Does this look the work of a council committed to visionary park design?


I went to Civic Park fairly early on Sunday to take some photos.

I couldn’t believe the contortions I had to go through to get some photos without prominently featuring things like garbage bins. Don’t most towns try to make their bins look like something else? Isn’t it a commonplace design principle that one would hide them?

Not Newcastle. Apparently we’re proud of our garbage bins and pump rooms and electrical outlets.

In a recent post I mentioned my friend’s assertion that this city has an enormous number of artists. We also have the award-winning Loft Venue which caters for music and art for young people: they’re responsible for graffiti art on the outside of council work vans.

Maybe we should commission someone to make some bins look attractive. I’ll wager there’d be loads of enthusiasm out there for this. Failing that, we could build some standard conservative hidey-holes.

The beautiful figs west of the fountain and pool have a stunning canopy and beautiful trunks. The detail of the picture of them shows garbage bins and a glimpse of our yellow wind warning sign in the background.

Christie Place is a dear little park across the road from Civic Park and next to the Town Hall. Since the arcade it used to lead to became an irrelevance I haven’t been there. It was discussed quite a lot at the charette because to some people including the designers at the workshop and presumably some council officers  this represents an opportunity to forge an Obvious ‘Connection’  between the Honeysuckle development on the harbour and the ‘Cultural Precinct’. This of course has implications for the rail line, but anyway…

Christie Place used to have garden beds planted with annuals. It also has some lovingly placed bins that are bright orange and overflowing.

 They’re in the middle of the photograph of the little park and Town Hall. Perhaps the colour was an attempt by someone to be creative. I suppose it beats the usual black or green bins between the figs at the top of the page…

The other element highlighted in Civic Park is what I presume is the entry to the pump room next to the Captain Cook fountain. I don’t recall this being obvious when I used to go to Mattara Festival a a teenager; this is  held annually in the park. The fountain was ‘done up’ a few years ago so I presume it was decided to make a feature of the entrance then.

The pool photo also shows you the beautiful orange barrier that is saving us all from the figs in Laman Street. This is where seating used to be until the trees were rated as too risky to sit under. Since this has saved the trees for a while it doesn’t bother me but you’d have to wonder if the orange was chosen specially in order to make a statement.  Home

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