appointed 12 New Zealanders as members of the Flag Consideration Panel which will engage with the public about a possible new New Zealand flag, Deputy Prime Minister Bill English says. More>>

ALSO:

Labour MP Stands Down From Portfolio: Comment From Carmel Sepuloni

The first I knew of my mother’s charges was when I was called by a reporter yesterday. I spoke to Andrew and we agreed there is a conflict of interest at the present time which means I will temporarily stand aside from the Social Development portfolio. It’s the right thing to do… . More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news