City of Newcastle has completed a $2.4 million upgrade of Joslin Street, Kotara with a safe and welcoming new public space created at the heart of the renewal.
The upgrade saw the replacement of drainage infrastructure, footpaths and road surfaces, installation of new street furniture and street planting, alongside pedestrian safety improvements including a pedestrian refuge to enable a safer crossing between Rae Crescent and the busy local shopping area.
The public open space at the corner of Joslin Street and Rae Crescent features a playful sandstone stack, stepping logs for children to explore and relax, seating areas, a drinking fountain and a dog drinking bowl.
The space was unveiled by Newcastle Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes, who encouraged the local community to visit the space and the nearby local businesses.
“When we spoke to the community about upgrading this busy local centre we heard of the desire for a safer, more vibrant space to gather and shop,” the Lord Mayor said.
“With $2.4 million invested to completely overhaul the entire local centre, we’ve delivered a more modern and safe public space for local residents and visitors to Kotara.”
“We’re particularly proud of the new, innovative open space which is a great place to catch up with friends over a coffee or bite to eat from the fantastic local businesses.”
The Lord Mayor said that the local community had significantly shaped the new public spaces by providing the City with invaluable feedback through detailed community consultation.
“Input from the community and local business-owners has been critical in making these improvements to the area, which we hope will benefit the Kotara community both now and into the future.”
Sami Mamalis, owner of Joslin Street’s Schnitty City said the project has improved safety in the area, and that locals are enjoying the new space.
“This is great for Joslin Street, it’s good to see people using the space and it gives our customers and visitors somewhere to sit and enjoy the area.”
Future plans for the space include a collaboration with nearby Kotara South Public School to gather themes and ideas for the decoration of an interactive artwork to be installed in the public open space – bringing a climbable caterpillar sculpture to life with colour and character created by local school children.
“We want the community to interact with the new space and key to this is ensuring that local children from Kotara South Public School will get to see their ideas and designs for the new interactive public art come to life,” the Lord Mayor said.
The Joslin Street upgrade was delivered under the City’s Local Centres program, which is delivering upgrades to suburban centres across the local government area including the recently commenced upgrade of Mitchell Street, Stockton, and upgrades due for delivery later this year at Shortland and at James Street Plaza, Hamilton.